Readers of Gizmodo and Digg have been able to confirm Circuit City's not-so-secret-anymore HD DVD for Blu-Ray player trade-in offer a Circuit City employee told us about yesterday morning. One report from a Giz reader says that he used the offer to get a new PlayStation 3. In addition to this, we just got all the dirt in the internal memo, aptly titled "HD DVD - The End," which allegedly was posted in an internal Circuit City forum:
HD DVD - The End. Toshiba stated in a press release that they will stop manufacturing and selling HD DVD players. The marketplace has spoken in favour of Blu-ray. We are delighted that consumers now will be able to invest with confidence in next-generation video disc players and titles. Based on Toshiba's announcement, we expect to phase out HD DVD players and movie titles in our stores and on our Web site in the near future. FAQs
Why will Circuit City continue to sell HD DVD players for the near future?
There are large numbers of HD DVD movie titles still in circulation and some customers will want to be able to view those titles.
Also, HD DVD players are very affordable and will continue to play and up-convert standard DVDs with improved quality. So, during the phase-out, some customers will want a DVD player equipped with upconvert technology (and the ability to play HD DVD titles).
When will HD DVD players and movie titles disappear from our stores and Web site?
That will happen in the near future, depending on sell-through rates while HD DVD products go on clearance. We have implemented the following price changes (make sure your floor is tagged correctly):
These are fully functioning "upconverting" HD/DVD players that are now competitively priced!
And, of course, don't forget the HDMI cable!
What about my HD DVD Endcap?
We're developing an alternate plan over the next couple of weeks. Please keep it up in the meantime.
Important: About Returns
Q; What about customers who may try to return an HD DVD player - even if they have owned it for several months?
A: We do not want to upset our valued customers. For this special circumstance, we are happy to offer an exchange for a Blu-ray player (customer pays any difference in purchase price) - even if it has been several months since the customer made their HD DVD player purchase. If the customer does not want a Blu-ray player, we can issue a gift card refund for their original purchase price. For products purchased in the last 30 days, handle as usual.
(Note: all open-box and defective Toshiba HD DVD players are Return-to-Vendor and must be sent back to Toshiba.)
As per policy, we will not accept refunds of opened HD DVD software.
It keeps surprising me that they are not promoting this widely. Even if it seems it will cost them money, it can benefit Circuit City in the medium and long term. First, it makes them appear cool to their customer base. Then, it gets customers back in the store for a new—and probably more expensive—Blu-ray player. And if the customer gets back for that, he will probably spend money on new things, like Blu-ray movies. If you are Circuit City customer who is going to try the trade-in, remember to post back here with your experience.
Beware: apparently you will have to go to the actual shop to get the exchange. The online customer care is denying the deal, according to mails forwarded by a Gizmodo reader.