Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Blockbuster.co.uk

Product Number: 104
How much: £9.99 (1 DVD)/ £15.99 (3 DVDs) / £22.99 (5 DVD’s) a month
Where: Blockbuster.co.uk

I’ve always been curious about the huge range of DVD rental sites that people can chose from. I mean there’s Love Film, Blockbuster, Amazon and assorted others but really how much do we know about those companies before we sign away our hard earned £10, £15 or even £20 a month, and more importantly how easy is it to get a copy of E.T.?


Deciding to take the plunge and investigate Marie signed up for Blockbuster.co.uk’s 2 week free trial without any mention of the words 'press' or 'review' (after all special treatment wouldn’t make for a very fair review). This equipped us with the chance to borrow three DVD’s at a time from Blockbuster’s entire back catalogue with no late fees. Opting for some new releases she chose ‘Children of Men’, ‘Superman Returns’ and ‘You Me and Dupree’ which had all been released in the past few months.

The next day all three DVD’s arrived exactly as we had asked in separate thin blue envelopes. Each DVD worked fine and although we did experience far too many trailers whilst waiting for Superman to start there were no errors to speak of. Once we’d watched the movies we simply popped them back in their pre- paid blue envelopes, added in a filled out card and returned to sender.


So far so good, and the next step was for us to add a list of movies that Blockbuster could send us in the future. For the first ten on our list we added mostly new releases and then after that pretty much anything that took our fancy from a huge back catalogue. Seeing it as the perfect time to catch up on movies I really should have watched in the past I also added E.T. and Mary Poppins.

Once the free trial ended we were moved up to the £15.99 a month package which also allowed us to have 3 DVD’s at a time. For some reason it was exactly after this point that we seemed to have a string of bad luck. In the space of a month a DVD was lost in the post, the E.T disk barely worked when we started it up and occasionally Blockbuster would send us a movie that was 12th on our list despite a list of popular new releases.


As for my major problem with the service, it’s simply that Blockbuster.co.uk don’t send DVD’s on a Saturday or Sunday. Because of this the only way to watch a DVD a day is to opt for the 5 DVD package at £22.99 and I’m sure Blockbusters knows it. They do try to resolve this by letting you lend Mondays new releases on a Friday but it’s a shame that it’s not quite the 7 day a week service you’d get in a store.

Despite these niggles I’m relatively happy with the service, and whilst it’s annoying to not always get the DVD you want the benefit of hunting down old classics or taking a risk on an unusual movie is more than worth it.

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