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Virgin Media Customers Suffer UK Email Outage During Google Migration

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 (8:12 am) - Score 3,385

Customers of cable broadband operator Virgin Media have been left without the ability to directly send or receive email (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird etc.) since yesterday afternoon after an unspecified fault caused their servers to fail at just after 3pm.

The issue appears to have impacted all of Virgin’s addresses (e.g. blueyonder.co.uk, virginmedia.com, ntlworld.com), although the provider eventually began informing customers that access could still be established via their Webmail platform, which was said to be “functioning correctly“.

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A community support agent for Virgin Media advised customers at 4:45pm yesterday, “Apologies, but there is currently a problem with our email service – ref: F003098623. This may be preventing you from sending and receiving messages using an email client.”

Unfortunately, at the time of the incident, many aspects of Virgin Media’s members-only pages were still offline “as part of an upgrade to provide you with an even better service“. The same message included a link to Virgin’s webmail platform and noted that this was still working, although some customers who followed this link were instead taken to the webpage for Google’s Gmail App service rather than their usual VM inbox.

The last official update was posted at 9:53pm and confirmed that an estimated fix time of 10:30pm had been set. “Obviously if the services are not restored by this time, I’ll update you all again in the morning,” said lead community agent James_W. The problems appeared to be continuing for some users until just before midnight when the service finally started returning to normal.

At this stage it’s unclear precisely what caused the lengthy outage, although it’s perhaps no coincidence that the issue occurred on the same day that Virgin Media were due to migrate their virginmedia.com email domain (here) in order to adjust for changes in the way that Google allows people to login with their services. The change by Google means that Virgin’s customers will no longer be able to sign-in to any Google service with their Virgin Media Mail addresses.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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