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SAGA Magazine lifetime subscription - compulsory shift to digital format

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  • dobbles
    dobbles Posts: 9 Forumite
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    I guess Saga is just hoping that the elderly Life Members will give up their requests to continue receiving their promised magazine for life, which is their legal and moral right.
    The danger for Saga, apart from losing the respect of all members, is that some campaigns could affect their organisation significantly.
    For example, if Life Members organised a rota of contacting Saga by phone throughout the day every day, thus blocking their ability to respond to their more lucrative phone calls, perhaps they would start treating their more elderly Life Members fairly and properly, and realise that the elderly members have more power than Saga initially thought.
  • dobbles
    dobbles Posts: 9 Forumite
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    Regarding the promise of free magazines for life for Saga Lifetime Members, and Saga deciding not to send out the printed magazine to those who paid for it for life in advance, thus apparently breaking it's promise, I found the following quote in a current advert for telephone enquiry staff interesting:

    "Meet and exceed the quality standards set by Saga in handling calls and ensure that all promises to our customers are fulfilled" 

  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 32,045 Forumite
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    I’m genuinely confused in what people want to happen. The cost of postage has soared, the cost of printing is not free. The resources are still available. And immortalised online. Having monthly printed copies was never actually written into your T/C. There has been no proof of that provided by anyone. So the comments of ‘legally obliged’ is not true.
    Seems clear to me what people want to happen!  They believe, not without justification, that they're entitled to received a printed copy of the magazine for their lifetime - their expectation is that Saga abide by (what's perceived as) their commitment to continue to provide printed copies, regardless of cost increases, which should obviously have been priced into the offer.  Based on what's been shared earlier, the Ts & Cs don't specifically address the issue of exactly what format would be involved, although it seems highly likely that printed copies were envisaged back then, so it'll come down to legal interpretation if/when it reaches a court.

    Additionally lifetime products rarely mean the lifetime of the person. If I have a waterproof jacket with a lifetime ‘guaranteed to keep you dry’ promise (Goretex) then I wouldn’t expect to buy a jacket at 18, and it be waterproof a century later if I turn 118. It’s the product lifetime. 
    I don't think that analogy fits, in that it's not a single tangible physical product being sold here (which would naturally be expected to deteriorate over time) but an ongoing service, i.e. more like a membership.
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Posts: 1,052 Forumite
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    eskbanker said:
    I’m genuinely confused in what people want to happen. The cost of postage has soared, the cost of printing is not free. The resources are still available. And immortalised online. Having monthly printed copies was never actually written into your T/C. There has been no proof of that provided by anyone. So the comments of ‘legally obliged’ is not true.
    Seems clear to me what people want to happen!  They believe, not without justification, that they're entitled to received a printed copy of the magazine for their lifetime - their expectation is that Saga abide by (what's perceived as) their commitment to continue to provide printed copies, regardless of cost increases, which should obviously have been priced into the offer.  Based on what's been shared earlier, the Ts & Cs don't specifically address the issue of exactly what format would be involved, although it seems highly likely that printed copies were envisaged back then, so it'll come down to legal interpretation if/when it reaches a court.)
    People may believe that they’re entitled to that. But there is no legal basis for that. If they have offered to send regular updates of their magazine. Does moving online change that? No. This, they are meeting the terms and conditions that were agreed. 

    I doubt this will get to a court. If it does, I’ll be incredibly surprised if a court forces specific performance. Instead, I think a court if they find a breach will award monetary compensation. But it will be small to individuals, before legal fees. I would imagine SAGA has data on the average length of subscription, and so people who are below that average length will get that proposition of money back. Additionally the UK doesn’t have class action lawsuits per se, and from what I have heard it’s incredibly hard to get a GLO. So it may require individuals fighting their own cases individually. 

    I think if anyone attempts to pursue this through the courts they should consult a solicitor before wasting time in small claims court. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,890 Forumite
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    If I have a waterproof jacket with a lifetime ‘guaranteed to keep you dry’ promise (Goretex) then I wouldn’t expect to buy a jacket at 18, and it be waterproof a century later if I turn 118. It’s the product lifetime. 
    But isn't that rather circular? The useful lifetime of the product is until it stops being waterproof, surely?
  • km1500
    km1500 Posts: 2,439 Forumite
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    I think that argument would have more weight if Saga said that they were discontinuing the printed version completely and everything was moving online

    however what they have said is that you can now only get the online copy and if you want to printed copy you now have to pay for it
  • RefluentBeans
    RefluentBeans Posts: 1,052 Forumite
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    km1500 said:
    I think that argument would have more weight if Saga said that they were discontinuing the printed version completely and everything was moving online

    however what they have said is that you can now only get the online copy and if you want to printed copy you now have to pay for it
    This is the argument I’ve seen a few times. It’s the requirement of them fulfilling the contract of access to news articles, or specific access to news articles. If the terms don’t state that they must provide a printed copy of the magazine then I don’t see how they’re not fulfilling their side of the contract. 

    Just because the company also offers a printed yearly subscription doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to that. You asked Saga to give you a lifetime subscription of their magazine, and didn’t state the medium. They’re still living up to their contract. 

    Just because a paper version still exists, doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to it. 

    The way I see this going is that if Saga gets taken to court, and they lose you’ll get some minute minute amount of money, and no access to the online version. Or if there is a version of the T/C’s which stipulates that they provide the printed version of the magazine, those people (and just those people) who agreed to those terms will get the printed version. 

    Again, I don’t really see how they’ve neglected consumer rights here. To me, the online version is going to be a superior version anyway with the amount of added value from first party resources (like video etc) and third party resources (like accessibility tools) that simply do not exist for printed medium. 
  • Money_Grabber13579
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    km1500 said:
    I think that argument would have more weight if Saga said that they were discontinuing the printed version completely and everything was moving online

    however what they have said is that you can now only get the online copy and if you want to printed copy you now have to pay for it
    This is the argument I’ve seen a few times. It’s the requirement of them fulfilling the contract of access to news articles, or specific access to news articles. If the terms don’t state that they must provide a printed copy of the magazine then I don’t see how they’re not fulfilling their side of the contract. 

    Just because the company also offers a printed yearly subscription doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to that. You asked Saga to give you a lifetime subscription of their magazine, and didn’t state the medium. They’re still living up to their contract. 

    Just because a paper version still exists, doesn’t mean that you’re entitled to it. 

    The way I see this going is that if Saga gets taken to court, and they lose you’ll get some minute minute amount of money, and no access to the online version. Or if there is a version of the T/C’s which stipulates that they provide the printed version of the magazine, those people (and just those people) who agreed to those terms will get the printed version. 

    Again, I don’t really see how they’ve neglected consumer rights here. To me, the online version is going to be a superior version anyway with the amount of added value from first party resources (like video etc) and third party resources (like accessibility tools) that simply do not exist for printed medium. 
    But there was no need to state the medium when the subscription because digital versions hadn’t been invented. Therefore, I think it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation that where it is not specified in the contract, that the service will continue to be performed in the same manner as when it was originally taken out. Anything else would be a variation to the contract but it would be up to a judge to decide whether that variation was of detriment to the customer and worthy of compensation.  

    The fact that it was a completely stupid offer for SAGA to have made in the first place isn’t the customer’s fault.
    Northern Ireland club member No 382 :j
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