Tuesday, 10 February 2009

LoveFilm? Then Don’t Rent DVDs

Arrrggh! I’ll say that again just for emphasis: Arrrggh!

Deep breath – and relax.

There. That feels a bit better.

Right. LoveFilm. Arrrggh!

I was going to wibble on pointlessly about I Am Legend, but the disc conked out after 45 minutes* – either this is shortest Will Smith film on record, or I have been dealt a shonky DVD by the evil fiends at LoveFilm. Don’t they know I suffer from an acute time sickness? I mean, Christ, I could’ve done something productive with those 45 minutes, like browse Amazon for a copy of this CD that doesn’t cost over £50. Sheesh.

So, I rang up and cancelled my subscription, which was starting to become dangerously random anyway. For instance, I’ve been looking forward to seeing the original version of Funny Games for ages now: instead, I get Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Hold the Dream, starring Jenny Seagrove. Where the dickens did that come from? And after watching Death Proof (how can a film featuring so many gorgeous women be so thoroughly boring?), the twisted freaks at LoveFilm go and send me the bonus disc, which for all I know is stuffed with a landfill’s worth of talky old bollocks. Arrrggh!

That said, maybe it’s something to do with my over sensitive DVD player: nothing but the very finest, shiniest brand new DVDs will do. As soon as a disc that has been played in another machine goes anywhere near it, it shuts down and sulks like a Big Brother contestant until I am able to feed it something shiny and new again (even SkyPlus is rebelling against me: I set the series link to record the second season of Dexter on ITV1; except that the damn thing didn’t record the second episode. My wife: You don’t need to watch the second episode, do you? I mean, you can still follow it, surely? Me: Arrrggh! Don’t you understand! I – have – to – see – it! At which point I stopped talking as I was coming across like a petulant Big Brother contestant).

So, to summarise: technology – when it works, it’s great. And when it doesn’t: Arrrggh!
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* Which was pretty good, I thought.

12 comments:

mark said...

I've heard other people get increasingly cheesed off with LoveFilm, but so far - I've been renting for a few months now - my experience has been pretty good. There have been one of two glitches but nothing I haven't managed to iron out - I tend to stay away from the well-fingered blockbusters anyway.

Also, as a writer, I find the opportunity to stare for hours at the website, thinking about what I'm going to rent, impossible to resist. I can waste hours like that.

David Turner said...

I'm going to have to re-try the Kafka nightmare that is cancelling my LoveFilm account. Nothing to do with them, it's me. In the past god knows how many months, I've had two DVDs from them, that I then forget about and, when I do remember them, don't have time to watch so they get returned unwatched. It would be cheaper to go and buy the poxy things or just throw money into the bin...

Chip Smith said...

Mark: It all started well with LoveFilm, but recently I've been driven demented by shonky DVDs - they either stop working altogether or freeze so totally that I can't get them out of the machine! Which is why I've resorted to buying everything brand new (as a rule, if it's shrink wrapped, I can't go wrong).

David: cancelling LF is dead easy. You simply ring the 0800 number and speak to a very polite Indian gentleman. That said, it took me a fortnight to get round to watching I Am Legend (couldn't bring myself to watch that Barbara Taylor Bradford thing that turned up).

rob said...

They probably did you a favour. As 'I am Legend' begins it's surprisingly tolerable, but as the running time advances it becomes less so. Will Smith is good, but he's no Charlton Heston.

Liked the dog though.

I've been using Love Film for a few months now with no complaints so far.

DraconianOne said...

I have recently cancelled my LoveFilm subscription but that was because it wasn't being used. I have had problems with some discs being sent through which were questionable but for the most part, a quick clean sorted them all out. (With a DVD savvy toddler in the house, DVD cleaning material is always to hand).

The website can be a bit weighty but generally you can specify that you don't want bonus discs or whatever to be sent through. I also find that the secret to getting what you want to watch rather than something random which you added in a moment of drunken abandon is to put everything on a low priority then select 3 that you want and mark them as high priority.

Generally I've been satisfied with their service and am very pleased to see they introduced a "token" payment scheme which may work better for me should I resubscribe.

Also, the trick to unsubscribing is to do it late at night on a weekend. You can then do it online without the inconvenience of having to speak to any humans.

Chip Smith said...

Rob: as David says, if you steer clear of mainstream fluff, you should be OK I guess - which is a problem for me, as that's a good part of my filmic diet...

DOne: weirdly enough I had set all my High and Low Priority choices, but still got stuff randomly sent through (and where that Taylor- Bradford came thing is anyone's guess). Incessant cleaning of DVDs just seems to make things worse, so I guess my DVD player might be to blame - but don't tell LoveFilm that ;-)

Jonathan Gill said...

Oh dear. After cancelling my blockbuster subscription after 18 months in a blaze of anger and frustration, I thought Lovefilm was the place to head for.

Blockbuster (I should've known) really do just have one copy of everything for the whole country.

Chip Smith said...

Jonathan: I suspect my experience is not typical, so don't fret!

That said, if you like movies adapted from Barbara Taylor-Bradford books (and let's face it, who doesn't?), you'll be in luck!

Jonathan Gill said...

Hell yes I do! Girl breaks my heart with every word.

Bring on the Lovefilm random selector.

Chip Smith said...

I used to get a perverse pleasure out of seeing what random titles LoveFilm would manage to send - would it be Funny Games, or that episode of Murder She Wrote where Angela Lansbury goes off the rails with an unintentional Irish accent? Fun and laughter for the whole family ;-)

michellelipton said...

I got the Dexter series 2 box set (region free) for Christmas.

Would you like to borrow it?

Chip Smith said...

Ooooh, yes please! Shall we do swapsies for season 1 of The Wire? I'll drop you a line...