Help & Support

How to use Chat in Virgin Media Mail

Chatting with someone

You can chat with anyone who has a coloured ball icon next to his or her name. When someone's online, a green, yellow, or red coloured ball will appear. Here's how to chat with someone who's available:

From Chat:

1. Find the name of the person you'd like to chat with.
2. Click the person's name to open a chat window.
3. Enter your message in the text field, and press Enter.
4. Wait for your contact to respond!

* You can also search for a contact by entering his or her name in the box at the top of Chat. Just enter the name of the person you'd like to chat with, and then enter your message in the chat window.

From Contacts:

1. Click Contacts in the Mail drop-down along the left side of any Virgin Media Mail page.
2. Select the name of the person you'd like to chat with to open their contact details
3. Hover your mouse over the email you want to chat with them through and a chat icon will appear to the right

4. Click the Chat icon to open a chat window.
5. Enter your message in the text field, and press Enter.
6. Wait for your contact to respond!

When you've finished chatting, click the X in the top right corner to close the window.

About Chat

Virgin Media Mail's chat features let you talk to people from directly within Virgin Media Mail.

Seeing who's online and available to chat

When your contacts are available to chat, a coloured ball will appear next to their names. The people you communicate with most often will show up in Chat, and those who are online and available to chat (with a green coloured ball icon) will appear at the top of that list.

- Contacts who are idle, or away from their computers, will have yellow coloured balls next to their names.
- Contacts who are busy will have red coloured balls next to their names.
- Contacts who are offline will have grey coloured balls next to their names.

If a contact doesn't have a ball next to his or her name, you won't be able to chat.Keep in mind that more of your contacts than those listed in Chat may be online. To see everyone who's available, click Show All at the bottom of your chat list. Beside Show in chat list, select All contacts.

Inviting someone to chat

Before you can chat with someone in Virgin Media Mail, you'll need to invite them by following the instructions below. Your friend will see the invitation above their Contacts list in Virgin Media Mail asking if they'd like to be able to chat with you. Until they accept, you'll see 'Invited' next to their name in your Contacts list.

Once they've accepted your invitation, you'll see a status button to the left of their name in your Chat list, which indicates whether they're available (green), busy (red), idle (yellow), or offline (gray). At that point, just click on their name to send them a chat message.To invite a Virgin Media Mail user:

1. In the 'Search, add, or invite' box at the top of the Chat area, type your friend's username. If they're already in your Contacts, Virgin Media Mail will pre-populate their username.
2. Click Invite to chat.
3. In the window that appears, click Send Invites. A yellow notification banner lets you know your invitation has been sent successfully.

Alternatively, you can click the down-arrow next to Contact and select Add Contact from the drop-down list, enter your friend's username, and then click Send Invites. If you invite someone who doesn't use Virgin Media Mail or Google Talk, we'll send an email asking them to sign up for one of these services.

To invite an AIM user who isn't already on your Buddy List:

1. Sign in to AIM.
2. Click Add Contact.
3. Click Or, add AIM buddies
4. Click Send Invites.*

*Please note: unlike Chat invitations to Virgin Media Mail contacts, your invited AIM contacts won't see your request until you send a chat to them.

Changing your status

Under Chat, click the arrow next to Set status here. Select the status you'd like to appear next to your name in your friends' chat lists. Here's what the different statuses mean:

- Green: Available
- Yellow: Idle. Your status automatically changes to idle when you're away from your computer for 15 minutes. You can't manually select to appear idle.
- Red: Busy. This lets your contacts know you're busy and don't want to be interrupted.
- Grey: Signed out of chat, or Invisible. (If you set your status to 'Invisible,' you'll appear to be signed out even while you're actually signed in.)

You can also create custom status messages. Here's how:

1. Click where it says Set status here
2. Type your custom status message into the box that appears and press Enter (you can set custom statuses when you are available and when you're busy).

Your status message can be anything you want - something funny, your favourite quote, a cool web link, or just a note to say you're hard at work or away from the computer. To clear your custom message, click the text under your name in Chat and delete it, or select another message from the status drop-down menu.

Browsers that support chat

Only the latest versions of common browsers are fully supported by Virgin Media Mail Chat. To ensure chat will work in your browser you should always keep updated with the latest revision.

Chatting with non-Virgin Media Mail users

Chat in Virgin Media Mail lets you chat with any Virgin Media Mail user.

You can also sign in to your AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) account from Virgin Media Mail to chat directly with your AIM buddies.

At this time, you can't chat with contacts who use MSN Messenger, ICQ or Yahoo! Messenger.

Turning chat off

There are times and places to chat in Virgin Media Mail. If that's not your time or place, you can follow these instructions to turn chat off.

To stop chatting for the time being:

1. Next to Chat, click the down-arrow.
2. Select Sign out of chat.
- After you sign out, your contacts won't be able to see you online or IM you from within Virgin Media Mail, and you won't be able to see or contact them, either.

To turn off chat in Virgin Media Mail:

1. Click Settings.
2. Select the Chat tab.
3. Choose chat off in the first section.

You will be signed out of chat, and your Chat list will be minimised. To turn chat back on, just return to the settings page and turn chat on in the chat tab.

Chat history

Chat history allows you to store the text of your chats in Virgin Media Mail so you can easily search for them later. You can even respond to these chats like you would to regular Virgin Media Mail messages.

To access your chat history, click the Chats label in Virgin Media Mail. A list of chats will appear, similar to the way conversations are listed in your inbox. You can forward, label, star, and bin chats just like Virgin Media Mail messages.

When you search in Virgin Media Mail, matching chat conversations will show up along with matching email conversations. All chats are labelled Chats and are marked with the chat icon () so you can easily distinguish them from emails.