Skip to main content stands to make thousands from cockup, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTL, has been keeping mum on that problem for the past two weeks until various sources singled out the particular issue.

Since the 10th of October, users of Freeola and Fasthosts who routinely forward their emails to accounts have reported lost and bouncing emails.

One user said that he forwarded emails to its account from six other domains and lost quite a few of those. users still have to go through a premium rate (25p per minute) phone line to find out that their email is lost in the ether.

An insider told us that those who called the premium lines to get some help will probably get their money back if Virgin acknowledges that they had a cock-up .... and they sometimes do.

The issue affected the entire user base that received mails from Fasthost and Freeola domains and potentially other service providers.

A 20-minute call would add £5 to a punter's bill. Even if 5% of their 600,000 or so ADSL customers is affected by it, that's an astonishing £150,000 that is set to cash.

And in the last few months, ratings for Speed, Reliability and Customer service have been dipping south after users experienced nagging difficulties.

A Traceroute on ( shows that Tucows is the one actually handling Virgin's emails.

Kristoff Clark, a spokesperson for Virgin, said that the issue had already been flagged up, and that it is something Virgin has been in talks with the two service providers about.

Apparently, a block was put on all emails to email host (Tucows) from Fasthosts and Freeola as there was a very high level of spam coming through.

Tucows have now removed these Internet Service Providers from the blacklist, but Mr Clark pointed out to the fact that there is still a very high percentage spam coming through, which he says, Fasthosts/Freeola need to address as quickly as possible. would like to add the following information to the above article,

- has 200k Broadband customers.

- The average customer service call length is actually 6 minutes.

- 80% of the emails that were forwarded from Fasthosts were spam - hence the cautious nature taken by Tucows.

Are you a subscriber? Have you been hit by this? Tell the pressroom.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.