Over a third of us have rented a DVD or video only to return it unwatched because the rental period ran out. Meanwhile over the past six months alone a quarter of us have been fined for bringing a DVD or video back to the store late.
This is according to independent research carried among 1,000 UK adults for screenselect.co.uk, which launches today. screenselect.co.uk is set to change our experience of renting DVDs by offering over ten times as many titles to rent as the average video store, 24/7 online ordering, free delivery and returns, a monthly all you can watch subscription, and no late fines – ever.
Carried out among 1,000 adults, the research shows that:
- Six in ten of respondents (59%) had been frustrated by the limited selection of titles on offer at video rental stores
- 37% had returned a film without watching it, as the rental period ran out
- 33% had kept a film for another night and paid double the fee
- 16% had kept a title for a number of days after it was due, only to face a large fine
- 27% had faced a fine from a video rental store over the past six months. Britons make three million visits to the video rental store a week. That means that over a six month period 21 million visits could potentially end up with a fine
- 17% of those who had been fined recently, had to pay a fine of £10 or more
According to screenselect.co.uk managing director William Reeve, “The video rental industry relies heavily on late fines to make a considerable amount of their profits. But there is an alternative - instead of profiting from customers’ bad experiences, we allow them to keep a DVD for as long as they want. And when they have finished we even pay for the return postage.
“The result is no more late trips to the video store, no more frantic runs to avoid late fees, no more queuing or hassles to find a movie, no more traffic, parking ticket or weather issues, and with the UK’s biggest DVD library, no more wasted journeys when you find nothing to rent.”
*“amazoning” the video rental industry*
The awkward customer experience of high street rental detailed in the research made company founders William Reeve and Alex Chesterman question why the traditional movie rental industry couldn’t be “amazoned.”
As a result, they secured the backing and expertise of amazon.co.uk’s original founder and managing director, Dr Simon Murdoch who has joined screenselect.co.uk as deputy chairman. A number of other key members of the original amazon.co.uk team are also on board.
For a fixed monthly fee of £14.99, subscribers get to keep a revolving library of three DVDs with no limit as to how long they can keep each one (see attached sheet for details of how ScreenSelect works). Once they have watched each title, they post it back in a pre paid envelope. As soon as it is received a new DVD from the subscriber’s wish list is despatched. There is no limit as to the amount of times DVDs can be exchanged.
According to Simon Murdoch, “renting two DVDs a week from a video store will generally cost you at least £24 a month. As we have a flat fee, with screenselect.co.uk, watching those same eight DVDs will be almost £10 cheaper. Plus with the biggest selection of DVDs in the UK we are more likely to have what customers want, and the process of returning each item simply involves a walk to the nearest post box.”
To coincide with its launch, screenselect.co.uk is currently offering anyone who signs up a free trial to the service.
* Notes to editors – some facts on overdue fines *
- Overdue fines cost US renters more than billion a year (source: MSN Money )
- In the United States late fees made up 12 percent, or 0 million, of total consumer rental spending in the first half of the year, according to Video Store Magazine.
- In Canada earlier this year, 493,000 members of a major video rental chain went to court over late fees that they claimed were “abusive”
- According to the Entertainment and Software Retailers Association, three million people rent a video every week
*Notes to editors - research *
The research was conducted by MyVoice.net on ScreenSelect’s behalf on 15-16 September
* For further information *
Mark Perkins or Dirk Singer, tel 0207 360 6065 / 6061
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