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Possible to retrieve 'closed' email account contacts/latest?

K7
Joining in

Hi everyone,

I'm posting on behalf of my mum who up until February had used Virgin Broadband/Phone for many years. In that time she always used her virgin.net email address. 

She has since changed provider and was unaware that her access to the email address would cease after 90 days.

This happened this week and as she is not at all tech savvy I said I'd help her. Is there any way for her to access the email account even just to get her contacts out? Or check she hasn't been sent anything urgent. 

I know that usage of the account won't be possible moving forward but wanted to see if there was any way Virgin could help.

I can send the email address and her account number if needed.

Thank you for reading and any possible help. 

 

10 REPLIES 10

Natalie_L
Forum Team (Retired)
Forum Team (Retired)

Hello K7, 

Welcome to the community and thank you for posting. 

We are very sorry to hear your Mum was unaware of the policy with the email account and now no longer has access. 

Once the email account has been deactivated, we are unable to reverse the process in order to gain access for any reason. 

We appreciate this is not the outcome you were seeking and apologise for any disappointment caused. Moving forward, we would always recommend backing up important emails or contact details to ensure they are not lost or deleted. 

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks, 

 

Nat

Hi Natalie,

Thank you I really appreciate the reply and understand.

I had another question as this coincided with her receiving a spam email a day or two before disconnection - a template asking for money/bitcoin etc.

Concerningly it had her correct password in the body of the email in plain text. She thinks there have been odd things happening now with other accounts of hers.

Please could you confirm the email is totally shut down as when I sent a test email it didn't bounce back. I'm concerned someone could still have access?

Thanks again.

ravenstar68
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

@K7 I'd like to send you a PM -be aware that I'm not a Virgin Media employee but I would like to check something for you.  The VIP designation is a special status for Community members who have proved helpful in the past.

Have a look at the envelope at the top of the page.

Tim

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ravenstar68
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

@ModTeam @Natalie_L 

Can you guys take another look at this.  I've been speaking to K7 in PM and determined the following.

  1. The affected address is a virginmedia.com rather than a virgin.net address.
  2. The address is still a live address at the time of posting.

I've shared evidence of it being live with K7 via PM

I'd be grateful if you guys would see if you can arrange to get her mother temporary access back is they can retrieve her emails.

Many thanks

Tim

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Thanks to Tim for the help.

I'd be very appreciative as I would have expected at least a warning for her - I,e your account will deactivate in x amount of days and I'm concerned that the password has been comprised but the address is still live.

Thanks again.

ravenstar68
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

@K7 VM do make all customers aware that when they close their broadband accounts they should close after 90 days.  Some accounts do survive longer (sadly my blueyonder account wasn't one of them - although I was prepared for it myself),

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Technically, VM will say that your Mum ‘was’ actaully warned, in as much that it would have been in the terms and conditions which she originally agreed to that any email addresses will (should/maybe) be terminated after 90 days of leaving.

Of course VM do themselves no favours by not always adhering to this timescale and allowing some mailboxes to linger on for years (if not decades) and allow the poor ex-subscriber to think that this will last for ever - until it doesn’t last because VM have finally caught that mailbox in a periodic sweep up and disabled it.

Honestly, I would work on the basis that the email address is gone and probably isn't coming back. If you run tests, ie send a message to it and it doesn’t bounce back, or you run more comprehensive tests which claim that all is well, then that means that it must be extant and can be accessed, no? Alas no; all these tests prove is that the receiving system ‘thinks’ that a mailbox is still there and hence doesn’t immediately drop the connection, or give the appropriate response. For example it is perfectly possible to have a setup, whereby if you send an email to a non-existent address, the receiving system simply deletes the request with no response - from the senders perspective the message ‘appears’ to have been delivered, actually it has just been killed.

Even if the mailbox does still exist and is accepting new email, another problem is with the account which has rights to access it. It is perfectly possible that the account with permissions to that mailbox has now been disabled or deleted, in which case, although mail is being received, there is no way to access it!

Some of this is procedural, imagine that your Mum’s mailbox still does exist and is receiving email, but the underlying account has now been deleted or disabled. Is it ‘possible’ for VM to sort out a solution to restore access - well yes of course it is possible, it’s their system. But is there any formal mechanism to request this or allow it to be done?

VM have some 5.5-6 million broadband customers, realistically, if there is no existing mechanism to do so, are they going to invent or set up a ‘special’ arrangement for your Mum? Hint: no they won’t!

Now, I’m fully aware that this post sounds harsh and uncaring - honestly, I mean anything but. However it is the reality of the situation, and rather than hoping or wishing it was otherwise, we do need to deal with the reality.

There is a chance that VM’s forum team may be able to talk to the right people and pull the proverbial 'rabbit out of the hat’, but don’t rely on it. Work on the basis that the email address is gone, all of the mail within it, has gone, and it’s not coming back.

So really, what do you and your Mum need to do to move forward and mitigate against this?

ravenstar68
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

@VMUser1812 - Assuming the account is in the process of being deleted, and it may not be (remember VM will also block account access for security reasons), the first stage is to stop webmail and client access, but the account may stay on the system for a while longer.  VM can, and have given temporary access to users in the past, so the Forum Team can raise this to the email team to see if this is the case.

While I agree, it is possible to have the setup you mentioned, VM don't appear to do this from personal experience, the email checkers usually send a mail from: , rcpt to: pair of commands and if the account is dead VM system does send out the appropriate error messages - assuming the checker IP doesn't fall foul of grey listing first.

VM's Forum Team shouldn't just be assuming the account has been deleted, they can get this checked.

As an example @Joseph_C was recently involved in getting a user temporary access to an account the other day

Tim

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K7
Joining in

Thank you both for the replies. I'll wait to see what the forum team say. 

An jnteresting point above re. accounts blocked for security reasons. Is it possible to discern if access was removed due to the 90 days or a security block? As the spam email definitely had the correct password in it.