Trying to appease customers who ended up on the losing side of the recent high-definition movie format war, Best Buy on Wednesday said it would hand out $50 gift cards to buyers of HD DVD players. By surrendering to Sony-backed Blu-ray last month, Toshiba-led proponents of HD DVD left player owners holding devices reduced to playing standard DVDs. To make amends, Best Buy plans to distribute more than $10 million in gift cards to people who bought players from the retailer before Feb. 23. The cards should start arriving by mail by May 1. “At Best Buy, we understood and shared our customers’ frustrations as they were being asked to choose one format or the other,” Dunn said in a statement.

“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.” Best Buy plans to mail gift cards to customers the company can identify as HD DVD buyers. To do that, Best Buy will depend on information gathered through its membership program, purchases on the retailer’s Web site, and the purchase of service plans. Other customers with proof of purchase through a credit card or Best Buy receipt can request a gift card by calling 888-Best-Buy. “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,” said Barry Judge, chief marketing officer for Best Buy.

Source: Information Week