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GreenCine / lousy rental service

1 CA, United States Review updated:
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I'm just copying what I wrote at Yelp:

GreenCine Video Rental

Category: Videos and Video Game Rental
1 star rating
Pretty long, p***** off review ahead, but I can back it up.

In theory, GreenCine should be the best DVD rental company out there: They genuinely seem to care about movies and creating a community at their site for like-minded folks.

Unfortunately, reality intrudes. They don't stock lots of movies or TV shows which should be no-brainers. Their search engine is absolutely awful, even if you're using the advanced search. (I can't tell you how many times I coudn't find a movie by some director and would have to pull up a different one of the director's films and click the director's name to pull up other titles. Shouldn't the movie title or the director's name be enough to search with? Guess not.)

Then: the quantity of available titles is just this side of miserable. Yes, they do indicate which titles are in supply from green (most available) to blue to yellow to orange to red, but even when I would leave yellow and orange titles in the top forty or so in my queue, over a period of three months I never got a single one. Not one. (I think I got a couple of blue ones.) And we're not talking about the level zero availability: unless the title I was requesting was "available now" (which the green bar indicates), 98% of the time, it wouldn't be shipped to me. So even though I had a two- or three-at-a-time account, sometimes an entire week would go by with none of my fifty or so titles shipping.

What value!

-- and the shipping is slow. Unless you're in southern California, you can forget about getting your movie a day or two after it ships. More than once, I waited four days or more -- and I'm in San Jose, California.

Compounding the troubles even further: the discs are in really bad shape. Over a period of three months, I'd say that probably three discs ever played all the way through. Most were scratched or scuffed so badly I'd be ashamed to lend them out. Some -- the menus wouldn't even load.

Customer service is less than helpful about these things, and very slow to respond, if they respond at all. Regarding availability issues, I was told to load up the queue with more movies in the "green bar" range. Why should my selection be modified so that I'm mainly renting movies in which I have no interest? The company advertises itself as one which caters to film buffs: so why should, say, "After Hours, " "The Limey, " or "The Dark Knight's" bonus disc be so tough to get? These aren't exactly obscure movies.*

But at least, on that issue, I got some sort of an answer, wrong-headed as it was. When I questioned why GreenCine sends out movies in such poor shape -- or even when I just stated flatly that I was unhappy with the service -- my issues were never addressed.

On top of all this, it's more expensive than their competitors. More expensive for less availability, slower shipping, and terrible customer service. Think it over.

Lousy, lousy rental company. If zero stars were possible, I'd still go with a one star rating, because, to be fair, some of the site content is pretty good, though it's still no destination site.


*By the way, I canceled my account and restarted with Netflix (which I'm also not completely crazy about, but they're better than these folks). Rented "After Hours" and the first two discs of a season of "The Shield" GreenCine didn't have. Placed my order in the late afternoon Thursday and had all three discs in my mailbox Saturday. No problems with condition on two of the three I've played so far, either.

We try to support independent companies over the corporations, but, you know, sometimes the corporations really do do it better, and then it's kind of like tilting at windmills to reward a company like GreenCine for doing it worse AND more expensively.

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  • Da
      21st of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    Totally Agree

    A very similar experience. I joined GreenCine looking for a less commercial expreince than what I expected Netflix or Blockbuster would be. It has not gone well.

    For the first months their catalog offered some new variety, enough to keep DVD’s coming as per the 2 or 3 per month agreement, but using their color-coded availability system, the reality is that only green (highest availability) films ever ship…and logically enough, those are mostly the same films you can get anywhere else. After you’ve run out the unique green coded films you want to see, nothing else is coming (there are three other colors, but practically speaking, all mean the same: not available). I’ve had films in my queue for several YEARS now that - trust me – are never, ever coming.

    I’ve argued and pleaded for explanations, and the advice is always the same – “Put more green selections in your queue.” You always are routed to the same service rep (and only available by email), so once they’ve had their say, expect to hear nothing more. What the company is selling – a better choice of independent and off-the-beaten-path films…is bogus, as they just don’t have the films (maybe at one point they had one copy?), nor any reasonable explanation about nothing being shipped.

    Customer service quit responding to my pleas and requests. Simply no response.

    When I received a broken disc and asked for a “credit” and another film to be sent (one in excess of my monthly to make up for the lost one), they said “we don’t do credits.”

    Did I mention customer service doesn’t even acknowledge my emails? Their responses ended when I inconveniently pointed out they were advertising and promoting rental of a film that month on their newsletter that had been in my queue for almost a year – in effect advertising what obviously was unavailable.

    Full disclosure – I am ending the membership this month. There are 25 movies in my queue as I write this, and I received two films in the last month and a half – both green codes and widely available elsewhere. SO:

    Price – fair; terrible if you consider you pay to get almost nothing many months Availability – poor
    Shipping and Turnaround - was better before they moved to LA area
    Customer Support – poor; and no choice of contacts (one address, and they decide)

    If you’re thinking of trying this supposedly “alternative” company, think carefully about what you’ll do when customer support has had their say and won’t respond further to your good faith efforts to communicate. Then look carefully at their catalog for what you might want and pay attention to the color system. If it isn’t green, it isn’t coming. I’ve been a member for 3+ years, and I’ve had it – we did cancel for a few months once, then decided to try them one more time. Same experience both times.

  • La
      8th of May, 2014
    0 Votes

    I have been with greencine for over a month. I have the two-at-a-time (8 max a month) but I did not get to that max! Even though I have plenty of GREEN status movies in my queue, I have to send an EMAIL to customer service to tell them that nothing in my queue has shipped and that my SENT status was empty! Sent being dvd's that they have sent out but not received back. You would think that an empty sent queue would automatically trigger the next available dvd in my queue be shipped to me.

    Movies that I have sent back take 5 to 7 days to clear my queue which extends the time it takes them to ship the next. This means that the total turn-around is about 9 to 10 days. That means that I get 6 dvds a month, not 8.

    I do not think I will be with greencine long and with Netflix not replacing dvd's that get broken or scratched to the point of not playing, I am in need of finding another company that does a decent online rental. (I am not into streaming).

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