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Start by talking with the right person. "Can I speak with the retention department?" It's their job to keep you as a customer, so they'll have more authority to throw in extras that will motivate you to stay, says Linda Sherry of Consumer Action.

Threaten to go to a competitor. "XYZ Satellite is offering a year of HBO for free. I'm thinking of switching." Cable companies are terrified that customers will defect to satellite counterparts. Capitalize on that by mentioning a specific deal.

Force them to do better by you. "Can you match what XYZ is offering?" If your provider can't give you what you want, ask what it can give you, whether that's another cable box or premium channels like HBO and Showtime.

  @Money - Last updated August 07 2012 05:02 PM ET
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