December 06, 2006

TV Drive– the Replacement

Installed in (approx) April.

Slight problems with recording series’, which were fixed by new firmware.

Worked flawlessly till around May, then we started to be charged for programmes which we had not ordered (on pay-per-view). Phoned up Telewest, who deducted the charges. Unfortunately, the problem continued to occur.

We asked Telewest to disable pay-per-view on our set top box (as we had no intention of using it).... but the bills for paid films kept coming. Every month, we would look at the bill, which would contain last month’s deductions for films we hadn’t ordered, the fixed fee for TV access, and an additional charge of up to £26 for films we hadn’t watched.

After phoning up Telewest repeatedly to try to resolve this, it became clear that there must be, out there on the Telewest network, another machine with the same MAC address as ours. Yes, our Telewest box was being spoofed! Apparently we were the first lucky customers to enjoy this extra option. I can’t imagine that it was accidental; someone out there was enjoying films (and probably the Telewest service itself) for free.

Telewest sent out a nice engineer who swapped out our box, and, lo and behold, the mystery charges stopped! I suspect that it’s happened to to others.

Hey ho. But at least it’s fixed in time for Christmas.


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