Update: When Netflix opened up in Canada I cancelled my Zip.ca membership. While the service was ok it is not near as convenient as Netflix.ca and streaming.
It has been three weeks since I left Blockbuster and started trying out Zip.ca for DVD rentals. It has been an interesting change to go from wandering around a Blockbuster store to choosing movies online.
For some people wandering around the video store looking for a movie to rent is part of the experience. As a parent of two little kids it is a testing of patience! Moving to an online movie rental is much easier. There are no fighting kids, no distractions from the hundreds of movie titles with each kid wanting to get something different. I will often sit with the laptop on the couch and my son or daughter will look through the movies on the website for movies to add to our list. Gives them some choice while I have less headaches.
Getting movies in the mail is great, delivered right to my mailbox. This is a great bonus now that it has snowed and cold it seems even better. The closet mailbox to send them back is only a couple of blocks away and I pass it regularly when I go out for walks. Makes it easy to send the movies back.
Price wise renting movies online is probably not much cheaper than going to the video store. Sure there are no late fees and no annoying customer service people at the local rental store, but a break down of the cost of renting each movie is probably about the same. The price difference might come from not wasting a great deal of time wandering around the rental store or the gas that it I would have used before.
There are some things that take getting a little used too. With Zip.ca you can add movies to your list, and place an order that you would like to get them in, but you may not get the movies that you want at any one time. They ship what they have available, so you might not always get what movie you really want to see that week. If you are wanting the latest release you might be disappointed. This might get better when they start to offer streaming, but that is yet to be seen.
Shipping takes time. You go to the video store you usually walk out with something to watch that day. Movies delivered to your door takes time. Canada Post does its best to move mail across the country, but depending where you are you could be waiting several days for your movies to arrive. On average we have been waiting four days from the day the movie ships to when it arrives. All of the movies have shipped from Ontario so far, but they are being returned to Calgary. If they were being shipped from Calgary they might show up faster. I would guess that people in Ontario get their movies a little faster. Four days to go from Ontario to Regina is not bad.
For now I will keep using Zip.ca. The selection of movies is alright and we are not always in a rush to get the latest release. I am also curious about the streaming service that they are suppose to be offering sometime before the end of the year. There has not been a lot of details released about the streaming service except that it is coming. Hopefully I will be able to access it with my account level. Streaming from Zip.ca could easily move Zip.ca ahead of regular movie rentals.