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AOL suffering e-mail glitch

An outage is preventing AOL e-mail users from sending or receiving messages. Company says it's scrambling to fix issue.

AOL e-mail users were prevented from sending or receiving most of their e-mail for at least three hours Thursday morning, the online portal said.

"An e-mail software issue started to cause delays in the sending and receiving of AOL e-mails for our members and AOL.com users, said company spokesman Nicholas Graham. "We are in the process of implementing a fix and investigating its cause."

Graham said all the e-mail will eventually be delivered once the glitch is corrected. Meanwhile, some users will receive messages intermittently. However, Graham couldn't say when the software problem might be completely fixed.

"We're working hard on it right now," he said.

E-mail has been a source of public relations setbacks for AOL over the past few months. In April, the company was accused of blocking e-mail in an attempt to thwart the circulation of a petition against the company's certified e-mail program. The company blamed the blockage of e-mail on a glitch.

Opponents of the program, which requires marketers to pay to ensure delivery of e-mail messages, argue that the payment is an "e-mail tax." AOL has said that the service helps prevent spam.