Spam Run Knocks Out Email Service for Thousands of Virgin Media Customers

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The next time somebody tells you that they don’t understand what the big deal is about spam, you can tell them this story. Thousands and thousands of Virgin Media customers went without email service for two full days after a spam run took down the email servers of their email service provider, Tucows.

Tucows President and CEO, Elliot Noss, immediately issued a written apology, in which he said “First, and most importantly, we are sorry. I am sorry. I have been in this business a long time and do not know if I have ever been more sad about what we have done to you, to your customers and to how people think about us. An email outage in 1995 was different from one in 2000 and even more different from one in 2008. I know what this does to your reputations, to your customers and to your staff – and I and so many people here are just sad about that.”


It takes class to respond so immediately and directly, and class is something that Noss clearly has in spades.

Noss went on to say that “Second, what will we do about it and why will this never happen again? I know for some of you that doesn’t matter, you are done with us, but I want to express this for the rest of you. Let me start here with things that were not the problem, old equipment, people, capacity or redundancy. The equipment is new, the people are great, we have plenty of capacity and redundancy. What this will mean for us is clearly the need to take the other elements of the service to a completely new level. Here I mean monitoring, change management, emergency protocols and procedures and operating efficiencies.

We had decided long before this that the most important part of email was reliability, not features, not groupware, not web 2.0 integration but reliability and deliverability. I have been at this a long time and really believe that these people and this service can be the best in the world, better than Google, Yahoo or Microsoft and most importantly the best partner for service providers. We owe you this and will deliver it.”

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But will they deliver it too late? Virgin Media has declined to comment as to how this incident will affect their relationship with Tucows. All they would say was that “discussions are ongoing to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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