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Secondary a/c holder cannot access ntlworld mailbox

Tuning in

My wife can no longer access her legacy ntlworld email account. This is because Apple Mail (the only route through which she, as a secondary account holder, can get to her mailbox) will no longer accept her password, and she can find no way of changing it.

Virgin Media support staff (with whom we’ve spent hours in fruitless telephone exchanges) have succeeded only in creating new problems, each of which has (thankfully) proved temporary only, but the original problem remains unresolved.

Longstanding Virgin Media customers will recall that it was once possible for secondary account holders to access emails via the Virgin Media website. Now, however, it seems that secondary accounts can access emails only through mailbox apps such as the Apple one. Furthermore, these apps now periodically cease to accept the existing password. (I read somewhere that this is because VM renders passwords unusable for third-party apps following data breaches.)  This wouldn’t have been a problem in the days when the primary account holder could manage secondary accounts on the VM website. Even when this ceased to be possible, changing the password didn’t immediately become an ordeal: it took just a short phone call to sort out the problem when the password became unusable a year or so ago. Now, however, the procedure has for some reason been made far more complex and/or opaque – too much so for VM operatives to understand, or at least for them to be able to explain to somebody as obtuse as me.

The first piece of advice we received from a VM operative is that we would need to supply the address of an alternative email account through which the password change could be made. (This may or may not accord with one of the several pieces of gnomic and generally useless advice I received from Virgin Media’s representatives on X/Twitter: “For security reasons a secondary email address will be required to generate a new password for it to be applied to third party email platforms”.) We provided my wife’s googlemail address, but all the VM operative was able to do with it was use it to replace my email address as the one through which we log in to MyVM. I assume that this was unintentional on his part; we certainly didn’t ask for it.

I won’t go through all our subsequent telephone exchanges with VM operatives, but it’s probably relevant to mention one where the operative insisted that the Mailbox App Password Management provides an option for all passwords to be changed, not just that of the primary account holder. If that option exists, we weren't able to find it. Again, support for the operative may or may not come from VM’s representation on X/Twitter. When I asked VM on X/Twitter, re their advice that “Any password changes can be done via the website”, whether they were saying that the changes could be made via Mailbox App Password Management and told them of its limitations as I’d encountered them, they replied, “To change the mailbox app password, yes it would indeed generate a new password for the mailbox.

Mailbox App Password Management isn’t the only way in which the MyVirginMedia site allows password management. Following something I learned from one of the VM operatives, I’ve also tried accessing MyVirginMedia using my Virgin account number and area code instead of the email address and password (having clicked the ‘I can’t remember my email address’ link). If I do this, I’m given the option of changing the password of any of four listed email accounts. Unfortunately, three of the accounts listed are no longer in use and the fourth is my wife’s (recently supplied) googlemail address.

And that’s as far as we’ve got. However, this isn’t a problem we can afford to just leave. We both use our ntlworld accounts as the main email address; my wife even uses hers for business. In the light of recent experience, it will be foolhardy of us not to move our most important communications to a more reliable platform, but first my wife needs to be able to get at the several weeks’ worth of emails that she hasn’t been able to see.

We’ve been told we've been referred to Technical Support, from whom we should expect a call. They seem to be slow in getting around to contacting us, but even if we do hear from them, I’ve no reason to expect the conversation to be any less stressful or frustrating than the ones we’ve had so far with non-technical operatives. It would be such a relief to be able to dispense with phone conversations and instead have some written instructions to follow as a way of sorting this out.


Tuning in

UPDATE: I managed to sort this problem myself. Thanks to anyone who bothered to read my post. 

Dialled in

Can you tell us what you did as we have a similar problem. It appears Virgin want you to change the email address which obviously cannot be right. All we want to do is give them an alternative email address to send the generated password to. How did you resolve this?

The single most important piece of advice I can give you is to log in on a browser you haven't used before for VM. (If you log in on your normal browser, it will just default to the  primary email account, and that's the only password  for which a new password can be generated.) For me a change of browser meant digging out an old Windows PC that I don't often use, and I'll have to go back to that old PC and retrace my steps if you need a more detailed account of what I did (let me know if you do).  From what I can recall, the new browser allows you to log in using the secondary email address that you want to change, and you don't need to provide a password if you provide a new non-Virgin email address for security. You can then generate a new password for the secondary account. 

Tuning in

Sorry, should read "that's the only *account* (not password) for which a new password can be generated".