While the DVD rental giant Netflix remains a U.S.-only service, other rental agencies have stepped out to fill the void. In the U.K., movie lovers have Lovefilm.com, which easily has the best selection of DVDs in the U.K., along with a selection of Blu-ray titles and video games. Its interface is easy to navigate but lacks the professional appearance of other rental firms, and it seems like its run by a 20-year-old who lives in his mother’s basement. Though, in truth, many customers will find some charm in that.
- Oddly enough, Lovefilm.com is one of the very few viable mail-order rental services in the U.K. with its only stiff competition coming from Blockbuster’s U.K. outlet.
- Lovefilm.com offers over 65,000 DVD titles. Differing from the competition, they also offer games for the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. That’s not all. Lovefilm.com also offers adult titles too. The company offers a lot under one roof.
- They offer streaming content to your PC with more titles than expected nor charge extra for Blu-ray rentals.
- Like it’s counterparts in the States, Lovefilm.com offers “free” delivery with pre-paid envelopes with no late fees. Through its online database, customers can see user ratings and reviews.
- Though the company’s online presence is not very slick, the site offers quizzes and trivia. Lovefilm.com sees itself as a one-stop shop for movie lovers, indicated in-house editorials and trailers of films currently in theaters. In addition, they cover celebrity interviews and select movie news.
- Competitive pricing in the U.K.
- Award-winning customer service
- Lackluster customer service. For every award won by a company for outstanding service, there are always unhappy customers who gripe. Customers of Lovefilm.com have written about slow delivery (not really Lovefilm.com’s fault, more of a Royal Mail issue) and its lack of discs. Customers sometimes wait long periods of time for even older titles. The same is true for its Blu-ray library and games. To be fair, game titles operate a bit differently from movies since customers will traditionally keep games longer.
- Lovefilm.com is slightly higher in cost than Blockbuster.
- Since the company rents out DVDs, Blu-rays, games and adult titles, the entire library is pretty big. Because of its quick growth, the site seems to have some trouble keeping up with the demand from its ever-expanding customer base.
Like other mail-order rental firms, supplies of new releases are held well in advance of demand so members do get a fair shake at them. Also, if the DVD you desire is currently unavailable, they will send you the first copy to be mailed back in. If you’re looking for something outside of the mainstream, Lovefilm.com is the place most likely to have a copy, not in brick-and-mortar stores. U.K.’s rental leader also has envied operations. Other DVD rental sites have begun using the company to run their operations while keeping their own website as a front end interface to maintain brand continuity. Even Amazon.com uses Lovefilm’s methods.
As far as the rental packages go, each package is different. The cheapest package is £3.99 per month, which allows you to rent two films each month and you can only have one film at home at any one time. The next package up costs £5.99 per month that allows customers to rent three titles per month. One can also choose from a number of packages that allow you to rent an unlimited amount of films each month. These of course cost more than the basic packages. You then have a different pricing structure if you want to also rent video games from Lovefilm.com
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