DVD Rentals by post

  Jdoki 12:08 23 Aug 2005
Locked

I've been trying out DVD rental by post services and have found them a bit of a mixed bag.

My main gripe is that I rarely seem to get the latest films, even if I put them at the top of my list. So if something new is released I normally end up waiting well over a month for it, if not longer.

So far I have tried Amazon, which was pretty good at sending top titles, but they seem expensive at 9.99 for 6 rentals per month.

I am currently on Tesco's service (unlimited rentals per month, 3 disks at a time for 13.97), but they are hopeless. I have 3 films ranked priority 1, about 20 ranked priority 2 and about 10 ranked 3... In the last month I have received mainly titles from my third choice list! It's almost as if they are choosing the titles at random.

Also I have had wrong discs supplied in the wrong boxes on a couple of occassions.

Does anyone have experience of using any other services?

I realise this is not strictly a PC related question, but I do use my PC for watching DVD's!

  Stuartli 12:20 23 Aug 2005

It's probably the sheer volume of people wanting the latest titles and the companies not having enough copies of them.

  Stuartli 12:24 23 Aug 2005

The prices of rental you quote, including Amazon at £9.99 for six rentals a month, would appear impressively reasonable if it includes packing and postage.

Remember, if you keep the latest title for the full month, then it will probably already have been replaced by the latest, latest DVD title...:-)

  bfoc 12:57 23 Aug 2005

Screenselect on a 21 day free trial but have cancelled.

One problem is that 'unlimited' rentals but with just one or two DVD's allowed 'out' at a time didn't really suit me for a number of reasons.

Firstly since there can be over a 5 day turn around from viewing a film to getting the 'replacement' (especially if week-ends are involved) I ended up visiting Blockbuster anyway.

Secondly there seemed to be no way to control what film would be sent out next so one didn't really feel in charge.

The combination of these meant that it was just too inflexible to be worth it for me.

To be really useful to me I would have to be able to either have just the DVD's I really wanted out, or be able to keep 4 or 5 out at a time for around the price of 2/3 Blockbuster rentals.

  €dstowe 13:28 23 Aug 2005

The worst thing about these rentals by post companies is that they don't (or can't) care about which films on your list they send out first. If it's on your list and they have it in stock, they send it, no matter what it is. This means that in a multi DVD set you will more than likely receive disks completely out of order which makes the whole idea pretty much a waste of time - unless, of course, you do the naughty thing and copy the disk in anticipation of receiving the other(s) later.

You might check on the Amazon arrangement - I believe they have changed recently. I have found them best for reliability and for the condition of the disks. (How do disks get covered in finger marks, get scratched and have toffee or jam like deposits left on them. I have had several disks with deep scratches on them which could not have been accidental.)

  Jdoki 13:43 23 Aug 2005

Seems I've touched a bit of a nerve here!!

I was looking at Screenselect, but it appears that they offer the same service as Tesco, and suffer the same problems. Ah well.

The biggest issue is the order that films are sent - As I mentioned in my original post Amazon are the only ones who adhere pretty closely to the rental order the customer sets. They use a system where you can prioritise each film in your list, and also they let you know if it's available. Then if rank 1 isn't available then they just move down the rankings until one is, so you always get something near the top.

But 6 discs isn't enough for me per month, and the additional 1.99 per rental pushes up the price compared to similar services. For example I can easily get through 10 per discs per month using Tesco's unlimited service.

It would appear to be a case of either Amazons superior but limited number of discs versus every other companies poor service but unlimited discs.

  Jdoki 13:44 23 Aug 2005

Seems I've touched a bit of a nerve here!!

I was looking at Screenselect, but it appears that they offer the same service as Tesco, and suffer the same problems. Ah well.

The biggest issue is the order that films are sent - As I mentioned in my original post Amazon are the only ones who adhere pretty closely to the rental order the customer sets. They use a system where you can prioritise each film in your list, and also they let you know if it's available. Then if rank 1 isn't available then they just move down the rankings until one is, so you always get something near the top.

But 6 discs isn't enough for me per month, and the additional 1.99 per rental pushes up the price compared to similar services. For example I can easily get through 10 per discs per month using Tesco's unlimited service.

It would appear to be a case of either Amazons superior but limited number of discs versus every other companies poor service but unlimited discs.

  €dstowe 21:49 23 Aug 2005

I've used and given up with Screen Select.

At the moment I'm using Amazon and LoveFilm.

  Babou 23:39 24 Aug 2005

I'm about to give up on Screen Select - too many damaged discs & the turnaround is slow. A friend of a friend says Amazon is very good, so I might try that.

Roll on the day when we'll be renting films by downloading them!

  The Spires 01:25 25 Aug 2005

I did use DVD365 who were great but now megerged with Screen Select I am not so happy as others above I find the turnaround time is slower. The options though it seems are limited.

  Jdoki 09:42 25 Aug 2005

I'm going to give Cinema Paradiso a go. They have a smaller selection, but seem to allow you to give each film a specific priority in the 'Wish list' (like Amazon).

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