Amazon Unbox - Utter and Complete Irritation

I gave Amazon Unbox the old 2.0 college try over the past week out of desperation. The promise remains, but I am completely and utterly disappointed in Amazon Unbox rentals. The summary:

  • While the software installed smoothly, my rental at didn't even register with my player for over 24 hours!
  • It would have been faster to order a Netflix movie through the mail than it took me to receive the Unbox download for my rental once it started
  • The 24 hours to watch your rental once you start is utterly foolish

Here's the whole story. I was stuck in my hospital room with only the Season 1 House DVD to keep me company and a wireless connection. Since I had a fever and a chest tube I wasn't really going to spend any time working (sorry...). My friend offered me her account to rent a movie from Amazon Unbox.

I downloaded the software and installed it, no problem...oh, I had to reboot before it ran but I've been there before with Amazon (see a prior post).

I launched and found "The Bourne Identity" and hit the rental button. The terms were interesting, I have 30 days to watch it once its downloaded, but I have to watch the whole thing in 24 hours once I start. No problem, I'm in a hospital bed.

The download didn't even REGISTER with the software for over a day, then once it started downloading, it took over 36 hours to download! UNBELIEVABLE. By the time it downloaded I was SO frustrated I didn't even watch it at the hospital.

So, I started watching it last night...I'm still in recovery so I only got about 30 minutes in and had to tune out to catch some rest. I ran up to my room to beat the 24 hour deadline tonight, and I seemed to have made it. At the 1:20 mark (a 1:40 long movie), my screen saver kicked in. Ouch, I flicked the mouse, no picture...sound, but no picture. I played around to no avail so I restarted Amazon Unbox. My 24 hours had expired!!!!!!! My video was gone with 20 minutes left to watch.


The worst part? When I was getting the details on the rental times for this blog post I "1 clicked" and re-rented the @)(#$&\*#&$ movie for another 3.99. GAGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Amazon Unbox, I have tried you twice. This time you completely and utterly failed me when I needed you. To be honest, I don't really give three strikes to things. I registered my Tivo with your service but I am going to have to pass until I find better rental terms and a guaranteed delivery time. If you can't beat a Netflix Rental by snail mail, you really don't deserve to be in this game and, further, if you are going to force me to watch a movie in my hectic life within 24 hours of when I first press play, you have SERIOUSLY miscalculated my lifestyle.

The worst part of this experience? DUDE, I WAS DEPENDING ON YOU TO ENTERTAIN ME WHEN I WAS KNOCKED OUT IN A HOSPITAL ROOM, it was your PERFECT chance to shine...and you struck out in so many ways.

Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs / Amazon Unbox Video / Change/Remove

To reiterate, I won't try you on my Tivo and your software is gone. Here is what you have to change before I install you again:

  • Guaranteed delivery time (sorry, I know its hard, but you have ways to calculate overall connection it)
  • A "panic" button if your download doesn't start
  • 30 days to download and watch the program, no 1 day limit once its started...end of story


We have been using unbox quite a bit recently. We have it going to our Tivo rather than to a PC though. It takes about two hours to download and up to two hours to start downloading, so it isn't good for impulse watching. And about one in six movies fail to download at all, as you saw. It that case a call to Amazon usually clears it up, sometimes it takes two. A panic button would be great. And that 24 hour thing is dumb. I often watch a few minutes here and a few minutes there over several days, so unbox is useless unless I can get enough time at once.

Posted by Brian Utterback on July 17, 2007 at 02:54 AM MDT #

Hi Paul - Sorry you had such a rough experience with Unbox. I've been researching the problem you talked about and I would like to get some more information from you when you have a chance. Feel free to contact me directly at the address I specified. Thanks. -- Sam

Posted by Sam Gigliotti on July 17, 2007 at 07:23 AM MDT #

Maybe Bit Torrent? It's nice to hear that you are doing well enough to get frustrated at though.

Posted by sloanasaurus on July 17, 2007 at 07:35 AM MDT #

Perhaps I'll try the Tivo model based on your recommendation...I've always believed that it is where Unbox would thrive, there is something magical about an appliance model. I am curious if my Tivo becomes a seed, I do know Amazon "gets" BitTorrent...and it is CERTAINLY what I would do, there must be tons of free bandwidth and processing available on our Tivos during the average day...heck, Seti@Home should abduct all of them, why not?

Sam, I will drop you an email...I "do" believe in Unbox, don't get me wrong and I would be glad to help with the technical part, but that 24 hour rule is a bigger problem than any technical glitch will ever be. Perhaps this is a negotiation with the movie studios, but loosening this is paramount, especially on Tivo.

Posted by Paul Monday on July 17, 2007 at 07:59 AM MDT #

OK, thanks. You are correct about the 24 hour limitation - it's a provision specified by the content owners. I can't promise anything, but we are certainly aware of this complaint and are working on extending the time.

Posted by Sam Gigliotti on July 17, 2007 at 08:18 AM MDT #

[Trackback] amazon プロフィール検索 動画検索 画像検索

Posted by いま話題の検索語とは? on July 19, 2007 at 10:04 PM MDT #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.



« July 2016