Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Interesting Stuff and Apologies

First off, the apologies. I'm sorry I haven't been posting much. I've had a lot of work on which also meant I hadn't watched/sent back any discs, so you haven't missed much.

I've still been keeping track of a few things in the meantime and I've noticed some interesting things.

1) Reserved items
You may recall a thing about reserving items that haven't been released yet that will automatically be put on your rental list. Well one of my reserved titles was released last week, and it was put on my rental list automatically. However, with a reserved item, you'd expect it to be put on high priority automatically. This wasn't the case. It was put on medium priority (the default for all new rentals). This was rather annoying, but I changed it immediately to high priority anyways.

Take this next part with a pinch of salt because it might just be coincidence.

2) Recently Added Items Come First?
Yesterday, I added a film that was recommended to me by Lovefilm: "Last Life in the Universe" - a Japanese drama/thriller. I added it and also sent back my two discs. They arrived at Lovefilm HQ today, and they put "Last Life..." as my next dispatch, the day after selecting it. This happened before with the Cardcaptors incident (it was the day after selecting it).

Truth or coincidence? YOU DECIDE!!!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

"I'VE WORKED IT OUT!!!" and other news

A few things. Firstly, I noticed that my discs took a little longer to arrive than usual. Three discs were dispatched from Lovefilm on 9th April (my two normal, and the one to say sorry for the Cardcaptors fiasco). Usually, this would have meant that they would have arrived on Friday, but Friday was Good Friday (a national holiday). So I expected them to arrive on Saturday. Only one out of the three arrived (fortunately, it was Eureka Seven vol. 5, so that was good. The other two were nowhere to be seen. No post on Sunday, and Monday was a national holiday (bloody Easter). SO, on Tuesday....nothing arrived. This was a little annoying now. But, I decided to give it one more day. Finally, today, the other two arrived. I dunno what happened, but it could have been a mass of Easter cards being sent, along with various parcels.

Now then, time for the "I'VE WORKED IT OUT!" thing. As you may be aware, I've been pondering why some return envelopes have "up to 2 discs" and some say "up to 3 discs" with no visible difference between the envelopes. However, I think I've worked it out. People get the "up to 3 discs" thing, if they have 3 discs at home (either because of promotions, compensation, or if they are on the higher plan) they are sent envelopes that say "up to 3 discs". Other people get "up to 2 discs". I dunno about those who are on 1 at a time. It seems a bit silly though. I think they should just send everyone the "up to 3 discs" envelopes to try and subliminally suggest the higher 3 disc plan.

Well, that's it for today. I'm sorry there aren't much updates, but the service is fairly steady. Once I start paying, I'm gonna change to the "2 discs, with games" package. Then you might get a little more posting. Till then, ja ne!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A little issue

I was a little irked yesterday and today about what happened. You may recall a few posts ago when I asked about sending DVD volumes in order. They essentially said:

"yes, the system is set up to send volumes in order".


Yesterday, I added two titles to my list:

Cardcaptors, Vols. 1 and 2

Cardcaptors, Vols. 3 and 4

(they were two volumes per disc)

As you know, I'm following Eureka Seven very closely. The most recent one I've watched is volume 4, and I expected them to send out volume 5. Instead they send out........

....wait for it.....

Cardcaptors, Vols. 3 and 4

Not only is that not the Eureka Seven volume I expected, but it's not the first volume in the series I added (thus, completely contradicting their previous e-mail). In response, I e-mailed them the following:

In one of my previous correspondences with yourselves I was told that, when multiple volumes of a series are in my rental list, they will be sent in order. This has worked fine so far with my rentals of the "Eureka Seven" series.
However, after checking my next dispatch a few minutes ago, I see "Cardcaptors - Vols. 3 and 4" preparing for dispatch. I have the volume 1 and 2 set on my list as well as I wanted to watch this series in order).

I understand that there is a short wait on the volume 1 and 2 set, but it's undesirable watching a series out of order.

I hope it's not too late to fix this before the rental is dispatched.

They sent me a reply fairly sharpish saying the following:

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your recent query about the dispatch of a feature film series. I will be happy to help explain what has happened in this instance.

When you add a TV series, for example, to your selection list you will be given the chance to add the discs in episode order. Unfortunately this system does not yet apply to many feature film series, trilogies, sequels, etc (unless they are shown as a box set, grouped together on one single film detail page), though we do plan to make this available in future. This is because regrettably unless the titles are listed together on the same details page with a 'rent all' button, our system may not necessarily know which is the correct order.

I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.

As such, if you want to watch a number of films in a certain order, we do recommend that you only add one title to your selection at a time.

You can of course use the priority settings to place films in order, but sadly this does not always guarantee that it will be possible to reliably stick to that order, particularly if the initial title is not in stock.

We have added 1 extra dispatch on your account to compensate with the issue and it will be dispatched to you as soon as possible over and above your normal allowance.

If you have any other questions then do let us know.

So this is COMPLETELY THE OPPOSITE of what they said in the previous e-mail. I'm getting confused now.

I received the title today in fact. Incidentally, my interest in the title disappeared, so I returned it the same day. As a temporary measure, I've used their "lists" feature to add a list JUST for the next volume of Eureka Seven I want and I assigned one of my discs to it. This should mean that I'll get the discs in the right order.

In the meantime, I e-mailed back with the following:

I've just reviewed the past few e-mails I've had with you, and something doesn't add up.

In an e-mail conversation I had with a support member named Peter, he said that the system is set up so that separate volumes are sent in order, even if they're not in the same detail page.

However, my conversation with Vandana implied that this was not the case and that only titles that are in a group with a "rent all" button will they be sent out in order.

Could you please clear this up for me.

Thank you in advance.

I'll let you know how this goes along.

In other news, I've started reviewing some plus' and minus' for Lovefilm over rental shops (like Blockbuster), and I've worked out the following:

Plus' for Lovefilm:
1) Dirt cheap. You've got to admit that Lovefilm is insanely cheaper than Blockbuster.
2) Find what you want quickly and easily and without getting that pain in your neck from tilting to read the titles on DVD boxes

Minus' for Lovefilm:
1) You don't have much control over which title comes next
2) Picking a rental or two as a family can be fun
3) You have to wait for it to be delivered
4) More chance something can go wrong

Hmmm... starting to look like Blockbuster's winning, but the cost is the big thing (even more important than the neck pain!).

I'll keep you posted on everything else.