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dante01
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Why is Virgin Media Blocking emails associated with Octopus Energy?

I've recently switched my energy provider to Octopus Energy, but during the run up to the actual switch I noted that I wasn't receiving expected notifications from them relating to the progress of the switch etc. I contacted them via phone and asked that someone look into the reason as to why I wasn't receiving the emails they had sent to me at my Virgin Media (ntlworld) email address. Octopus have subsequently informed me that my email provider (Virgin Media) is blocking emails eminating from and being set to them. They can only assume that Virgin regards these messages as being spam and are blocking them before they even arrive?

Why is Virgin Media doing this given that Octopus Energy is a well respected and highly regarded company?

I've since had to ask that Octopus use my iCloud email account which has resolved the issue, but why should I have to do this?

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HowardML
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Re: Why is Virgin Media Blocking emails associated with Octopus Energy?

You are right you shouldn't have had to jump through hoops, but that is exactly what I am going to ask that you do if we want to resolve this issue. But only if you want to help.

VM are not deliberately or knowingly blocking these e-mails. It is just that e-mails emanating from the servers that OE uses look to the VM system as being spam or spammy and so VM either reject them or delay accepting them in such a way that the OE servers give up and stop trying to send them. Each of these circumstances leads to the production of a message on the OE mail logs and we need to see one of them. Without that there is no way that VM can identify the issue and try and put it right.

On the other hand now that you have reported the issue to OE and they seem to know about it anyway OE's IT people should be able to contact VM's e-mail people (they know how to do this) and get this sorted that way. This is a conversation between the "postmasters" at each end. Done by e-mail. Ironic isn't it.



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dante01
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Re: Why is Virgin Media Blocking emails associated with Octopus Energy?

As you suggest, it may be too late for me to intervene and it was easier for me to simply request Octopus use a different email address relative to my account with them. 

I'd imagine it would be a rather long winded affair is I myself tried to get it touch with Octopus Energy's IT department and relate the information I've since learned since experiencing the issue and then resolving it via others means. Anyway, a ticket was raised when I initially reported the problem to Octopus so I guess it is up to them to now persue it if wishing to avoid this issue with other customers who've a virgin domain email account and address.

 

I'd imagine the issue I had was related to what is posted here:

https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Email/Advice-for-sending-emails-to-Virgin-Media-domains/td-p/39...

Advice for sending emails to Virgin Media domains

In the last week we have made a couple of tweaks to the email platform to better our spam detection, these tweaks involve checking if the sending  email domain has the appropriate records to send email.

We ask that anyone sending emails to our domains (virginmedia.com, blueyonder.co.uk, ntlworld.com, virgin.net), make sure your domain has the basic records needed which include SPF and/or DMARC. SPF is the more common of the two and we will enforce greylisting if a domain has none.

What is greylisting?

Greylisting means we temporarily reject an incoming mail from a domain that hits our specified criteria (mentioned above), we basically let the sending server know they need to try again later, normally an email server set up correctly will retry the email again automatically (the time frame can vary, it is dependent upon the sending email server).

Why are we doing this?

It is best practice to always have a correctly set up email server, as this will give the best chances of delivery, as spam protection mechanisms will be able to correctly identify the email as legitimate. We are noticing an increasing amount of spam campaigns that do not do this, so this is our way of detecting and deterring them.

I know this is quite a shock as some email senders are used to not needing this (even though it allows spammers to freely abuse their domains) but we are trying to protect our customers and feel this small change will help that. We do plan to make further changes but we will now start slowly and ramp it up as we go.

As always we appreciate your feedback.

For more information please visit our bulk sender’s guidelines here: https://www.virginmedia.com/help/virgin-media-mail-how-to-send-bulk-emails, although this is more aimed at large senders it is still relevant to anyone with their own domain.

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coenoby
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Re: Why is Virgin Media Blocking emails associated with Octopus Energy?


@dante01 wrote:

I'd imagine the issue I had was related to what is posted here:

We ask that anyone sending emails to our domains (virginmedia.com, blueyonder.co.uk, ntlworld.com, virgin.net), make sure your domain has the basic records needed which include SPF and/or DMARC. SPF is the more common of the two and we will enforce greylisting if a domain has none.


Yes, perhaps. However, the domain "octopus.energy" does have an spf record set up:

v=spf1 include:sendgrid.net include:_spf.google.com ~all

It is possible there could still be issues with that depending on how octopus operate their mail service. Those will show up in the mail logs that HowardML referred to in his post.

Coenoby

 

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