I’ve been a long time renter from Netflix which is a DVD rental system that works through the mail. I have been happy with the service in the past because of quick turn times and a good selection that includes Blu-Ray content. Recently though, I find the movies I select will arrive in the mail and sit around a while before I get the chance to watch them. Unlike some people, I’m not really getting the full value out of the system.
I decided to give Red Box, a kiosk rental system, a try. The kiosks are often located at McDonalds and thus are usually a short drive away. The selection was decent with mostly current releases, but there was no HD content available. The price is a real strong point at only a dollar per day per rental. I brought the movie home, and the disc wasn’t scratched, and it played correctly. Even if I did manage to get a scratched copy, it’s only a one dollar risk which is hardly anything to warrant kicking away at the red metal box. Red Box has a customer service line available for those who wish to pursue a refund as well.
My only real hesitation about using this system is for the security of it. There have been a couple of reported incidents of people attempting to use skimming devices on the machines. Skimming is an attempt to use an illegal electronic device placed on the machine to read and store credit card information. Red Box is just one out of many potential targets for this kind of security threat.
As an alternative to paying at the kiosk, Red Box has now implemented an on-line ordering system that allows credit card payment in advance. This is also nice because titles can be chosen, and the locations where the discs are available will be displayed.
Overall, this is a pretty convenient way of renting movies at a low cost. DVDs can be returned at any of the kiosk locations, and brand new releases are available at midnight of the DVD’s release day. I hope Blu-ray discs will soon become available there.