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Corpcon: Lovefilm’s 3-dvd plan con

[the Corpcon series of articles is not simply a 'rant' about particular companies but an exercise in the art of detecting Corporation Cons. Perspectives and formulae are cross-applicable. Detecting CorpCons is a way of honing one's skills in detecting flaws and discrepancies in the overarching and more challenging socio-economic milieu].

Lovefilm is alright, so long as you don't sign up on a 3-dvd-plan and stick to a 2-dvd-plan. If you don’t, these bastards will send you your dvds on time. For a month. Thereafter, they'll stagger their deliveries so that you might even end up getting less dvds a week than when you were on their 2 dvd plan.

They'll always blame it on royal mail being inefficient, but its too much of a coincidence that this happens a month after you subscribe to the 3-dvd-plan. By the way, this happened twice to me. Not just once. Both times that i upgraded my account to the 3-dvd-plan, a month later, the deliveries started to get staggered. Prior to that, 9 out of 10 times, it arrives as expected, on time. And the same goes for the 2-dvd plan. Why does it never, or rarely happens, when you’re on a 2-dvd-plan. That is the biggest indicator that LF is doing a con job on you.

But they have improved their con, thanks to me i suppose. The first time the staggered-delivery thing happened, i complained incessantly that the dvds were stated as 'shipped' on different dates on my account page, and hence, it couldn't be royal mail's fault. I wrote an article about it, and sent them a link to it. I then downgraded my account to the 2 dvd plan as i began to receive, at times, even less dvds in a week than i did under the 2 dvd plan.

No problem with Royal Mail then. Dvds arrived like clockwork again. Some months later, i upgraded again after receiving 3 dvds from them in one single packet when they were compensating for some screw up on their side. I thought then, well, if they can sent it one packet, it might be worth upgrading again as there was no way they would be able to stagger the deliveries if all 3 dvds were placed in one envelope right. So i wrote them and asked for confirmation that this will be the case if i upgraded. They promised, in two emails, sent by different customer service agents, that it will, and upgraded my account without my giving them the go ahead.

“Dear Ed,

Thank you for your email.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused to you.

We can confirm to you that we do dispatch 3 DVDs in one envelope, could you please let us know if you wish to change the package on your account, so that we can assist you accordingly.”

Another email after that,

“Dear Ed,

Thank you for your recent email.

I am very pleased to confirm that we will be more than happy to increase your rental subscription to better meet your needs. ...Once we upgrade the package we will make sure that you will be sent 3 DVD's in 1 envelope as requested.”

Did i receive my dvds in a single envelope? Never, except for 1 time only. I wrote to them 4 times, they apologised 4 times, and said they'd do something about it 4 times, and even sent me an additional dvd for a week, but nothing changed. In the 5th email, they said that there was 'no service promise' that all dvds will be sent in a single envelope and that there was nothing to they could do about it.

“Dear Ed,
I have investigated this for you and can see that your account settings are set to allow for multiple dispatches in the same envelope. Please bear in mind that this can only occur when we're able to allocate all three of your discs at the same time.

Unfortunately this is not always possible and despite all three of your discs being sent to you on
the same day, they may be allocated at different times due to stock availability, resulting in two separate envelopes. I'm afraid that there's not a lot more we can do to guarantee that you'll receive all three together as there is no service promise to suggest this.”

I wrote them and quoted their emails where they said they did give this ‘service promise’. No reply.

Lovefilm is most obviously conning you.

If the discs are allocated at different times in a day, the ‘dispatching soon’ section of my account wouldn’t show all 3 dvds that are to be sent at the same time. The titles would appear at different times of the day under the ‘dispatching soon’ category. But no. They always appear at the same time. I actually checked this by logging in at a time just before they update my ‘dispatching soon’ records. I refresh the screen every 5 minutes to check to see if it is updated. And when it finally is, there are always 3 dvd titles on the ‘dispatching soon‘ list. Hence, that shows that they are allocated at the same time, and probably by the same person.

If you don't think collectively, you're doomed to get screwed individually. That's what the capitalists depend on mate.
Another cross-check I performed is, to make sure that they don’t pull a ‘we don’t receive your returned dvds in the same envelope, so they’re opened by different persons and new dvds to be sent to you are sent by different persons and, therefore in separate envelopes,’ I always send back all my dvds in one single envelope. That way, only one person opens them.

And if Royal Mail is screwing up, why only a month after I upgrade? Why does this never happen when i’m on a 2-dvd-plan? And if the dvds are dispatched, say, on Friday, and i get 2 on Saturday, I should at least get the third on a Monday. But sometimes, i might get the 3rd on a Tuesday, or Wednesday even. This happened in my first upgrading. But then, the dispatches were shown as ‘shipped’ on different dates.

I must state that after the first time i upgraded, complained, wrote an article about it and sent them a link to it, the dvds from then on were never or very rarely stated as 'shipped' on different dates on my account. However, they were staggered in delivery just like before. Looks like suggestions are taken on board so that LF can improve their con. In fact, i even wrote that what LF would probably do in future is to ensure that items are always shown to be ‘shipped’ on the same date but actually staggered in posting so that they can just blame it on Royal Mail. I was surprised that they took this part of my article and did exactly that.

The most important part of this con comes with the moment you stagger your return. You get 2 on Monday, return it on Tuesday, and 1 on Tuesday, and return it on Wednesday. That’s when they’ve got you. In other words, you're guilty of staggering returns yourself. From then on, they are perfectly justified in staggering all deliveries to you...
The most important part of this con comes with the moment you stagger your return. You get 2 on Monday, return it on Tuesday, and 1 on Tuesday, and return it on Wednesday. That’s when they’ve got you. In other words, you're guilty of staggering returns yourself. From then on, they are perfectly justified in staggering all deliveries to you as you’ve returned them on separate dates. So you’re always going to be losing one or two days before you get the 3rd dvd. Your loss is continuous and perpetual. Every time you get 2 dvds on one day and the 3rd on another, you are losing because they are all supposed to be sent on the first day together. You are in fact losing a dvd or two every week from then on. And if this happens to 10,000 people, how are the people getting screwed as a totality? If you don't think collectively, you're doomed to get screwed individually. That's what the capitalists depend on mate.

Why would Lovefilm do this?

Simple really. The less dvds they send you, the longer its going to take for your list of dvds to be completed, and the longer you’re going to stay with them. This is very important to Lovefilm as illustrated by the following clip from their site.

The more titles you put on your list, the more likely you’re going to keep subscribing. So, ‘start adding titles today’, and maintain at least 10 titles, which you can be sure, if you’re on 3-dvd-plan, is going to be staggered in delivery. The more titles on your list, the longer you’re going to be with them, and the more titles they stagger in delivery, the more longer you’re going to be with them.

Anyway, if you are afflicted by the above,

...or other nonsense, don't get angry. Get more than even. How? Simple. Cancel your account, and sign up again with a 1 or 2 month free subscription trial. The dvds you get during that time should more than make up for any cons these bastards might pull on you. That's the way i deal with all corporations who try to mess around with the people.



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