Last Friday, Best Buy, in order to not be out down by Wal-mart's secret Friday sale, began offering the Toshiba HD-A2 HD DVD player for $99. This was also a smart move in order to get the second-generation players out and make way for the new, third-generation Toshiba players.
Not surprisingly, Best Buy sold out of HD-A2 stock in an extremely short amount of time. The sale started just before lunch-time on the West coast, and by the time we came back from lunch, Best Buy listed the online warehouse as backordered, and half of the nearest store locations were out of stock.
A few luck people were able to walk away with the HD-A2, but the majority of consumers were given a backordered slip. Unlucky? Well, not according to a recent announcement by Best Buy. Those consumers that tried to purchase to HD-A2 are now having their backordered slips filled with the Toshiba HD-A3, at the same price! That means that the consumer who wanted to walk away with an old, Toshiba HD-A2 player for $99, is walking away with a $299 Toshiba HD-A3 for $99.
To top it all off, the Toshiba HD-A3 comes boxed with 2 HD DVDs inside, "300" and "The Bourne Identity". Another 5 HD DVDs are available for free via a mail-in rebate.
Here is the letter sent by Best Buy to its customers:
"Dear Valued Best Buy Customer,
You are receiving this email because you recently ordered a Toshiba HD DVD Player (model # HD-A2) from www.bestbuy.com
and your order was placed in a backorder status while we awaited additional inventory. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has discontinued this item and we are not anticipating receiving any more inventory.
Because we value your business, we will be fulfilling your order with the next generation Toshiba HD DVD Player (model # HD-A3) that is replacing the HD-A2 in Toshiba's lineup of HD DVD Players. There is no need for you to do anything to receive this upgraded model. We will simply fulfill your original order and your packing slip will be updated to show you received the HD-A3 and serve as your order receipt.
If you are not interested in receiving the Toshiba HD-A3 as a replacement for the discontinued HD-A2, you may return the unopened item to your nearest Best Buy store or simply contact one of our Customer Service Representatives at (888)-BestBuy for more information about how to return the product for a complete refund.
Please accept our apology for any inconvenience. We look forward to your next visit to Best Buy.
Sincerely,_Best Buy Customer Care"