I love watching movies. Especially tamil movies. I get the kicks by watching a movie in the theater as soon as it is released. After my first child was born, it wasnâ€™tÂ easy for me to hit the theater as often I would like. After the second child the situation got even worse. We tried renting DVDs from grocery stores, but with two little ones around, we found it difficult to watch a movie and return it the next day. Just then I started exploring the option of an â€˜desi-netflixâ€™ kind of company. I can get DVDs home, no driving, no coming back empty handed, no late fees.Â
I found a few, I have rented from most of them. I thought it will be a good idea to write a review. Hope this helps those looking for online rentals clubs.
- IndiaHutHouse â€“ STAY AWAY FROM THEM.
I wouldnâ€™t touch them with a 10 foot pole. Though they were atleast $5 expensive than their peers, I signed up with them because they had a decent collection of Tamil DVDs. I picked the basic membership, $25/month. My welcome letter stated that I will be charged every month till I cancel.
The first set of three movies arrived in the same cover, with one single prepaid envelope, which meant that Iam supposed to return the three movies together. Every set of three movies took one week to reach me from their shipping center. It took me a week to watch the movies. After I shipped them back it took one more week for them to update my account. This meant that in a 4 week period I spent atleast three weeks waiting for movies to arrive. Also they do not have any auto email program that lets you know that the movies were shipped/received, so we have to wait in the dark and frequently check our account to make sure that the movies were credited back to our account. So I emailed their customer service suggesting that if they shipped the movies separately, it gives the user a lot of flexibility. I could watch a movie ship it back and by the time Iam done watching the other two a new movie would have arrived. There was no response.Â
A month after my initial signup date, DVDs suddenly stop arriving also I was no longer able to sign up in to my account. So I assumed that may be my membership with them was for a month and I registered in another movie rental club. I sent them an email and a fax to confirm this. As usual there was no response from their customer service.Â
4 months later I was checking my credit card statement and was shocked to find that my credit card was charged by IndiaHutHouse every month for the past four months. I had to send a stinker email and a fax to their non-existent customer service and threatened to pursue legal action if I donâ€™t hear from them.Â Only thenÂ I received a response that they will refund my money back to me.
VERDICT â€“ IndiaHutHouse, pure pain. A perfect marriage of lousy business model and pathetic customer service.
They have a wide variety of movies audio books and video games but limited selection of Tamil movies. Their customer service is good, if you email them, they have the courtesy of responding to the query. They ship the movies in individual envelops with prepaid return labels. So we will always have something handy. Provided the movies I requested were available, they were delivered to me within 2 working days.
The cons were they have very limited tamil movie collection. In the two months I had membership with them, their tamil movie database was never updated. I donâ€™t know about other regional languages. Also they seemed to have limited copies of new movies. There was always a minimum 3 three week wait for new movies. If you cancel in the middle of the month, there is no refund for the balance unused membership.
VERDICT â€“ Try if you are looking for Hindi movies/video games/childrenâ€™s DVD.
They do not have any movies other than Hindi movies and kids VCDs/DVDs. So I have never tried them. But I loved their website. In the world of customer service anonymus, Pyasa was one of the few websites that had a customer service phone number listed on their website.
VERDICT â€“Â Reviews required.
They have a good collection of South Indian movies. I have signed up for an Indiamovieclub membership right now. They have two plans. One is the netflix model where you pay for a month and can rent unlimited number of movies. They other plan is a â€˜pay as you rentâ€™ plan. They offer it under a different company name(Desicompany). Those of us who donâ€™t watch more than 4 movies a month, the latter plan might be a good idea.Though they are by the same company, their databases are not synched up. So you have to register separately.
In the ‘pay as you rent’ plan offers a choice of renting out two DVDs at a time or three DVDs at a time. They charge $4.00 or less rental plus $1.00 shipping. They ship two DVDs together and you have to return thr DVDs together, which is not very attractive. They allow you to keep the DVDs only for one week. You get one free DVD for every two DVDs you check out and two free DVDs for every four DVDs you check out.
Their other plan is the one in which you pay for a month and rent unlimited number of DVDs. I signed up for the 6 DVDs/month at $12.00/month plan. Looks like they ship two DVDs together and require us to return the two together. Iam not too thrilled by this restriction though.
UPDATE ON INDIAN MOVIE CLUB REVIEW: They do have a good collection, but they ship all the DVDs toghther and I am not very pleased with it. We have three movies at home for about a week and we spend two weeks waiting for more DVDs. Another thing I suspect is that they might be making unauthorized copies of DVDs to keep enough DVDs in circulation. This is pure speculation, I have no proof.
They mostly deal with Sruthilayam DVDs because the Sruthilayam DVDs come with two movies in one DVD. They try and couple one old movie and a new movie, Pachaikili Muthucharam + Kushi kind of thing. The flip side of this is that the picture auality is so-so. Indian movie club deletes the second movie. If you try playing Kushi, it says that this selection has been removed. Come on guys how cheap can you get?! You get the DVDs in a two for one deal. Do you REALLY think some one will pay for Kushi, a movie that was released some 10 years back and watch it? Most of the times people flip through the old movie just because it is there.
VERDICT â€“ Nothing great, but I stayed with them because I didn’t have the time and energy to cancel.