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Existing Dish Network subscribers: Get a free Roku 2 XD (YMMV)

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If you’re a Dish Network customer who subscribes to America’s Top 200 or better, then you’ll definitely want to pay attention: as most of you probably know, Dish  Network and AMC have been in a fairly nasty dispute that has led Dish to pull all AMC programming from its channel lineup. There’s still no resolution in sight, and lots of people are pretty ticked about this, including me: after all, AMC carries two of my favorite shows – The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad.

Luckily, Dish is well aware that a lot of its customers are upset, so it’s got some nice retention offers up its sleeves. A friend of mine recently told me that he got a $35 bill credit so he could watch the next season of Breaking Bad on Amazon, so I decided to call Dish myself and see what I could get.

After calling the general customer service number that I found on Dish’s regular site, I navigated through the automated options, selecting that I wanted to cancel my account. (I knew I’d be transferred to retentions, which often has the most power to offer customers awesome things to get them to stay.)

When my call was answered, I asked whether or not I was still under contract (I was not). I then expressed my displeasure at Dish dropping AMC, said I wasn’t happy with the replacement channels they were offering, and stated that I could get a comparable package for a similar price through DirecTV. I then asked, “What can you do for me?”

Immediately, with no hesitation, I was told that Dish would send me a free Roku 2 XD – along with an extra HDMI cable – at no cost to me, with no contract extension. That way, they said, I could watch my shows through Amazon’s Instant Video service. Additionally, they offered me a discount of $10/month for one year – effectively a $120 discount.

I was so taken by surprise that I immediately accepted and couldn’t stop thanking the rep who was helping me; after all, that’s a damn good retention offer.

The Roku 2 XD is a tiny (one might say pocketable) device that streams a ton of content to your TV, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Pandora, and much more. It’s small enough to fit in your hand, and the company claims that it uses less energy than a night-light. Notably, the Roku 2 XD isn’t the entry-level model, but the second from the top – unlike the lower-end models, it can stream in full 1080p, and it normally retails for up to $80. Not bad, Dish.

Of course, your miles may vary – whether or not you are offered this probably depends on lots of factors. Personally, I’ve been a Dish subscriber for over four years, have never subscribed to anything less than America’s Top 200, and have had premium channels off and on. Dish probably won’t give you this if you’re on the basic $20/month plan.

But it’s still worth a phone call – even if you’re not offered a free Roku, you still might get some service discount. So if you’re a Dish customer, and you decide to give this a try, let us know how it works for you. It doesn’t look like AMC is coming back to Dish anytime soon, but at least you can profit from the companies’ massive PR screw-up.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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