Online DVD Rental Club Reviews

Posted on September 20th, 2006 in Musings by truthandhappiness

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 wasn’t  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 ‘desi-netflix’ kind of company. I can get DVDs home, no driving, no coming back empty handed, no late fees. 

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.

I wouldn’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. 

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. 

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 don’t hear from them. Only then I received a response that they will refund my money back to me.

VERDICT – 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 don’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 – Try if you are looking for Hindi movies/video games/children’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 –  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 ‘pay as you rent’ plan. They offer it under a different company name(Desicompany). Those of us who don’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 – Nothing great, but I stayed with them because I didn’t have the time and energy to cancel.

11 Responses to 'Online DVD Rental Club Reviews'

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  1. Fire said,

    on October 22nd, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks for the reviews… I was thinking about signing up for IndiaHutHouse, but now I will steer clear of them.

  2. Srikanth said,

    on May 30th, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Hi,
    Its nice to see ur reviews. I am fed up of bringing DVDs from the local store as they dont put/carry originals most of the time. It is frustrating to watch movies in low contrast and without clear digital audio. I sometimes think i should complain to the piracy cell. But restrain myself again.
    I have a Netflix subsription and i enjoy their service a lot. I ve been trying with various Desi ‘flix’ sites and did not have much success till now. Zdag has a bad database of movies and moreover you have to be very lucky to get the movie you selected/placed in the queue. I never got a movie i wanted to watch. So i stopped with them and tried ‘Hindiflix’. Their Customer service is excellent but again the problem is with ‘get whatever u want/selected’ thing. I am going to try this IndiaMovieClub and see how lucky i am. How is it till now for u?
    Thanks,
    Sriki

  3. FilmNewsAnandhi said,

    on June 4th, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Hi Srikanth:

    I have updated my review in the post. Pls chk it out. Thanks for visiting my blog

    FilmNewsAnandhi

  4. Suresh said,

    on June 25th, 2007 at 2:30 am

    Hi There,

    I just want to give my thoughts about Indiahuthouse.com. I have been a member of their rental service for three to four years. I have been a very satisfied customer. They hava great collection of Tamil movies and their quality of movies are excellent. I have not seen any copy or pirated DVD’s. The customer service has been vrey friendly and family oriented. They bend their rules to make the customer happy. In the past year they have also started lots of new services, like sending notification of movies shipped. They inform you through email when new movies are added in all languages.

    I would recomend anybody who enjoys watching movies and having said that, all rental companies have problems, but Indiahuthouse.com seems to have less issues and easily solve the problem,if any arises.

    THanks
    Suresh

  5. KV said,

    on October 15th, 2007 at 4:01 am

    Indian Movie Club DVDs are ABSOLUTELY PIRATED copies. Who cares? If they can at least cope them as Dual Layer since most of us now a days watch movies in bog screen. Particularly Hindi movies lose quality by making them single layer. Sruthilayam DVDs are okay since they delete the second movie. I have fought with them several times to send me a dual layer copy. No success. DUMB customer service. Needs you hard work make our pennies worth? Time saving and GAS saving may attract customers here. Otherwise…so so….

  6. Raj Ratnasamy said,

    on October 24th, 2007 at 2:00 am

    Hi,
    I agree with you on the India hut house. I have been a member for the past one year. I have the same problem where the DVDs take for ever to come and they dont answer your emails or messages. frequently returned dvds show as due on the online shipping status page. sometimes even though you have 15 or 20 movies in yur rental queue they only send one movie to you.
    Stay away from india hut house
    raj

  7. Chetan said,

    on March 4th, 2008 at 12:45 am

    Thanks for the review. I am also trying these sites. Hindiflix delivered CDs, but I had to have a long list before they were shipped. They seem to work with very few copies of CDs. I am looking for another one; may have to go back to Netflix.

    Thanks.

  8. ganesh said,

    on September 13th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Dear Sruthilayam dvd Company

    Please STOP your dvd production hose. You are doing great dis-service by making tamil dvd’s with horrible quality. Tamil movies are being made at very high picture and sound quality. But you damage the best efforts of tamil movie makers by making dvd of such sub standard quality.

    please stop this nonsense

  9. jags said,

    on November 10th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Indianmovieclub/Desicompany are as BAD as Indiahuthouse. They never send the DVD’s on time, I had this membership of 4 DVD’s at any time. They send you a mail saying your next set is sent and it reaches you after a week. I live in Florida and they are in NY. They are most often not there to take your calls or respond to the feedback by e-mail.

  10. senthil said,

    on March 25th, 2009 at 12:38 am

    happen to come across your reviews on google, think its really nice of you to share your experiences. THanks!


  11. on August 2nd, 2009 at 6:29 am

    Suresh’s comment sounds like he works for Indiahuthouse.com. I would still recommend staying clear of it until you get more feedback from this store.

    Vijay

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