Intelliflix went out of business amid a major court case which alleged they lied about their inventory size and treated customers extremely poorly. We have to admit we were fooled, as the site and service seemed pretty good; as it is we keep this old review up the way it was for posterity.
Intelliflix is a major player with large inventory (60,000+ films) and a solid website. In fact, in a head-to-head comparison with Netflix, Blockbuster, Gameznflix, and DVD Avenue, NBC New York found them the best deal..
Launched in 2004, Intelliflix uses nine distribution facilities, as well as a nationwide network of independent video retailers to service customers. They also ship six days a week, which should speed titles to your mailbox.
The website itself is very well-designed. They have a "Pic-N-Drag" system that allows you to arrange your priority viewing queue simply by dragging and dropping titles, no waiting for the site to refresh, entering new numbers, etc. as often on other sites; they've made the process incredibly intuitive.
Likewise, Intelliflix's Queue Wizard helps you easily create lists of films to see based on favorite actors, actresses, and directors. Unlike some sites, they will let you know when a DVD or game is Rare or High Demand before you enter a title into your queue, honest and useful to know.
Intelliflix is also up front in its FAQ that they don't buy massive numbers of new release games or movies as soon as they come out, and it may take a couple weeks to see these latest blockbusters. This won't be a problem for most customers, but is something to be realistic about; even Netflix and Blockbuster struggle on this new release issue.
One of the best aspects of Intelliflix, which will appeal to family renters, is they are one of the only DVD rental sites that let you set up "subaccounts." This allows you to allocate say one of the three available discs in the subscription to another person in your household, perfect for kids--you could get one disc slot, one child another, and a second kid a third slot, to keep everyone happy. Needless to say, it's important to set up the parental controls, to block access to mature themes, especially as Intelliflix has a large adult selection.
Their most useful feature is "Coming Back"; a button which lets you tell Intelliflix you've popped a DVD in the mail, and they'll go ahead and mail you the next available item on your list without waiting to receive your return; the value of this feature should not be underestimated, as it can shave days off the return cycle, especially if you're not very close to one of the nine distribution centers.
Intelliflix has an excellent star rating system and allows you to read other customers' reviews. Likewise, we like their email system letting you know when discs have been shipped as well as when they've been received at their end.
However, the site appears to have been restructuring recently; web analytics show Intelliflix's visitors fell from a peak of some 150,000 in November 2006 to a more modest 50,000 a year later. Likewise, Intelliflix ended its video game rental program in June 2007, citing the continually changing games market and their desire to focus on film rentals. With luck, this will result in continued growth and success, something we'll monitor in the coming months.
We hear their customer service generally takes a day or two to respond to complaints, and are often generic, but if you persist you will likely get a personal reply. This is an issue with nearly all DVD rental companies, which rely on low manning and overheads, and shouldn't dissuade you, just something to keep in mind. They do not have customer service telephone support, again, they are up front in their FAQ that the average customer call costs about $7 to facilitate, costs which would be passed down to members. Absent those, they are able to keep among the lowest costs in the business. If you think you'll need lots of help or have problems, Intelliflix is probably not for you, and best stick with a more expensive service with a phone line, but the vast majority of users should be fine with just the slightly slower email help tool. We've also heard complaints about timeliness of mailings and alleged throttling back on high volume renters--something to keep in mind.
Prices: Intelliflix does not offer a free trial. They only have one subscription for unlimited rentals by month, 3 out at a time for $19.95 per month. However, they also have an incredibly cheap annual deal, for 3 discs out unlimited, if you pay $119.70 up front, he price averages to only $9.98 a month--half price. For a package including adult films, the tariffs are considerably more expensive, $27.95 for 3 discs out unlimited, $5.99 for 2 discs total in the month, or $167.70 for one year of 3 out unlimited rentals, averaging at a reasonable $13.98 per month.
They offer an impressive 14-day grace period after canceling subscription to return your rentals.