Tag Archives: Zip.ca

Goodbye Zip! Hello Zip!

Yesterday I cancelled our Zip.ca account. Why? Because Zip.ca now has competition in town – itself!

We’ve been with Zip.ca for well over a year now on the 1 DVD unlimited plan and it worked out quite nicely. We’d (typically) get a new DVD from our ZipList to watch every weekend. All for the low price of ~$13/month. That’s much better than the ~$6 the local rental place charged for a night. Things went smashingly for a year and then Zip.ca changed their plans…

Due to rising costs (understandable), they increased the monthly charge for the 1 DVD plan so now it was just over $14/month. That’s a reasonable amount considering we were getting 4-5 DVDs a month. Again, much less than the ~$6 the local rental place was charging. BUT, the biggest change that screws up the whole thing for us is that they no longer allow DVDs to “cross in the mail” on the 1 DVD plan. Bummer.

When DVDs can “cross in the mail”, you’d mark the DVD as returned the day you toss it in the mailbox. Usually at the end of that same day (sometimes the next day), Zip.ca would send you a new DVD. This way if I tossed a DVD in the mailbox on Monday morning, a new one would be sent out Monday or Tuesday. That means we’d actually get it on Thursday or Friday (for some reason, mail takes a long time to get into our PO Box at the Post Office in our town, but that’s a rant for another time).

The Zip.ca red envelopes that DVDs are mailed out in

The Zip.ca red mailer envelopes that are used to send DVDs to customers.

Without the ability for DVDs to “cross in the mail”, Zip now won’t send a new DVD until they receive our old one. That means if I drop it in the mail on Monday, they get it Tuesday or Wednesday, send us a new one Wednesday or Thursday and we might get it the next Monday, most likely Tuesday. Well, that just doesn’t work very well for us as we typically want the DVD for the weekend. Bam, now we’re basically down to only getting a DVD every two weeks. That ~$14/month is no longer a good deal if that’s how we use the Zip.ca account.

Well, we had a slight problem (was actually a mistake on my part – Ooops!) in December and I contacted Zip.ca. They were kind enough to help me see what I had done wrong but they also pointed out something we didn’t know – there was now a Zip rental kiosk in one of the local grocery stores. I’m sure you’re saying “so what?” right about now so I’m, going to tell you.

The Zip Kiosk rents DVDs for $1/day, or Blu Ray and new release DVDs for $2/day. DAMN! Not only is that a better deal than the local rental place, it’s a better deal than Zip.ca itself!

On our Zip.ca plan, we can only get DVDs and new release DVDs are nearly impossible to get. With the Zip Kiosk, we can drop in Friday or Saturday and grab a DVD <angelic choir>or even a Blu Ray!</angelic choir> for $2! Then we just take it back the next day. Some would consider this inconvenient but given that we don’t have home mail delivery, we always had to go out to get our Zip DVD anyways and after you watched it, you have to find a mailbox ASAP to toss it in so you could get the next DVD sent out.

Yeah, so Goodbye Zip! Hello Zip!

Yes, we might not be able to get the exact movie we want but that’s no different than Zip.ca right now. If there’s nothing we want to watch, we save ourselves $2. And this way we always get something that The Boss (or the Princesses)  is in the “mood” to watch.

At the moment you can also go to the Zip website and request a free rental code via email. Yeah, it’s only worth up to $2 but it’s a free rental!

Click to go to the Zip Kiosk locator tool

No more Bell (ExpressVu) TV

As of tomorrow we will no longer have Bell (ExpressVu) TV. We finally pulled the plug on the dish and I don’t think we’re going to miss it.

We’ve been giving Bell $80 a month for something we barely use anymore. That’s almost $1000 a year! Other than watching most of the NHL playoffs (much of which I watched on the second TV that only has rabbit ears!) I think I’ve watched a total of maybe 20 hours since Christmas. The Boss has watched more but not by much. We just don’t have time anymore. Well, that and I’m still pissed with Bell and have been putting this off for far too long. ;)

Now, don’t get me wrong, we’re still planning on watching TV. We can pull a surprising amount of stuff Over The Air (OTA) with our little rabbit ears. All of the major Canadian networks come in. I’m tempted to cruise the garage sales and spend a couple bucks to get a better antenna that I can put up in the attic to see if I can improve the reception. Supposedly I can get some US stations too if I get a digital box and a good antenna. Not sure if I’m ready to try that though.

If we had an HDTV, I’d already have an antenna setup to get the CBCHD feed. A lot of people I know are doing this, even though they already are paying big bucks for Bell or Rogers HD. Why? Because the CBCHD OTA feed is apparently uncompressed which means there are none of those crappy digital artifacts. Both Rogers and Bell compress the hell out of most of their channels, HD or not.

Anyhoo, another thing we’re doing is we’ve joined Zip.ca (on the basic $11/month plan) which is a DVD rental thing all done through the mail. They have thousands of DVDs, including kids stuff and TV shows. Since we’ve missed nearly every popular TV show in the last 4 years, I think we have a good selection of stuff to watch to “catch up” with the rest of the world. ;)I think we should be able to get 4-5 DVDs a month. Our first arrived yesterday – only two days after signing up. If you’re thinking of signing up with Zip.ca, let me know and I’ll send you a referral email. That way you can give us a little kick back and help our TV viewing. ;)

Also, we’ve had great experiences with downloading and/or streaming stuff from online. We actually started doing this a while back because the stupid Bell TV PVR stopped recording certain shows for some reason. I don’t know if Bell blocked them intentionally or not but shows like Survivor, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy never recorded properly in the last year. We’d end up with an hour long show but it would just freeze if you tried to play it. So, I turned to the net and we were able to watch the episodes we had missed.

If we decide that Zip.ca isn’t really working out, we could also put some of the $80 a month we’re not spending on Bell TV towards buying full seasons of TV shows and movies, or just renting DVDs from the local DVD place. We can also turn to the iTunes Music Store as they have TV shows and movies you can purchase and download.

Finally, we may cave yet and get basic cable from Cogeco (the cable TV provider where we live). Their basic package offers up nearly all the channels we want for around $35 a month. And the channels it doesn’t have, well, we’ll just get used to not having them. ;)