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DebbieL1
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Ntlworld email not working - service outage?

Hi, I already mentioned this in a reply to another post, but thought I should create my own report. Last night my ntlworld.com email suddenly stopped working with no warning. The first I knew of this was when my phone's email client, which is permanently logged in to the ntlworld address, started asking for credentials. I put in my password (which is the same one I've been using for decades) and got a message saying it was incorrect. I then tried logging in to my webmail account, and got a 'mailbox is not available, please wait 1 hour' message - the same one I get whenever Virgin Media's email services are temporarily down, only this time it's been over 12 hours and the problem is still there.

I can still log in to My Virgin Media and my Virgin Mobile account using the same email address, and the My Virgin Media phone app is also working - it's just the email service that seems to be down. I haven't had any messages about security issues, the account being locked, or anything like that. I checked https://istheservicedown.co.uk/status/virgin-media and found that a lot of other people are reporting Internet issues at the moment, especially in London where I live. I've also seen a lot of similar messages on this forum over the last day or two.

Please could somebody at Virgin Media check whether there are any local or national issues with VM email services, and let us know how long it will take to fix? I use this account for virtually everything outside of work - banking, bills, online shopping, etc. - so losing access to it for more than a couple of days would be a big problem for me. I can provide account details through a PM if necessary, as I obviously had to use a different email address to sign up here.

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DebbieL1
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account

I've had exactly the same problem since yesterday evening - just get the 'mailbox unavailable' message when trying to log in to my ntlworld webmail (I signed up here with a different email account). There isn't even an option to change my password, which I don't want to do anyway, as I've had the same password for decades and the problem is clearly on VM's end. Is there some sort of service outage in London at the moment? I'm seeing a lot of people reporting problems with Virgin internet on all the 'is the service down' websites.

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coenoby
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account


@DebbieL1 wrote: Is there some sort of service outage in London at the moment? I'm seeing a lot of people reporting problems with Virgin internet on all the 'is the service down' websites.

You can check for any issues in your area by entering your postcode here https://www.virginmedia.com/help/service-status However that "Your mailbox is unavailable" message does not suggest a VM service outage.

That error is displayed when VM have locked your email account. In that case the only way to re-enable the account is by a password reset as  described by VM in this post: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Email/Email-accounts-locked-mailbox-unable-unable-to-access-ema... 

If you are no longer a VM broadband customer or you cannot access your "My Virgin Media" account (where you view you VM monthly bills) to reset the password you can try resetting the password from here https://my.virginmedia.com/forgot-details/password  Enter your email address and follow the prompts.

The backstop is to wait until one of the Forum Team (VM employees who support this forum) catches up with your post in the next day or so. Provide you still have a VM Broadband account they can arrange for the account to be unlocked for you. However, as far as I understand that still results in a password reset.

Coenoby

 

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DebbieL1
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account

Hi @coenoby, I've never been a VM broadband customer (though I do have a Virgin mobile account). This email account was set up 20+ years ago and was transferred over to Virgin Media when they took over NTL. I've definitely seen that error message before, though in the past it's always been temporary and has just gone away on it's own after waiting a few hours. I can try the password reset through My Virgin Media, but as I've been using the same password for decades, I'm very reluctant to do this before I know that my account really has been locked (especially since other people are saying they've tried this and it hasn't worked for them).

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coenoby
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account


@DebbieL1 wrote:

Hi @coenoby, I've never been a VM broadband customer (though I do have a Virgin mobile account).


Sorry to say that VM email accounts need to be linked to a live VM broadband account. VM's terms and conditions specify that 90 days after the broadband account has been closed they (VM) will delete all email addresses associated with that account.

In reality such "orphan" email accounts often seem to live on for years as in your case. However, VM do have regular bouts of  deleting such accounts without giving any notice to the user so your Ntlworld address is in grave danger.

I noted that you do have an alternative email account (hopefully not another VM address) which is good. You really need to consider your Ntlworld address as being on life support which could be turned off at any time.

You will need to wait to be contacted by one of the Forum Team and see what they say.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news , sadly your situation is all too common. 😒

Coenoby

 

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DebbieL1
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account

I can understand that email acccounts associated with shut-down broadband accounts may be deleted, however this is not the case here as there never was a Virgin Media broadband account. As I said, the email account was transferred over from another service. I've had no communication whatsoever from VM suggesting that they were even considering deleting accounts like mine, and having searched online for 'Virgin Media ntlworld account', the only thing I could find that seemed relevant was this from 2014: https://my.virginmedia.com/customer-news/articles/virginmediamail.html. I don't believe it can possibly be legal to delete an account without warning under those circumstances - how can TOCs for broadband customers apply to someone who's never been a broadband customer? - not to mention that I'm signed up to Virgin Mobile with that email account, and my mobile and 'My Virgin Media' accounts still seem to be active. Would appreciate a response from VM support staff as soon as possible.

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jem101
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Message 7 of 15
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account

@DebbieL1 so were you ever a customer of NTL? Incidentally Virginmedia never ‘took over’ NTL, it’s basically the same company, they just rebranded and renamed themselves. So if you were an NTL customer and subsequently left, then the ntlworld email account should have been deleted after you left them - unless your address was a ‘secondary account’ linked to someone else’s broadband account, in which case it will be deleted some 90 days after they leave.

Either way, I’m afraid that continued use of any of the legacy email addresses, ntlworld.com, blueyonder.com, Virgin.net etc. absolutely need to be linked to a current, active VM broadband account otherwise they are prone to being deleted at any time.

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DebbieL1
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account

I honestly don't know - the original NTLworld account was set up for me by my family as I was just a kid at the time (we're talking literally decades ago). As far as I know, it was a free account. The transfer of the email account to Virgin Media was done automatically and I had no choice in the matter, so there was no 'agreement' to be 'terminated'. In the 20+ years since I've never received any indication from VM - not even a suggestion - that I needed to be a broadband customer to continue using the account, and as I've said before, I find it very difficult to believe that it can be legal to simply delete legacy accounts under those circumstances.

I really hope this can be sorted out by the forum team. I've been using this account for EVERYTHING over a 20-year-period - why wouldn't I, when I've never had any problems before? - and have decades' worth of important emails stored on it (e.g. purchase records). If I lose access to those then I will seriously have to consider going to the CPA over this or even seeking legal advice.

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coenoby
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account


@DebbieL1 wrote:

I honestly don't know - the original NTLworld account was set up for me by my family as I was just a kid at the time


In that case, the Ntlworld email account  never actually belonged to you.

t was the broadband account holder (basically the one who paid the NTL / VM bill) who was the NTL / VM customer and who controlled the email account. Technically it was theirs but they just let you use it. As any parent would.

Once they stopped being a VM broadband customer your parents should really have advised you that "your" email account would be closed but it probably never occurred to them.

"In the 20+ years since I've never received any indication from VM - not even a suggestion - that I needed to be a broadband customer"

No they would not contact you, you were not their customer!

One of your parent's was their customer and all contact would have been with them. Having said that when VM do come across an orphan email account such as yours that has somehow survived for years they seem to close it without advising anyone.

Sadly, yours is a situation that comes up regularly on this forum where people have continued to use Virgin.net, Blueyonder, NTL or Virgin Media  email accounts for decades without having a VM broadband account and then they suddenly lose access to their email.

I really hope that the Forum Team will be agree to reopening your email account to allow you to download any information from it that you need.

That's the best you are going to get I'm afraid. They have done that for some people in the past. What they cannot do is to guarantee that your email account will continue to remain open. Therefore you need to move to using another email account asap.

Coenoby

 

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DebbieL1
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Message 10 of 15
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Re: Can’t access NTL email account

OK, update: I called my parents about this and it turns out they do, in fact, have a Virgin Media broadband account. We all have ntlworld emails which I had assumed were free legacy accounts, but apparently they are still active customers. My dad, who's the account holder, said he'd received a message that one of the secondary accounts had been locked - so I got him to 'change' my password back to what it was originally, and now everything's working again. 🙂

I have no idea why the account was locked or how the password got changed in the first place, unless it was hacked somehow (but wouldn't I still have received a password reset message in that case?) Anyway, thanks for at least helping to point me in the right direction. Such a relief to have access to my emails again!

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