Pricewarring With Walmart, Best Buy Replaces Backordered HD DVD Players With Upgraded Ones

Best Buy met one of Walmart’s “secret deals” punch for punch but soon found itself in a bind trying to go up against the discount retailer. Walmart was selling Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD players for $98.97. BestBuy countered by dropping the price on theirs to $99.99. There was a run in-store and online quickly ran into backorders, backorders which would probably be never fulfilled, seeing as the Toshiba HD-A2 is a discontinued product. BestBuy could have told all the shoppers to shove it, but instead Best Buy said they would fulfill the orders with the HD-A3, retailing normally for $299.99.

Good for you Best Buy, we festoon your head with laurels and shower your body with ripe grapes for deciding not to ruin your reputation at the beginning of what promises to be a tight shopping season.

Best Buy Replaces Backordered $99 Toshiba HD-A2s with HD-A3s [DailyTech]


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  1. headon says:

    You can bet that the exec that made this decision is out looking for a job today. Customer satisfaction is completely against Best Buy corporate ploicy.

  2. theblackdog says:

    All those customers are going to blame Wal-Mart and Best Buy if Blu-Ray ends up being the dominant format.

  3. MattO says:

    is this confirmed that they actually shipped the pricier units? i was at the checkout page on best buy deciding whether to pull the trigger or not, and ended up missing the deal, but ppl in the forums are all saying their status is showing the more expensive unit as in progress/ready to ship/shipped, but i havent seen any who actually received them yet…unless i missed it.

  4. Exek says:

    How long will it take for consumerist to receive the first email complaining that they got the HD-A2 instead of the HD-A3 and that it’s not fair the other customers got the HD-A3 for the same price and that best buy wont upgrade them for free.

  5. Sidecutter says:

    @theblackdog: Yeah, Blu-Ray is doing so well. What with the massively larger installed-user base of HD-DVD, the much lower cost of hardware entry, and the studios jumping ship to HD or at least splitting to do both thanks to HD’s larger user base.

    There’s also the weak compression of Bu-Ray working against them, forcing them to cut extras that stay on HD-DVD just to fit the entire movie and sound cuts on the disc, despite BD discs being signifigantly larger in capcity.

    Yep, that Blu-Ray is really being handled well for success…

  6. nffcnnr says:

    Sounds like BB is going above and beyond in this instance. Don’t count your chickens, though. A word of warning to those getting the A3 at $99.99: Check your credit card statement. i could easily see customers being charged more than $99.99 due to “computer error” or some similar crap, then having to deal w/red tape to get the difference back. Remember who you’re dealing with here, folks! Caveat emptor.

  7. Coder4Life says:

    I got the toshiba a-2 hd dvd player… It’s ok, let me tell you something though, you gotta do a firmware upgrade soon as you open it which takes 20 – 30 minutes on high speed… NOT FUN.

    Oh you dont have high speed… YOU ARE SCREWED.. You wont be watching any HD DVD.

    The things a piece of crap… why buy it?

    I found one place in IOwa that rented HD-DVD and they had a selection of 5. But everyone had BLU-RAY and sections for it…

    I rented NEXT and i was not amazed by the picture quality by any means either…

  8. Buran says:

    It’s still Best Buy and Wal-Mart. I’m still not interested.

  9. chrispc24 says:

    I got one of these at Wal-Mart on Friday. 40 people showed up for the $349 laptop and this player. They had 20 of each. I already had the first generation model, and this one is a nice upgrade. It’s smaller, faster, and seems to work a bit better. My movies worked without a firmware upgrade, but I did one anyway. BTW, Blu-ray players also require firmware updates, but don’t have Ethernet ports (except for the PS3).

  10. Buran says:

    @Coder4Life: WTF? It’s an appliance. You should be able to just plug it in and have it go. If they don’t fix that, fuck that.

  11. scoosdad says:

    @Coder4Life: What high-def display were you viewing it on, and how did you have it connected?

  12. bilge says:

    @Coder4Life: According to the documentation, you can have Toshiba send you a CD with the update. I’m running it on a 1080i Samsung CRT (component video) and analog audio to my AV receiver.

    Serenity never looked so good.

  13. Trick says:

    The Consumerist is happy with Best Buy????

    Damn, that was one really ugly pig that just flew by my window.

    I wouldn’t have gotten the upgrade because I would never have bought from Best Buy.


    Glad to see that a good sale will drive you back into the arms of the beast.

    I’m sure Best Buy doesn’t notice that those “who never shop there” are now giddy as ever too…

  14. MitchEvious says:

    I called my local best buy to ask if there was any chance of them shipping my A2. They told me no, so I called and cancelled my order with the official best buy line. Then they announce upgrades on these. Way to go horrible customer service- Another reason to never buy from wors…err best buy.

  15. trillium says:

    Better not buy that extended warranty :P

  16. FijianTribe says: now showing this Toshiba HD-A2 for $399.99.

    Seems odd, so the outdated model now sells for $100 more than the new A3 will sell for?

  17. FijianTribe says:

    NM… its the HD-A20 not A2, although they are “sold out”

    Didnt realize there was a difference

  18. fastm3driver says:

    the A3 now sells for $200 and there is a 10% off coupon out there too. They also upped the free movies to 10!
    So 10 free movies and a player for $180; sold.
    I just got one. I have a blu-ray player too and have to side with hd-dvd for many reasons I wont go into here. Blu-ray disc’s come with a piece of paper saying it might not play in your machine with out upgrading it. The best part is they give you the reason for this is because it is the most advanced player or some crap.

  19. tubedogg says:

    Where is the HD-A3 $200? And where do you get 10 free movies? Amazon has the HD-A3 for $249 but Best Buy is still selling it for $299, and I can’t find it on Walmart’s site.

    Are you thinking of the A2 (which is $199 on Walmart’s site now)?

    Also interesting to note, while I was on Walmart’s site, I clicked the link to view more information about the 5 free movie deal. They still have the old redemption form PDF, which expired 9/30/07. Way to go, Walmart.

  20. dalejo says:

    Don’t listen to CODER4LIFE. You don’t have to upgrade the firmware right away to watch anything. There are some movies out there that need a firmware fix though. Also, you can have Toshiba send you a CD (takes a little time obviously) or you can find ISO images of the firmware to burn to CD and upgrade it yourself. Toshiba’s Canada site actually had downloadable images (not sure if they have the latest 2.5 image).

    CODER4LIFE is a blu-ray troll. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to the blu-ray stuff but are all the trolls just blu-ray arseholes?