Best Buy Pledges $50 For Each HD DVD Buyer; Trade-Ins, Too

Apparently, the cost of Best Buy declaring Blu-ray the winner is $10 million—at least, that's how much it plans to give away when it issues a $50 gift card to everyone who bought an HD DVD player or HD DVD Xbox drive before February 23. (So, BB sold at least 200,000 HD DVD players in 2006 and 2007?) And it's not even something you have to fight for: If you are in the Reward Zone program, bought it with a Performance Service Plan or just made the transaction on BestBuy.com, the company will send you a card by May 1. If you paid cash at a store, though, you'll have to dig out that receipt. The company, like its competitor Circuit City, is also offering trade-ins for players and discs, regardless of where you bought them, through BB's online trade-in center. Make the jump for extra details.

Best Buy Stands Behind Customers By Awarding More Than $10 Million in Gift Cards to HD-DVD Purchasers

Leading Consumer Electronics Retailer will Send $50 Gift Cards to Customers Who Purchased an HD-DVD Player from Best Buy in the U.S.

MINNEAPOLIS —(Business Wire)— Mar. 19, 2008 With Blu-ray declaring victory over HD-DVD in the high definition movie format war, Best Buy, the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, is giving $50 gift cards to customers who purchased an HD-DVD player or HD-DVD attachment from its U.S. stores before February 23, 2008. Customers will get a gift card for each player or HD-DVD attachment that they purchased. Through this program, Best Buy will distribute more than $10 million in gift cards to customers across the country.

"The DVD format war has divided our customers in a way we haven't seen since Betamax took on VHS more than 20 years ago," said Brian J. Dunn, president and chief operating officer for Best Buy. "At Best Buy, we understood and shared our customers' frustrations as they were being asked to choose one format or the other. Now that the format war is over, we hope these gift cards will reassure our customers that we will help them make a smooth transition into the right technology for their needs."

Most Best Buy customers won't have to do anything to receive their gift card. As a demonstration of its commitment to its customers, Best Buy will proactively mail cards to all customers that the company can identify as having purchased an HD-DVD player. Members of the Best Buy Reward Zone program, customers who purchased Performance Service Plans (PSPs) or who made their purchase on BestBuy.com should look for their gift cards in the mail by May 1. Other customers who may not be easily identified can call (888) BEST BUY to receive their gift cards with proof of purchase through a credit card or their Best Buy receipt.

"The beauty of this offer is that it doesn't require our customers to give up their HD-DVD player," said Barry Judge, chief marketing officer for Best Buy. "We know that many people who purchased these players have HD-DVD movies that they would like to continue to watch. We're telling our customers they can keep their players to play these movies as well as their older DVDs and use the $50 to treat themselves to anything else in our stores."

HD-DVD players can actually deliver greatly enhanced video performance with standard DVDs by upconverting the video resolution.

Beginning on March 21, customers who do want to get rid of their HD-DVD players can visit Best Buy's Online Trade-In Center at http://www.bestbuytradein.com. Visitors to the site will receive instant estimates of the value of their HD-DVD players and movies. Those who agree with the estimates can then ship their goods to the Trade-In Center free of charge by downloading a prepaid shipping label and will receive an additional gift card as payment for their trade-in. This service is open to HD-DVD owners regardless of where they bought their player.

For more information visit http://www.bestbuy.com/hddvd.