/ Home & Energy, Technology

LoveFilm comes a’knocking: do you mind doorstep selling?

LoveFilm logo

The other day, a caller came to my house. My girlfriend answered the door to a young man making small talk about the weather. Perplexed – she asked who it was. ‘Oh’ he replied, ‘I’m just here from LoveFilm.’

Now, there’s nothing wrong with companies selling their services to consumers in a range of different ways, but door-to-door selling is rarely popular with the public. It’s often intrusive to have a person arrive at your home and attempt to sell you a product or service face-to-face.

But what made the visit to my house all the more strange is that LoveFilm isn’t selling life’s essentials – it’s selling entertainment. More specifically, LoveFilm sells movie rentals and video on-demand.

Video on-demand goes door-to-door

LoveFilm started using field sales techniques in 2011, but quickly had to defend its strategy after BBC Watchdog exposed one of its third-party agents for mis-selling. LoveFilm apologised at the time and said it had suspended the third-party agency involved.

So LoveFilm is now using doorstep sellers to recruit subscribers from their homes. Again, if this is done respectfully, then fair enough. But there are always lingering concerns when it comes to door-to-door selling. My girlfriend was able to say ‘no thanks’ to the man who came to our door and he didn’t push it any further.

But there has been plenty of evidence in the past of the potential darker side of door-to-door selling, including people being cajoled into signing up to deals they don’t really want. In some cases, they may do it just to get rid of the sales agent who has talked their way into the living room.

The gloves have come off

Our visit from LoveFilm does show that competition for digital entertainment subscribers is getting fierce. Following the arrival of well-funded competitors in the market, particularly US media giant Netflix and the Sky-owned NOW TV, LoveFilm has decided it’s time for the gloves to come off.

So, don’t be surprised if someone calls at your door soon hoping to discuss the weather and on-demand movies. Would you be angry to find a film-subscription salesman at your door? Or would you welcome the chance to find out more about the service?


LoveFilm have been round here twice.

I just tell them I illegally download films. Don’t really as I buy my films on DVD but love the face they make!

Oh and we get Virgin every 3 months or so too.

Martin Atkinson says:
16 May 2013

I have Lovefilm online.
although its a brilliant service i do find that netflix is far superior.

if they knocked on my door i just wouldnt aswer.

i have often been asked my love film employees on the street, “do i enjoy watching films” i always reply “who doesnt” hahahahahahaha

Knocking on my door is a good way of ensuring that I will not use a company. Almost as good as making an unsolicited phone call.

If companies give consistently good service to existing customers, they are likely to be recommended to others.

I’m with you on that one, Wavechange. Personally, I can’t stand having unsolicited callers at my house – and the visit would immediately breed ill-will.

I should have a sign asking people not to call, but when I see the usual ‘No hawkers etc’ notices, they look rather hostile.

You need to be hostile to these companies. They’re providing cover for ne’er do wells to come round the doors and case the joint for signs of removable wealth. At one property we have a sign but people still turn up at the door, and junk leaflets get left half-out of letterboxes, a good sign that the place is empty if you can’t clear it regularly. There should be some legal protection to prevent unsolicited sales visits, in the same way as unsolicited phone calls – oh, wait, the British Government doesn’t do anything about them either.

I like LoveFilm, but I HATE doorstep selling by anybody … and it makes me less likely to do business with them in future.

Nick says:
24 May 2013

I personaly dont mind doorstep sales, If i dont want something they are selling i will kindly refuse and wish them luck getting sales, They are only out to do a job and not sitting around on the dole or using tax payers money getting benefits. I think we are lucky in this country what we actualy have and what we are offered on a daily basis, Look at the bigger picture of those less fortunate and cant have this sort of stuff, I have no time for toffee nose people at all!!!

Graham M says:
23 August 2013

loveFilm have lost control of their marketing and damaging their brand

I have a sign on my door clearly stating no cold callers. loveFilm representatives repeatedly ignore this sign and call at the door. When I report this to loveFilm they apologize and promise that it will not happen again, but a few weeks later they are back.

loveFilm have clearly no control over their sales process.