09/10/2007 - 11:49

Quickflix, Big W launch online DVD rental venture

09/10/2007 - 11:49


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Perth-based online DVD rental company Quickflix Ltd has launched its joint venture with Big W, the first time a large Australian retail chain has offered DVD rentals online.

Perth-based online DVD rental company Quickflix Ltd has launched its joint venture with Big W, the first time a large Australian retail chain has offered DVD rentals online.



The full text of a joint company announcement and a response from the Australian Video Rental Retailers Association are pasted below

Big W and Quickflix have officially switched on a joint online DVD rental service Big W Movie Rentals that is 10 times bigger than a traditional video store and boasts Australia's biggest movie rental library.

Movie lovers accessing the website will be able to choose from more than 27,000 films, TV series and documentaries, which will be sent to them in the mail by Quickflix. In stark contrast to traditional video stores, people won't be hit with expensive late fees because there are no due dates for DVDs.

The launch comes as new research, conducted by Galaxy on behalf of Quickflix, showed Australian consumers had owed video stores at least $85 million in late fees. More than 20 per cent of Australians had incurred video store late fees of almost $20 with up to 250,000 people racking up to $100 in fines at any one time, according to the research.

Quickflix Chief Operating Officer, Simon Hodge, said the Big W service was the first time a large Australian retail chain had offered DVD rentals online and would be extremely attractive given the absence of late fees.

"With consumers being forced to pay many millions of dollars in late fees, the new Big W and Quickflix service provides a strong alternative to driving to a video store to be faced with limited choice and hefty late fees," Mr Hodge said.

"Consumers can access a DVD library that is more than 10 times bigger than a video store without the need to leave the comfort of their own home to select their favourite titles."

The service works with customers adding a selection of titles to a personalised queue on the Quickflix website. Up to five DVDs will be posted at a time, depending on the subscription plan. Customers simply return DVDs in a pre-paid envelope and new titles will be dispatched from their queue.

Subscriptions range from $9.95 per month per month through to $56.95 per month. The number of movies you can
receive will depend on the subscription plan. For example, a $36.95 per month plan will provide unlimited DVDs which are sent three titles at a time.

Big W Home Entertainment Merchandise Manager, Charles Davey, said Big W Movie Rentals has made it even easier for customers to watch their favourite DVDs at home with the new online service.

"With Big W Movie Rentals customers can access the latest new releases, chart topping successes and a huge back catalogue online, they won't necessarily find in store," Mr Davey said.


Below is a statement from the Australian Video Rental Retailers Association:

Internet-ordered, post-delivered DVD rental services cannot guarantee consumers the movie titles they want on the day they want to view them because of an imprecise movie reservation system and reliance on postal deliveries and returns, according to the Australian Video Rental Retailers Association (AVRRA).

Unlike your traditional video rental store, where you can reserve a title by phone or walk in and select exactly what you want to view for that night or weekend, Internet stores cannot guarantee exactly which titles from your movie preferences will be posted to you.

"It is an unsatisfactory reality of these new delivery formats," says AVRRA president George Kafataris.

"The way it works is that you pre-pay on a monthly basis to get one, two or three DVDs at a time. You have to return these movies by post before you get any more, which means that if you don't post them back early enough in the week for them to be processed you're likely to end up without any movies to watch on the weekend," says Kafataris.

There has been a lot of hype about new delivery formats, but not enough transparency about entrenched pitfalls for consumers. According to AVRRA, these include:

- A 'use it or lose it' subscription model that asks you to pre-pay for a movie service you may or may not use - particularly if you are busy or away on business or on holidays. In comparison, video stores offer a 'pay as you go' service and offer $1 movies and other deals daily;
- Lack of immediacy in receiving movies because of the reliance on postal services that don't operate on weekends and public holidays; and
- No guarantee of receiving your first or even second choice of movie, requiring customers to be happy with what they get.

"There is also a misinformed perception in the marketplace that new online stores deliver a huge choice of movie titles to consumers," says Kafataris.

"The reality is that services like Quickflix, BigPond Movies and Big W Movie Rentals each offer only about the same number of titles as three large video rental stores. And what use is a large catalogue if you can't get the movie you want when you want to watch it?"


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