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Email issues - VM email accounts not receiving opted in mails

Tuning in

Our association has an 'opt-in' mailing list that is used to send around 2 or 3 messages per week to our 1,500 or so members: I operate my own exim-based SMTP mail transport agent and therefore provide the means to send out these messages.

About 100 or so members have Virgin Media e-mail addresses or legacy addresses that are handled by Virgin Media's MX servers and I've just spotted in relation to a message sent out about 16 hours ago that none of Virgin's mail servers are accepting delivery attempts... exim reports "Connection timed out: SMTP timeout after RCPT TO:<(customer's e-mail address)>.

All of the other 1,400 messages to non-Virgin customers were delivered at the first attempt and I use Talos Intelligence to make sure that the reputations of my domains and IP addresses are monitored for blacklisting.  Are all of Virgin's mail servers down?


[MOD EDIT: Subject title changed for clarity]


Tuning in

And yes, we use DKIM, DMARC, and SPF... all of our gmail-using members got their copy of the message without an problems on first delivery attempt...

Hmmm.  Silence.   Maybe Virgin Media doesn't have any customers left?   The message that can't be delivered to Virgin's MX servers is a follow-up to a (successful) previous circulation about the death of a member, and as it gives the details of the funeral arrangements, our inability to make contact with anyone who is a Virgin Media customer means that it looks like none of them will be present at the funeral. 

However, as messages can be delivered successfully and almost instantly to the 1,400+ other members, our contingency plan is to send another mailshot out, explaining to everyone what the problem is, and asking them to contact any other members they know that have a,,, or e-mail address, to let them know what is happening.

It kind of advertises what many people on this site are already claiming, i.e. that Virgin is a thoroughly unreliable and incompetent network provider that should be avoided like the plague, but there we are... it is what it is.

Tuning in

I am still not receiving emails. Multiple emails from various accounts were sent to me yesterday eg from,and plusnet but nothing has been delivered. Several emails were sent back to the  source  accounts stating that the sent emails had been delayed - all reporting the same error - Deferred: Connection timed out with As of this morning still no emails.

Please advise!

I'm afraid the bad news is that, since posting the above, I've been advised that Virgin Media stopped providing e-mail services to new customers two years ago, and that effectively they've stopped supporting legacy accounts in the domains,,, and

The best advice that I can give you is to change your provider as a matter of some urgency.

That is a revelation! According to this link although new email addresses are not supported, existing are still supported.

Please can you post here the information you received from VirginMedia that makes that assertion?

@virginmedia - please can you confirm that existing are still supported as indicated in the article (see link above)?

Tuning in

I suppose that it depends on the definition of "support"... I'm not, and never have been, a VM customer, but there are international "rules" about the technical infrastructure of the Internet (in this case, IETF RFC 5322), and VM has not responded to a huge number of enquiries from organisations like ours reporting non-delivery of messages to what is known as VM's "edge servers", in this case what is probably an MX cluster at, and the result is the same - non-delivery.  Our queue of about 100 such messages has been waiting for two days to deliver the arrangements for a funeral tomorrow (Monday), and so I can say with certainty that the only VM customers attending will not be there because they have received that e-mail message... ☹️

On our wavelength

Hi - we've been seeing lots of timeouts delivering to @ntlworld / @virginmedia in the last week or so.  These all involve the MX IP Mails seem to sometimes get thru, eventually, after lots of retries. 

Sample SMTP session below, I've removed the personally identifiable information already.

Connecting to []:25 from ... connected
SMTP<< 220 ESMTP server ready
SMTP<< hello [], pleased to meet you
250-SIZE 31457280
250 OK
SMTP<< 250 2.1.0 <> sender ok

[it times out here]

Since about 12.30pm, I have started to receive emails again!