SAGA Magazine lifetime subscription - compulsory shift to digital format

Many years ago I paid for a lifetime membership and subscription to SAGA magazine. The subscription contract entitled me to receive 12 copies of SAGA Magazine per year for life. I have just had a letter to say from June 2023 they will no longer send the magazine in print form but I can have the magazine in digital form! This is a 138 page monthly magazine and the idea of trying to read it on my phone or a tablet is not appealing! Can they just impose this move to digital format on me? The magazine will still be for sale in print format but no longer sent to lifetime subscribers. Seems wrong to me. 


  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,947 Forumite
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    edited 22 May 2023 at 10:43AM
    You'll need to read the terms and conditions to be sure, but have you asked them if you can cancel, and if so, do they offer any part of your lifetime fee back?
  • PB46
    PB46 Posts: 1 Newbie
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    I have received this letter, also......seems SAGA now treat the Saga generation as shoddily as so many other companies?
    I paid my lifetime subscription with the understanding I would receive the hardcopy magazine for life....a contract of sorts?
    I too have no intention of trying to read the magazine via a small screen....have Saga lost the plot a company of 30 or 40 somethings with no appreciation of what the recipients of this magazine really require.
    They can spend millions on new cruise ships and other aspects of their business yet treat long standing customers with disdain.
    Well, many such customers may now think twice about taking future cruises, holidays, car or home insurance, etc. from this company?
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 13,947 Forumite
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    Perhaps they're simply shifting their products in anticipation of what the next generation of likely members will want?  Looking at it cynically, the current membership is on limited time and they need to appeal to those coming along behind them.

    Back to the matter of consumer rights in this situation, it comes down to the contract.  What do the terms of that lifetime magazine subscription say?  Do they provide any wriggle room for them to substitute physical magazines with electronic versions?  If they do, you don't have any grounds for recompense.  If they don't, I suggest writing to the them to ask if you can have a partial refund of your subscription and cancel it,
  • Robin9
    Robin9 Posts: 12,078 Forumite
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    I took out a lifetime subscription 20 years ago. Not had the letter yet - my experience of online versions of catalogues, magazines and newspapers really don't work.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,302 Forumite
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    edited 22 May 2023 at 5:55PM
    let's assume for the moment that the contract says nothing about digital versions and that you have a contract for them to supply you a paper copy for life

    by sending you this letter they are clearly breaking the contract so the question is what can you do about it

    one option is to go to court and demand what is called specific performance ie the court forces Saga to change its mind and send you a paper copy as contracted. Obviously this is unlikely to succeed - courts are reluctant to do this.

    the second option is to ask saga to refund your quantifiable losses as a result of them breaking the contract - if they don't then you sue for them in the small claims route

    what are your quantifiable losses? well if they still sell a paper copy at the newsagents you could I suppose say your losses are the cost of buying a paper copy from now until the day you die - that is what I would go for!

    the other option is to say that you have had x years of a paper copy and you could have expected y further years and therefore a partial refund of your payment is appropriate - which would of course be a lot less than the first option
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,777 Forumite
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    As always the devil is in the detail. Whose lifetime? Yours?

    Interesting article:
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,275 Forumite
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    What's betting it says "Lifetime Free Subscription" & nothing else about any format.

    Life in the slow lane
  • p00hsticks
    p00hsticks Posts: 12,754 Forumite
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    TELLIT01 said:
    Oh the irony that a company which makes its money from those 'of a certain age', expects it's membership to read a magazine on a screen about 1/10th the size of a magazine page, assuming using a smartphone rather than tablet.  I take loads of tablets but mainly use a smartphone.
    Perhaps they weren't envisaging that the lifetimes of those they offered the subscription to were turning out to be as long as they are.....
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