I never paid much attention to the big red vending machines that have been popping up outside grocery stores in our area. I heard a friend talking about renting a movie from the “big red box” and how easy it was. So we stopped by on our way out of the grocery store and Redbox has definitely gained a customer.
Those of you that know me know I’m all for instant, downloadable gratification. Why go out to rent a movie when I can click a mouse and be watching it before you’d be back from the store? Redbox allows you to rent DVDs for $1 a day. That’s it. No membership. No application. Just select a movie, swipe your credit card, and within seconds you’re on your way home with a movie. As long as you return it by 9pm the next day you’re fine. If not, Redbox takes $1 from your credit card until you return it or you hit $25, which ever comes first.
But Redbox wins in an area I never expected – availability. We wanted to see the movie Baby Mama but it is not available for rental through iTunes and a few other places until 10/8. I could have downloaded it from Amazon.com for $14.99, but there is no way that was going to happen. Too much money. Redbox had it on their new releases sign but it was out of stock, so we picked another movie. The next morning I went online to Redbox.com, searched for Baby Mama, entered my zip code, and Redbox showed me all the Redboxes in our area and Baby Mama’s availability. Since it was now available at the Redbox we just rented from I rented it online and Redbox reserved it for me on that machine. Isn’t connectivity grand?
The really nice thing is you can return the movie to any Redbox, it does not have to be the one you rented from. Since I entered my email address when we rented a movie, I now get email confirmations for rentals, returns, etc. immediately. And I do mean immediately, as I was getting the emails while still standing at the Redbox. Nice touch.
So, current movies, decent availability, online reservation, returns wherever I want, email confirmation, no membership, and $1 rental fee. Looks like someone figured out how to get me out of the house to rent a movie again.
So why can’t iTunes and Amazon rent movies at the same time? Nice job Redbox.