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Why Can't I Get My Free iPad From Dish?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (June 15, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I called Dish's customer service to request my free iPad, but they said I couldn't have one. They said I would have to pay for a $200 upgrade to get the "free" iPad! What gives? I thought it was supposed to be free. -- Roger, Kansas City, Missouri.

Roger, I've received several e-mails like this from Dish subscribers who are a bit unhappy that they can't get a "free" iPad.

But here's the deal: The iPad, actually an iPad 2, is only free to NEW Dish customers, not existing ones. The offer,
which is good from May 22 to September 18, 2013, is part of the satellite TV service's initiative to sign up new customers.

FYI -- The deal also requires new subscribers to sign a two-year agreement and submit to a credit check. But if they sign up for the Hopper HD DVR and Dish's America's Top 120 programming package (or a higher-priced plan), they will get an Apple 16GB iPad 2, valued at roughly $400.

Don't feel bad if you were confused by the offer. Many companies, in and out of the TV business, often make a special offer to new customers only and current customers hear about it and think it applies to everyone. But, again, it's a technique that companies use to build their new customer base.

You noted that Dish's customer service folks said you could get the iPad if you upgraded your programming package. Dish has not made that official. So if you're a current Dish subscriber -- and you want a new iPad -- you can try calling Dish to see what you can negotiate. But there's no guarantees.

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