Renting Movies in Thanet (and elsewhere in the UK)
I don't know about the rest of the 125,000 odd of Thanet but I love to watch movies. New ones, old ones - it's all the same to me. Obviously new ones have the added advantage of being new (and hopefully fresh) but to be honest the mainstream has been fairly weak these last four years or so.
With the loss of Margates cinema and the rather uninspired range of soulless money spinners on offer at the Vue at Westwood Cross
I'd been meaning to try out some rent by post services since my local video shop changed hands and the new owner was unable to keep it profitable. As I'm an iPoints member I checked out what partners they offered so I could get extra points for doing what I was going to do anyway. I discovered when I logged in that I am 20% of the way to running off with a PSP with iPoints now - which means of course that there is a whole load of free goodies I could claim if I wanted to. (more on free stuff later.
I found a few services worth a look and look I did. Read on to find out more.
The first I tried was LOVEFiLM (I got two weeks free trial trial and they throw in an entry to the "Win a Sony TV" prize draw (apparently it's worth a cool grand). Talking of free goodies and prize draws - Click here for the prize draw to win a Peugeot 207 CC. Obliviously I have not (yet) won the TV but I did get to borrow a few DVDs. As websites go theirs is easy to explore and it had some neat features.
For example: if you selected a couple of seasons of say Heroes you could be sure of getting them in season order. Other companies don't seem to offer this which is a shame. The only thing that let me down was the quitting process. I had to phone them up and that irritated me a lot. I could sign up easy enough but had to phone them to get the account closed. During this process I had to come up with a reason why - the true reason is because I did not want to pay money for my rentals until I found a company I was happy with.
As if that was not bad enough I keep getting nagging letters thought he post to try and encourage me to join up again. Overall LOVEFiLM are not too bad and the price they ask is not unreasonable but I never saw my top 3 highest priorities during the two week trial and they were the films I wanted to see the most.
Next I tried Blockbuster Video (if you intend to sign up witht hem it is well worth going via iPoints as you will get an extra week on the normal free trial).
The sign up process was far less straight forward and it was at no point clear how much I would be paying and what plan I would be signed up to. Also there was no indication of when the free trail ran out. Had I not really wanted to try them out and also wanted the iPoints I got for the sign up then there is no way they would have gotten my custom.
As you might have guessed I ended up paying for a month of rentals and I will be canceling my account at the end of the month. Had things been clearer I might have considered staying because although the list management was not a patch on the one at LOVEFiLM and the general search less useful they did at least manage to send me the films I wanted.
However, and Blockbuster please take note, just having lots of copies in does not make up for the fact that your website is a pair or rotten pants.
My next stop, I think, will be Tesco who offer a similar service with "unlimited DVDs from £4.47 a month" - this sounds like it could be good but time will tell on that one.
Do you rent by post and if so what can you tell me about your experience of doing so?