A few weeks ago, I was offered a free one month trial of Lovefilm and a £15 Amazon voucher (I believe Amazon are still running the promotion, so check amazon.co.uk). I like free, so thought I’d give it a try. I’m pretty careful about reading the terms though – don’t want to get charged money – so I did check them over and they seemed fine. Basically, they give you one month free – during which time you can rent as many films as you like (2 at a time), and then if you don’t cancel by the end of the month you’ll be charged the recurring subscription price (£13.27 at the time of writing). You’ll be sent your Amazon voucher within 30 days after you’ve got 10 films on your rental list and the first one has been dispatched.
Anyway, conditions aside, I thought I’d sign up and see what it was like. You have to provide card details, and they’ll authorize a £1 payment from your account – but this is refunded after about a week. Got it going, added some films and waited for the packages to fall through the postbox.
I have to say – after three weeks of trying it – I really do like the service. The speed of delivery is very good – with DVD’s usually arriving next day after despatch. They are packaged well and seem to keep the DVDs in good condition while in transit.
I was somewhat disappointed with the quality of DVD in a couple of cases. A couple of the discs that I ordered (particularly with older titles) were scratched to the point of them skipping – which irritated me slightly. However, you can report a problem with any disc you’ve had out and they will check it for you.
The website is also very easy to use. You simply choose which films you’d like to rent and it adds them to your list. You can even make separate lists for friends and family and choose how many discs are dispatched from each list. That, together with the watch online feature – which allows you to watch many titles online for free, makes the website relatively enjoyable to use.
Unfortunately, the cost of the service is a slight downfall. £13.27 per month for 2 titles at a time, I would say, is quite steep unless you really are an avid film lover. It’s a shame, because with many older releases being £3 each, it does make the service look quite expensive. think the idea of it is brilliant – particularly if you watch a lot of films – but for me, I’ve managed to get through most of the films I wanted to see within the month!
However, if you are interested in renting films on a long term basis, this is well worth looking into. I’d much rather use Lovefilm than a conventional film rental service (in a shop). You’ve just got to keep on top of it (and make sure you’ve got enough films to see), otherwise it probably won’t be worth your money.