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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > TV, Home Theater & Audio > Online Video Rentals

Online Video Rentals Cost


How Much Do Online Video Rentals Cost?

 
low costLow: $8/monthaverage costMedium: $15/monthhigh costHigh: $18+/month

Online video rental service allows you to receive DVDs by mail, and, as you return DVDs in prepaid envelopes, you receive the next video in your waiting list, usually within 1-4 days depending on which service you use and how far you live from the shipping facility.

Typical costs:

  • Netflix[1] is the most popular online DVD rental company, with plans as of December 2007, at $5 per month for 1 DVD at a time (limited to only 2 movies a month), $9 per month for 1 DVD at a time ("unlimited" movies each month), $14 per month for 2 DVDs at a time, and $17 per month for 3 DVDs at a time. It's fairly common for new subscribers to get a free two week trial.
  • As of December 2007, Blockbuster[2] offers two kinds of plans: Total Access plans (where you can get additional movies at your local Blockbuster retail store) and mail-only plans.
  • Blockbuster mail-only plans are similar to Netflix's and include plans at $4 per month for 1 DVD at a time (limited to only 2 movies each month), $9 per month for 1 movie at a time, $14 per month for 2 movies at a time, and $16 per month for 3 movies at a time. Total Access plans cost $2-4 more per month, and allow you to drop off movies at local Blockbuster video stores and get 2-5 free in store exchanges to tide you over while you wait for your next video to arrive. Some plans include additional free movie or game rentals from stores each month. Blockbuster also typically offers new subscribers a 2 week trial.
  • Wal-mart's foray into online video rentals was closed and customers are now directed to Netflix.
Related articles: Movie Download, TV Show Online, Satellite TV

What should be included:
  • With mail-based DVD rentals, there are no late fees because you hold DVDs for as long as you want. If you hold a DVD for a long time, it is just that much longer until you receive your next movie. However, if a Blockbuster Total Access store rental is more than a week late, you will be charged a restocking fee if you return the movie, or the cost of the DVD if you do not return it.
  • Blockbuster and Netflix provide pre-paid envelopes to mail the DVDs back.
Additional costs:
  • Some subscribers have complained that if you get a lot of movies per month, the delay for your next DVD becomes longer. In a class action complaint, some Netflix subscribers claimed that Netflix subsequently did not provide "unlimited" rentals. Details at /signup.netflix.com/login?nextpage=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.netflix.com%2FSettlement[3] .
Discounts:
  • Be sure to start with a free trial. If you query search engines for "blockbuster coupon code" or "netflix coupon code," you may be able to find a code that will includes a longer free trial.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Netflix is great
Amount: $14.00 per month
Posted by: A in Boston, MA.Posted: March 27th, 2008 09:03AM
Which Firm: Netflix.comNumber of Movies: 2
Netflix does a pretty good job and I've never really had any problems with them. Over two years I've had two damaged discs (one was cracked and the other didnt play right) and when you report it they ship you out a new one immediately rather then wait to get the damaged one back. So thats pretty cool.

The only beef I have is I'm on a MAC which doesn't support Instant Watch. This is more of apple's fault...but it would still be nice to use all the features your paying for. I hear that this year it will be supported though.
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We use Blockbuster.com - better deal than Netflix, but more problems
Amount: $19.47 per month
Posted by: PCGuyinCali in San Jose, CA.Posted: December 13th, 2006 04:12PM
Which Firm: Blockbuster.comNumber of Movies: 3
We cancelled Netflix a while ago and decided to try Blockbuster because the price seemed better. It's $18/month ($19.47 w/tax) for 3 movies plus 2(or 4) videos per month at the store, and we live very close to a Blockbuster. The deal seemed great, but it turns out the service is worse than Netflix's. The Blockbuster.com website is frequently down. Worse yet, on a few occasions, we didn't get the first, second, or third choice in our movie queue, even though the website said the movies were in-stock. Getting some random movie you didn't expect is a bitter, bitter disappointment. We plan to cancel someday, maybe when the weather is warmer and we're watching fewer movies.
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External Resources:
  1.  /signup.netflix.com/HowItWorks?hnjr=8
  2.  /www.blockbuster.com/signup/m/plan/
  3.  /signup.netflix.com/login?nextpage=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.netflix.com%2FSettlement
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