is better offline than online A few weeks ago, Sharon and I signed up for the free trial at, which is Canada’s equivalent to Netflix. We rent movies fairly regularly, usually at the local Blockbuster. The appeal of was the larger library of titles – Blockbuster’s selection is pretty limited. When our free trial expired at the end of last week, we decided to pay for the 1 DVD plan which costs $5.95 per month. Why? Not because we fell in love with, but because it will save us money.

You can fairly easily break the experience into two parts – the online part and the offline part. The former is where you search for titles, select the ones you want to rent, and pay for your account. The latter is receiving the DVDs in the mail, watching them, and then returning them. In my experience thus far, the online experience sucks and the offline experience rocks.

Where should I begin with the website…it’s slow, awkward, confusing, and worst of all, it’s inconsistent. Depending on where you are on the site, you’ll see either the old look:

Or the new one:

The logo, navigation, colors, and page width are all different between the two – it’s very annoying. Another thing that bugs me about the site is the rating stars (sometimes they are yellow, sometimes they are red, sometimes mousing over them changes them, etc). Like everything else, they are confusing and seem inconsistent. Thankfully, the offline experience is much better. Our DVDs arrived quickly, and the packaging was simple and effective. It’s lazy but quite enjoyable to have movies simply arrive at the door! Sending them back is a breeze too – just stick them in the already prepared envelope and drop them in the mail.

New releases at Blockbuster cost $5.97 to rent, and “favourites” cost $4.19. Then on top of that you’ve got to factor in gas prices and the fact that they may not have the movie you’re after. For $5.95 at we get two movies with free shipping, and as many additional movies as we want for $2.49 shipping and handling provided we only have one DVD out at a time. Combined with the larger selection of movies, it’s simply a better deal.

Rob recently wrote about at Techvibes, pointing out that the four-year-old company recently shipped its 10 millionth DVD. Quite an accomplishment, I agree, but is still no Netflix.

Until something better comes along however, I’m happy enough with

5 thoughts on “ is better offline than online

  1. Initially, we loved using ZIP but this summer we stopped being able to search for movies on their site. For some reason when we try to search for a category of films (ie: “Action movies”) all we get are spinning red circles where the movie pics are supposed to appear. And we can no longer see our ziplist (an archive of the movies we’ve already rented and movies we’ve ordered but not yet received). Has any one else had this problem?

  2. Please visit We are new to online renting. Our inventory includes over 15,000 titles, including the latest new releases and favourite classic titles.

    We offer a 14 day free trial membership so you can check out the quality of our service before you commit to a membership. You won’t be charged during the fourteen day trial period for movie rentals. During this time you will be sent two movies/games by mail at a time return them and get two new titles. You can change your membership any time.

    We also carry the most popular game rentals for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii. Browse our inventory to see the range of titles we have in each category. With your membership, you can order movies, games or a combination of the two.


  3. Suggestion:

    used zip for 2 years until i found out about another great site

    This site is mix of zip(for movies) and gameaccess(for games). is only site in Canada to offer movies and games for one price. Great selection, price and customer service

    so far there hasn’t been a single incident where I’ve received movies from the bottom of my list. Everything is coming from top 5. Give these guys a try before turning back to local video stores.

  4. It is really not worth the problems, their customer service sucks. When I wanted to cancel they gave me the run around charged me an extra month, and refused to refund me. I would strongly recommend netflix or even the movie theatre instead. I ended up spending something like 50$ to watch 3 movies…. Honestly skip it!

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