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SAGA Magazine lifetime subscription - compulsory shift to digital format

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  • Delburn
    Delburn Posts: 66 Forumite
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    Some posters have made comments along the lines of there is no point forcing a company to supply a postal magazine if it puts them out of business.  This is a fair point, but looking at the accounts other relevant points are:

    In 2022 the Company made a gross margin of 21%, which was insufficient to cover overhead expenses.  This would be a problem irrespective of any lifetime subscriptions.

    In 2022 the Company decided to pay a £5m dividend to its parent company.  This was the main factor behind an 87% reduction in shareholder equity in the year.

    The main listed holding company, Saga plc, has provided the publishing company with a financial guarantee.  It appears that this guarantee is irrevocable and covers all liabilities incurred up to 31/1/2023.  Clearly any guarantee is subject to the strength of the provider, but a £400k liability is trivial in the context of a £170m market cap.


  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,300 Forumite
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    Delburn said:
    The annual report and accounts for the company publishing the magazine make an interesting read for lifetime subscribers:

    https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/02152564/filing-history

    https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/02152564/filing-history/MzM1NjQzMjgwMmFkaXF6a2N4/document?format=pdf&download=0

    In 2022 the Company set up a £423k onerous contract provision in respect of the lifetime subscriptions.

    There was no visible provision in prior years.  It is not clear what the rationale for this would have been.

    In Section 2.n) the Company states "A provision is recognised for onerous contracts in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the obligations under the contract exceed the economic benefits..."

    Presumably most people would agree the unavoidable marginal costs of supplying a digital magazine are zero, or some negligible amount.  The implication from this is then surely that as at the time these account were signed (14/10/2022) it was the Company's position that it was obliged to supply a paper magazine, or at least some other costly format.  It is difficult to reconcile this with the Company's current position as described in the media and by various forum posters.
    That makes very interesting reading - thanks for the input.  Quite possibly the most useful post in the entire thread when it comes to seeking legal redress against Saga.

    Checking this out further later, with regard to the legal and accountancy principles involved.
  • Secret_Lady
    Secret_Lady Posts: 749 Forumite
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    If you’re interested, a petition has been started on change.org, see link below.

    Hopefully it will get more signatures, please support and share if possible.


    https://www.change.org/p/saga-honour-our-contract-for-monthly-delivery-of-your-magazine?source_location=search
    Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can and the wisdom to know it's me"
  • mr_stripey
    mr_stripey Posts: 690 Forumite
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    Watching the news, I thought the French had received news about Saga's decision!
  • cardriver98
    cardriver98 Posts: 38 Forumite
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    I was appalled to be told the June issue was my last paper copy. Been a life member  over 30 years.  Do feel we are losing out.
    As a matter of interest, FOI ?  just how many lifers are actually left.  It's all getting too elitist as a magazine as well.
    £5.95 !!!!!!!!  that's almost a weeks electric. !!!
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,537 Forumite
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    As a matter of interest, FOI ?  just how many lifers are actually left.
    What would FOI have to do with it? Saga aren't a public body.
  • logic33
    logic33 Posts: 11 Forumite
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    edited 7 July 2023 at 4:53PM
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    Just as a matter of interest I have a question:

    Does anyone know if the offending Saga letters all when out simultaneously or were they sent to correspond with when the offer was taken up?

    Several people have said their last issue received was the June magazine which was my mother's last one.

  • Katiehound
    Katiehound Posts: 7,668 Forumite
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    edited 7 July 2023 at 8:49PM
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    I don't think it matters one iota when the lifetime subscription started. 

    "The last paper copy of your lifetime subscription will be the June 2023 issue."
    My letter is dated May 16th.
     I would assume that means every lifetime member will no longer receive a hard magazine copy from now on, unless they purchase the annual subscription.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything! --
    Many thanks
    -Stash bust:in 2022:337
    Stash bust :2023. 120duvets, 24 bags, 43 dog coats, 2 scrunchies, 10 mittens, 6 bootees, 8 glass cases, 2 A6 notebooks, 59 cards, 6 lav bags,36 angels,9 bones, 1 knee blanket, 1 lined bag,3 owls, 88 pyramids = total 420 total spend £5. Total for 'Dogs for Good' £546.82

    2024:37 Doggy duvets,30 pyramids, 6 hottie covers, 4 knit hats,13 crochet angels,1 shopper, 87cards=178 £88.25 spent!!!
  • logic33
    logic33 Posts: 11 Forumite
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    I don't think it matters one iota when the lifetime subscription started. 

    "The last paper copy of your lifetime subscription will be the June 2023 issue."
    My letter is dated May 16th.
     I would assume that means every lifetime member will no longer receive a hard magazine copy from now on, unless they purchase the annual subscription.
    Thanks for this.

    I thought this was the case as the complaints on Trustpilot seem to have implied it and dried up.

    I also think that those who have complained have already done so and that we have lost the momentum now. Even if just a few take legal action it will not affect Saga much

    Unfortunately so many older people just accepted it or didn't even realise what has happened wondering where their magazine has gone!  No doubt this is what Saga thought would happen and probably did with the two previous letters they wrote asking people if they still wanted to continue with the printed magazines.  Or didn't care as long as they saved the money.

    I expect they will never know, or want to, or again care, how much other business they will have lost from customers, extended families, etc. 



     
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