Amid the rush to wring the last few pennies out of HD DVD's rancid and yellowing corpse, at least one retailer has had the decency to front up and look after its unfortunate customers. Only problem is, it's in Japan.

Edion, the owner of several chains of electronics shops there, has taken the unusual step of extending the hand of sympathy to anyone who bought an HD DVD player or recorder from it. It's offering to exchange the useless machines for new Blu-ray devices.

Cash back too

Throughout March, customers can return any of seven Toshiba HD DVD decks and swap them for a BD unit from Sony, Panasonic or Sharp. If the latter is more expensive, customers need to make up the balance, but if it's cheaper they'll actually get a refund of the difference.

Edion's press release was refreshingly forthright about the HD DVD situation. It gave the reason for the exchange programme as the fact that "[HD DVD] customers can no longer use their purchases properly".

Extending the largesse even further, the company also promised to keep selling HD DVD movies and blank disks to anyone who needs them. Now that's the kind of customer service we could do with in the West.