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UPDATE DNS Fail Stops Virgin Media Users Accessing ntlworld.com Email

Tuesday, Aug 26th, 2014 (1:36 pm) - Score 5,186

Customers of Virgin Media, specifically those with email addresses that use the ntlworld.com domain, have been unable to access their email for almost 24 hours after an unspecified problem hit the ISPs related Domain Name Servers (DNS).

Reports about the situation first started springing up at around 10pm last night (here), although perhaps due to the bank holiday Virgin Media didn’t officially confirm the situation until around midday today and their update was then characteristically sparse (here).

James_W, VM’s Community Lead, said:


Some of our customers who use email addresses ending in @ntlworld.com are currently unable to send or receive emails. We are working to fix the problem and apologise for any inconvenience caused in the meantime.

A fault has been raised for this issue – F003260280

I’ll update here when I have further information.

Customer who use the domain found that they were unable to download emails via third-party email clients or access their messages via Virgin’s own webmail service. Equally those who are attempting to contact people with an @ntlworld.com address were given a standard error message in reply: “Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently … DNS Error: Domain name not found“.

A closer inspection suggests that somebody at VM may have fiddled, or even failed to update, the needed DNS entries for ntlworld.com (i.e. they vanished from existence at around the time of the fault). It’s not uncommon for a significant change of the DNS records, which work to change IP addresses into a human readable form, to result in outages because the Internet often needs a few hours to reflect such adjustments.

At the time of writing the official fault report indicates an estimated fix time of around 8:30pm tonight. In the meantime customers can return to twiddling their thumbs in frustration.

UPDATE 27th August 2014

The service is now working again and Virgin Media have issued the following update concerning any missing emails.

Missing Mails

We’re aware that any emails sent to @ntlworld.com addresses before 3pm today may not have been received.

The sender of each email will be eventually notified if the mail has been received with a non-delivery (bounce) message. When this is received, this indicates that the mail will not be delivered. We advise senders who have received a bounce message to re-send the message.

If a bounce message has not been received by the sender, then the email is queued for delivery. In this case, the message will be delivered on the next delivery attempt (which can take a few hours, or in some cases days).If a bounce message has not been received then it is still OK to re-send the message, however as per above the recipient may end up with two copies of the message.

We’d suggest that if you were expecting any emails during this outage, that you contact the sender and ask them to resend…

We’re really sorry for the inconvenience caused.

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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