The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
Nothing in this life is free. So why then did Lovefilm offer me a free 3 month trial? 2 DVDs at a time. No late charges or return date. Sounds like a plan. In fact, I extended my membership for a further 3 months for only £15 - that's 6 months of DVDs for £15. Lovefilm love their new customers. Not their old ones though.
Having been a member for 6 months I am in an excellent position to evaluate this service. The reason for the free trial is clearly to suck you in, or make you forget about cancelling it. If you want to cancel you have to phone a number they give you where an operator will try to talk you into extending the membership instead through offering outrageous deals - thus how I got 3 months for £15 - just £5 a month!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this service compared to heading down to your local DVD shop then? For me, the prices of individual DVD rental has become extortionate. In some places you can be charged £4 for one night. Also, returning DVDs can be a pain and we all have unavoidable commitments at time which mean we cannot make it to the shop in time. Lovefilm will never set a return date (particularly useful with renting computer games - you can keep them for as long as it takes to complete then return them. Much cheaper than simply buying them), and it is considerably cheaper.
But with all these pros there must be cons right? Of course. I mentioned earlier Lovefilm loves new customers - they do. They treat you very well. You usually get your top choice rentals, they are sent out quickly and in all it is a pleasant experience. Once you have been a member for a while though it is very VERY rare to get a high priority DVD (I waited over a month to receive the Departed, getting lower priority titles instead). This becomes increasingly frustrating as you get titles that you're fairly indifferent to. You have to list a large selection and I found it difficult to list so many I actually wanted to see after a few months.
Furthermore, I have twice received damaged disks that were clearly scratched, meaning that I had to send them straight back, wasting about a week of my membership. Remember that there is no post on weekends and bank holidays too, so 4 months is in actuality 20 days. On average, you generally get one delivery a week if you return your titles the next day after receiving them. Their cheapest package - £4.99 for one disk at a time, means you get about 4 disks on average per month - a good price. However, if you are not getting the titles you want, is it really worth continuing?
To sum up: Lovefilm is cheaper and far easier than renting from shops. However, they treat their old customers badly and do not really seem to care. Your best bet? Sign up for the free trial for 30 days and then cancel before it is up. You get the best of their service all for free, but a warning if you do stick with it: it's all downhill from there.