We'd like to remind Forumites to please avoid political debate on the Forum. This is to keep it a safe and useful space for MoneySaving discussions. Threads that are - or become - political in nature may be removed in line with the Forum’s rules. Thank you for your understanding.

SAGA Magazine lifetime subscription - compulsory shift to digital format

Options
12122232426

Comments

  • HillStreetBlues
    Options
    dobbles said:
    I am not as interested in the legal position of Saga with withholding the printed magazine from life members, and am more interested in Saga having some compassion and sensitivity to those seriously affected by Saga's refusal to continue to supply them with a printed copy. I want nothing to do with a company that does that to some of its most vulnerable members.
    I will therefore leave this discussion now, and seek other avenues in which pressure can be put on Saga.
    Enjoy your further discussions! Perhaps chat with you on another topic sometime!
    You did post in the Consumer rights forum so people will be concerned with those rights, not on moral. Praise, vent & warnings forum is better suited  if wanting to complain about compassion and sensitivity.
    Just letting you for future reference.
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,786 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Photogenic
    Options
    Saga will only start to send paper copies again if it affects their sales.
    Only they know if there were a lot of bookings through the magazine. I doubt it because their staff on holiday were pushing the magazine and didn't see one person take a copy.

    They no longer send brochures for Europe/worldwide holidays only, you have to have cruises x 2 as well. The rest is online.
    Seems so far that they are happy with their sales post Covid when this started. Those retirees with money and loyalty still go online (and it's not the easiest to peruse) or get their grand kids to do it and book.

    It's very much a 'time will tell' situation as many have gone this route post pandemic. I do very much think it's a 'suck it and see' situation.
    For me I've saved a fortune by not being tempted by holiday offers coming through  my door every week.

    But I do think it's a moral situation and that will impact to a small extent on their reputation. The cost of post has become astronomical. Digital is relatively free. I think they should have given life time subscribers a choice. If digital is so popular that's fine. They could continue to send to those who opt for the paper copy.

    Just as an aside, they are the only company that a group of us sued for misleading advertising and getting out alive, seriously. They were so in the wrong legally but they had a board of lawyers specialising in holidays and we had no one who knew.
    I was the only one able to continue the complaint (selling business, moving house etc others) me sheer determined for rights and only got 50% back. I built a drive way with the money and thought of them every time the car went over it :)
    Long gone the wonderful family firm that started it.

    It's much the same with this. They will have covered as many aspects to make it likely to suceed before going ahead. Maybe it's just enough that they are hoping no one has the knowledge to contradict or demand rights.



    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • RefluentBeans
    Options
    This is going to be a long post - sorry, but think I've tried to fairly summarise the facts (taking my own personal feelings out until the bottom).

    The way I've seen it from the recent posts and historic posts - taking all emotions out of it, and looking at it factually:
    • Saga used to offer a membership card, entitling the bearer of that card to '12 issues of Saga a year for life'. This membership has varied in price over the years. At some point, this membership was no longer offered to new members. 
    • So far, only 2 letters have been uploaded, both from 1997. There has been no upload of the 'full' terms and conditions (and there may not have been any extensive terms and conditions). 
    • Traditionally, this magazine was delivered to subscribers via post. This year, the company has transitioned the magazine to online for all of this 'tier' of membership. 
    • Whilst other forms of magazines existed at the turn of the millennium, the vast majority of magazines were still in print format. Thus, when signing up there was an expectation of some customers that the magazine would always be in printed format, in perpetuity. 
    • There have been some claims that the terms 'delivered to my door' were used by Saga for their magazines, but so far there has not been any letter uploaded to substantiate that claim. Saga still differentiates the printed and digital versions by saying 'Free delivery to your door' for the printed subscription and 'Print edition delivered to your door for free' for the combined edition. No such advertising exists for the online-only version. 

    I think those are all the facts (taking out anecdotal stories and "what-if's"). Based on this, I think that MAYBE you could argue your case in court based on that:
    1. The membership does not appear to have extensive terms and conditions, and so courts tend to side on the side of consumers over businesses, as there is an expectation that businesses should be able to write terms and conditions, whilst consumers typically may require additional protection, especially consumers who are vulnerable like the elderly (which I assume is a higher than average proportion of the customers of this membership). 
    2. At the time of subscription, the vast majority of magazines were sold as physical printed copies. Thus, there may have been an expectation that the magazines were going to continue as a physical copy in perpetuity. 
    3. If there was any mention of 'delivered to my door', either in advertisements or in the actual letter (which you may have to provide proof of), then there is a probable expectation to receive a physical item at your door. 
    However, Saga will likely:
    1. They are providing the product, 12 issues a year still. That all they've done is changed the medium for that, and there is no stipulation of printed copies. 
    2. There is a non-zero cost to the subscription, and it's either a choice of winding the program down (sunsetting) or changing the medium. This is especially true in the cost of living crisis and is mitigating in favor of the company. 
    3. Courts generally don't like perpetual contracts. They may allow either party to exit the contract if it feels fair, but there is little guidance for courts to follow. Saga isn't looking to exit the contract and potentially isn't even looking to change the contract. 

    My feelings are it is a coin flip to see who will have the greatest evidence in favor. I think if Saga 'loses', the court will not expect specific performance, so don't expect the court to 'force' Saga to send you magazines. Instead, I think there will be some amount of money Saga will have to pay. This will likely be based on the amount someone paid, and the amount of value that the consumer is missing out on. In this case, if Saga continues to provide online subscriptions to customers, this will be a very small amount of money. For example, if the court gives 50% of the money paid for your subscription back (based on the £78 Dobbles stated) that's less than £40 (or around £90 if converted to the 2023 pound). There is unlikely to be any 'damages' associated with the customer either. 

    I've tried to limit my feelings and opinions to the last paragraph, so hopefully, it won't be as much of a hot take as before!
  • screech_78
    screech_78 Posts: 474 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    My granddad would be turning in his grave reading this.

    He passed away at 96 two years ago and one of his biggest bugbears was elderly people who refused to grasp new technology. He was using an iPad daily, FaceTiming the entire family through lockdown and he didn’t have the best sight either at times. 

    If you don’t move with the times, you will get left behind. It’s not discriminatory.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,537 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Options

    consumers typically may require additional protection, especially consumers who are vulnerable like the elderly (which I assume is a higher than average proportion of the customers of this membership). 
    Though I doubt any subscribers who were particularly elderly or vulnerable when they signed up in the late 1990s are still going to be around to complain about it.
  • NHD
    NHD Posts: 13 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Options
    Apologies if this has already been asked / discussed.  I have a Lifetime Subscription but I've only just realised the paper copy is now 'new subscription only'.  I probably did receive the letter telling me of the change, but as with everything else in the envelope (advertising leaflets etc.) it will have gone straight in the bin.  They certainly did not send me an email telling me of the change, which is rather suspicious.
    I don't use an iPad, only a laptop.  Is the 'digital copy' - which is now my only entitlement - readable as a simple PDF on a laptop ?  If not, I've got a problem.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 15,093 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    NHD said:
    Apologies if this has already been asked / discussed.  I have a Lifetime Subscription but I've only just realised the paper copy is now 'new subscription only'.  I probably did receive the letter telling me of the change, but as with everything else in the envelope (advertising leaflets etc.) it will have gone straight in the bin.  They certainly did not send me an email telling me of the change, which is rather suspicious.
    I don't use an iPad, only a laptop.  Is the 'digital copy' - which is now my only entitlement - readable as a simple PDF on a laptop ?  If not, I've got a problem.
    Best bet..

    Having a problem with the delivery of your Saga Magazine? Call 0800 904 7214 and a member of our team will be able to assist you. (Monday – Friday, 9am - 5pm). Or to get in touch out of hours email us at: subs.enquiries@saga.co.uk
    Life in the slow lane
  • Jaseur
    Options
    I have been writing to Saga saying they have broken our contract. When I signed up there was no such thing as a digital version. Has a class action been considered
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 15,093 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    Odds on all they would do is end print version. So it's lifetime has come to a end.
    Life in the slow lane
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 12 Election 2024: The MSE Leaders' Debate
  • 344.2K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.4K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450.1K Spending & Discounts
  • 236.3K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.5K Life & Family
  • 248.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards