Angry V3.co.uk readers have been complaining in their droves after many were unable to access their Virgin Media email accounts when a service upgrade hit unexpected problems.
Virgin Media said that the problems occurred after changes were made to its account management system, but that it expects a full service to be restored as soon as possible.
The issue came to light through a number of recent comments to V3.co.uk's Labs blog. Many readers complained of not being able to access their Virgin Media email accounts, and that user names and passwords were being rejected as invalid.
"I haven't been able to access to my ntlworld account since Virgin started the upgrade of their web site & I am getting very annoyed as I may have some important emails in there," wrote Janet Francis.
Another, Anna Paton, appealed to other readers for help. "Has anyone fiound a solution to the problem? I can not access my email since the new 'exciting' redesign on 23 Feb," she wrote.
"I know that calls to some support centre cost a fortune and take hours and just frustrate you by the sheer incompetence of the staff, so won't even try that."
Meanwhile, reader Jake hinted that the issue may have been ongoing since last weekend. "Downtime planned for 10pm Saturday to 10pm Sunday, then 8am Monday, then 8pm Monday, now it's to be 0800 Tuesday," he wrote.
In a statement issued to V3.co.uk, Virgin Media said that there has been an authentication issue for a small number of customers, but claimed that the vast majority of users are unaffected.
"We have been upgrading our 'My Virgin Media' account management area to make things easier for our customers to view and pay bills, as well as provide easy access to Virgin Media Mail and other services such as Digital Home Support," the firm said.
"Whilst the vast majority of these changes have been implemented successfully, we are aware of an issue whereby a small number of customers have been having difficulty signing into their email accounts."
Virgin Media said that it is working to restore service for affected customers and rolling out changes from this evening that should fix the issue.
"We expect full restoration by lunchtime tomorrow. We're sorry for any inconvenience caused," the spokesperson told us.
Ironically, this issue was brought to our attention via comments against a blog article dating from last year, when this author was experiencing similar difficulties following Virgin Media's migration of its email system to Google Mail.
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