Some online film rental advice - plus how to (maybe) get FREE DVD RENTALS for a month.

I want to start by making it clear that this post is not an attempt at a fake review of one particular online DVD rental service in which I will try to promote one company over the rest as being the best online dvd rental service around. In fact, even though you will find a link to a DVD rental offer or promotion that has an affiliate link for me in it, I won't be pressuring you to go with them over anyone else. Instead I will just be giving you some facts that I have become aware of over time. Let me tell you upfront where I stand on the subject of online movie rentals. The fact of the matter is that I have been a regular paying customer of Zip.ca for almost two years now (I signed up in November of 2007) and since that time I have been satisfied enough with the service provided that I have had no reason to consider canceling service with them and switching to any competitor's service. Does this mean that I think that everybody should choose Zip as their provider for online movie rental Canada wide (remember I live in Canada, so experiences are based on life North of the 49th Parallel) over everyone else? No. I think that what you should do is try Zip and a few of the other major online film rental services that are available out there at the same time just to see which company (or companies) appear to be able to supply you with the fastest or most efficient dvd rentals by mail in your local area.

See, this is a point that I cannot stress strongly enough: depending on where you live, some companies might be a better fit for you than others. This comes down to nothing more than a simple case of geography. If you live in a metropolitan center, than the odds are more likely that you will be closer to a distribution hub for many of the online dvd rental delivery companies, such as Zip, Blockbuster, Rogers, Netflix or whoever. In this case, the differences in delivery times will likely be slight to non-existant between companies. I myself live in Vancouver and as a result, i am close to the delivery centers of more than one dvd rental service. Zip, for example, has distribution centers in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa so I get most of my requested dvds fairly quickly. However, if you live in a more remote location, than you might find that one company might actually have a distribution center closer to you than most other of the companies, resulting in faster, more efficient delivery service to your door. See, if I had not been satisfied with the speed of Zip's delivery service, I would have made an effort to find out which other dvd rental companies service my area and then chosen some of them at the same time for a free trial to compare which of them gave me the speediest delivery of my requested dvds. Simple and pretty effective, and it would have been of at no cost to me because I would have made sure to cancel my dvd rental free trial with any companies I did not choose to go with before the free movie rental trial period was over. True, the two-week free trial period offered by each company is probably not quite as long as you would like for a test spin, and I have a way for you to try one company free for a month, but I will get back to that.

That is what I believe is the most effective way to compare online dvd rental services in your marketplace. This especially because it seems like when you compare all of the different dvd movie online rental services out there, they all seem to pretty much be catering to the same potential customers by offering the same dvd rental offers, and if one of them comes up with something different then the others usually seem quick to follow step. (hey, in business, nobody wants to get left behind, right?) For example, it wasn't long after the first company started offering unlimited dvd rental plans to customers that the rest of the companies followed suit - they would have been stupid not to. My point is that the unlimited dvd rentals or any other plans are probably mirrored by most if not all of the other companies so it should really come down to service. That seems obvious, right? So with zip, I have been satisfied with the speed of delivery to me, I have been satisfied with the size of their movie library - they offer lots of foreign films, animated films and other diverse catagories as well, and I have also been relatively satisfied with the availability of most movies that they offer in their library. As for the shape of the dvds that they send me: only a few times have I received a dvd that was scratched to the point where playing it became frustrating - usually a decent cleaning of the disc solved the problem. In fact it was only in the last week that I received an unplayable dvd in the mail: the disc had acrack in it when it arrived and I didnt even notice it for over a week and ahalf because I didnt get around to trying to play it until then so it had sat in its sleeve, damage unnoticed, until the time I pulled it out to play it. I notified zip about the damaged disc online via a form on their website and they were pretty quick in dealing with it, offering me a priority replacement at no extra cost to me which was in the mail the next business day. They also said that the rental would not count against my monthly totals if I had that kind of plan but I am on their unlimited rental plan so that was not a factor for me. To be honest, if I were living in the United states, then I would most likely be using Netflex dvd rental for my dvd rental needs - in fact, I have even seen advertising that promotes Zip as Canada's Netflix.

One thing that I do like about Zip (don't worry, this isn't meant as an upsell) is their member incentive program; they offer a rewards program where members get points for doing simple point and click things that they probably should be doing anyway: things like rating movies that you received, reporting on their website when movies arrive at your home in the mail, when you mail a movie back, points for writing a review of a movie, and even for rating other users reviews of any movies. These points collect in your account, and when you get enough of them you can then trade them in for things like a free priority rental (Zip calls them "gotta have it" rentals), a free slot on your unlimited rentals plan (so, for example, if you have a two disc at any one time plan you can upgrade it to a three disc plan for a month for free) or even a free month of rentals. (effectively giving yourself a free one month membership) It is actually surprising just how fast these points can build up if you are at all active on the site. Just to be clear, I dont know if the other companies offer similar member incentives; it would not surprise me if they did. Heck, they would be stupid not to be offering their members some kind of incentive to keep then from switching to a competitor like, say, Zip, lol. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

So earlier on I mentioned a way to maybe try out one company for a month's free trial instead of just the usual two weeks. The company is Zip (big surprise) because they sometimes send their members such as me occasional promo codes to pass onto their friends and associates to get them to try the service in hopes that they will like it enough to stay.

Anyway, I am happy to supply whatever latest promo code I have to anyone who wants it. Remember this is only going to be of use to people living in Canada. I offer no guarantees that it will work because these things can be cancelled at any time by the company without warning.

Here is how I will do this: if you want a promo code, just leave me an email address and a first name in the comments section below and I will get back to you with an email from Zip.ca with a link to the sign up page where you can enter your code and a message from me telling you the latest promo code. If you don't feel like leaving your email in the comments section, just email me at the contact email listed on this page and I will get back to you.

It doesn't matter to me if you stay with zip after trying them out or not, I just figure that a month will give you a better feel for the service and abetter idea if they are right for you. By all means you should consider trying out other companies at the same time, too.

Okay, I have rambled on enough here. I don't know if this post will help you save money or not; I suppose if you are with zip and you take my advice on the membership points incentive program you might end up saving a few dollars each month like I do - I switched from the 3 disc unlimited to the 2 disc unlimited plan because I get enough points each month to upgrade my plan back up to the 3 disc option for free. Well there you go then, I did find you a way to save some money after all. Yay me!

Stephen

1 comment:

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