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LoveFilm's? Excellent. Want to cancel? Not so excellent..
Member Name: tinkerbell18
Advantages: Excellent range, value for money
Disadvantages: Makes it very hard to cancel
In about January, I signed myself up for a free trial for Lovefilm. Part of my reason for signing up was because my sister recommended it to me, and the other part was the free £15 Amazon voucher waiting for me at the end of my 30-day trial (we were saving up for yet another Kindle!). So on the link on Amazon I clicked, and away I went.
For those of you who may not know, Lovefilm is an online DVD and game rental service owned by Amazon. The basic idea is you pick a selection of films or even TV series' you'd quite like to watch, and these are posted out to you (you can chose how many that arrive; for example, I got two discs each time). You watch, return in the envelope provided and await the next rattle of the letterbox. You can prioritise the discs you wish to watch by logging onto your account, but they generally arrive randomly and depend on availability (if all their copies are already out, then you'll just have to wait).
When you sign up for Lovefilm, you select the package that most appeals to you. The package I chose cost around £10 a month and allowed DVDs or games of my choice to be sent to me, as well as 4 hours of streaming online. This meant that if Lovefilm had a film online, I could watch it through the computer rather than having to wait for it. The only problem is that the variety of films and TV programmes available through streaming is much more limited than the actual disc copies, so I usually just ended up waiting for Mr Postman to arrive. Oh, and importantly, the postage is free both ways, and there are no late fees (which I know is true as I had a disc for about a month and didn't get any extra charges).
My package was one of the higher-priced packages as I wanted to try out games as wells as DVDs. If you just want DVDs, and don't mind one at a time, the cost is £5.99 a month - which is a bit of a bargain as long as you remember to watch and send back the DVDs! This allows 3 DVDs in a month, sent one at a time. I found that during my trial that I was pretty bad at getting around to sending back the discs, but when I did the next delivery arrived quite quickly (but I suppose this depends on the speed of the postman as well!). Like I said, there are packages that includes games, online streaming or just DVDs, all for a range of prices; you just have to pick the one suitable for your needs - and your wallet.
So we've had the positives: a decent-length free trial, reasonable prices, free postage and a large selection available of recent and old films, TV series' etc. Now for the one bad point that I came across: cancellation. I'd kept my account going past my trial, but found I stopped using it. I rang the number provided and explained to the operator that I wanted to cancel and why. It seems that the operator followed a set script, with many repeats of "I understand. Let me help you with that". Now after explaining again why I wanted to leave, I was offered a reduced package. It was then offered again because I had an outstanding disc and it was coming up to payment time again. This conversation went round in circles with the same offer, the same "understanding", and myself, sat hitting my head against the desk, trying desperately to leave Lovefilm. Eventually (after about 10 minutes), I got my cancellation - and no next month charge, even though I know my disc arrived after the date. I am so glad I didn't buckle and just go for the reduced package! I also emailed the company to inform them of the frustrating unhelpfulness of their phoneline - and they too fixated on understanding and pointing out I had a disc still.
This glitch in cancelling was such a shame. I understand they didn't want to lose custom, but I hadn't bothered with the DVDs that had been sent to me and needed to save the money for my upcoming move. I had intended to perhaps return, but the fact that Lovefilm managed to make it so difficult to cancel has really put me off. Overall, it is a fantastic service, and when I actually had time to use it I found it wonderful to try games and films without having to buy them. So if you don't foresee yourself cancelling for a while, or have a little more patience than me, I'd recommend it!
Summary: A well thought out service - except for the ability to cancel