I have always been intrigued by the idea of Zip.ca. I am a self confessed movie hound, but with the prices of buying movies and the cost of renting, I have always wanted a cheaper alternative. The idea of Zip: $11 a month, they ship you movies from a list that you decide (you don’t pick the exact movie), and you just mail it back. It sounds pretty good.

I had some concern over the relative inefficiency of CanadaPost -which has affected me already- but I was happy to see that there was a service called ZipRefill. Very simple, you mark online when you have returned a movie, and they will send you a new one before they actually receive it. Or so they say.

With this information, I decided to take the plunge and try the two week free trial. It took a few days from the time that I signed up and started making a list for a Blu-Ray to actually ship. I don’t know if they have very little stock in terms of Blu-Rays but it definitely took longer than I was expecting. Anyway, it shipped from Ottawa and arrived the next day, that was good. It took me a few days to watch it and then I marked it as returned -dropped it in the outgoing mail at work the next day. Still it took a day after they received it for a new movie to be shipped. The next one shipped from Toronto. It shipped on a Friday and was estimated to arrive on the next Wednesday, to me that is too long, with some interesting weather and general CanadaPost crappyness it took two extra days to arrive -a full week. Due to some other unforeseen incidents it took me the better part of a week to watch it. On the Friday I marked it as returned, and its Tuesday now and they haven’t sent out a new one.

How did the two week trial go? Well I got to see exactly 1 movie. Is this a good deal? No not really. You aren’t going to get to see any extra movies than if you rented. Couple that with the incoveniance of not getting the exact movie you want to watch, but rather a random one from a list of at least 20 -they say that it the minimum number- and I would say its not worth it. I think I am going to go through the process with two more movies. If either of them takes more than a week from the time I marked the previous one as returned, then I’m done.  So far this is a big thumbs down for Zip.ca.