I don't use the webmail product, so I don't experience the issues ... but there are certainly plenty of folks only the boards who are indicating they have problems getting to their mail thru the webmail portal. So, something must be afoot. This is probably less a "mail" delivery issue than it is a web frontend stability issue. Your experience setting up a POP account via gmail is just such an example.
My email doesn't work either in most cases. Can log on to the verizon.net but as soon as I want to go to any folder (Inbox etc) it runs forever without actually going there. Interesting enough I continue to get the emails on my EVO (Sprint) and most the time at work in the office (during the day) but in the evenings on my laptop at home (FIOS, wireless) it's hopeless since last week or so.
It seems, Verizon did some "improvement" without Beta-testing first. Or they are using the customers as tester and think they are getting away with it like they do with so much else. I wish we would have a consumer lobby and the big corporations couldn't just use us as cashcows to line their pockets with Billions of $$$$$$. It's frustrating!
On a lighter note: Their spellchecker doesn't know FIOS. seems there is no fiberoptic in spellceck county 😉
OK, here is some additional information to think on:
Attempts to ping netmail.verizon.net or incoming.verizon.net fail, completely.
Running tracert shows a failure to complete the route, dying after the 4th jump.
Verizon Tech support seems utterly unable to say when, or even if, the problem will be resolved.
Yeah ... I think they must be chasing a routing issue inside their network somewhere. I can get to the netmail.verizon.net address, but not the incoming.verizon.net address. I've been chasing a problem for a couple folks in the neighborhood on DSL and they have similar types of issues (in their case getting to the Yahoo! Verizon portal for their mail). Goes about 4 hops out into the network and then falls on the floor. So, I don't think it's a "server" issue at this point.
For what it's worth, you're not supposed to be able to ping incoming.verizon.net even when it's fully functional. (Ping disabled to prevent DoS attacks.)