I managed to get someone on the end of a phone who could re-create an account for me with a new user name. I can now log in again and hopefully it will not be auto-deleted, so issue has now been resolved - though it was pretty painful to do so.
6.7. If the email account is not used in any 90 day period we will suspend that account without prior notice. This will not impact any other email addresses associated with that account, as long as they are accessed within a 90 day period.
I have an ntlworld.com account that is still going strong even though I have only ever used it to receive emails from VM themselves.
Also, bizarrely, you will find many threads on here from former VM customers complaining that their old ntlworld accounts are still autoforwarding spam emails to their new (non VM) email accounts even though they stopped being VM customers years and years ago. So obviously VM are not shutting down Ntlworld accounts en masse.
In any event I hope they have got it sorted properly for you.
BTW I am assuming that you are still a VM broadband customer but it's not clear from your posts if it was just an email account or you "My Virgin Media" account (that is the account you use to view your VM monthly bills).
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