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SAGA Magazine lifetime subscription - compulsory shift to digital format

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  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,293 Forumite
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    Doc_N said:
    GingerTim said:
    Doc_N said:
    Doc_N said:
    Whether online works for individuals or not is irrelevant - Saga simply do not have the legal right to back out of a contract which very clearly stipulated that 12 copies of the paper magazine would be sent every year.

    If you can't trust Saga to stick to its contract on this, how can you trust them to pay out an insurance claim or meet a holiday obligation?  

    This is unlawful - and disreputable.
    Did it though?  Got a picture of this?
    or did it say you would get 12 copies a year? Just at that time digital copies were not such a thing.

    Wonder how many people getting the no more paper copies, still have any Saga products?
    Here's the exact wording:

    "I have pleasure in enclosing your new Life Membership card.  Your new membership card entitles you to receive twelve copies of Saga per year for life. Don't forget that each issue of Saga contains exclusive members-only offers."

    At the time of the letter the magazine wasn't published online - just hard copies.  No surprise, because we were all on dial-up with a maximum speed of 33.6KBps!

    Any case taken against them in the County Court would be indefensible - and the damage done to the Saga name incalculable. 

    One might reasonably reach the conclusion that Saga could plead poverty (which is the line it's taking with the magazine issue) and refuse to pay out on any of its contracts - holidays, financial or other.
    '12 copies per year' ≠ 12 paper copies, though - they do have a defendable position.
    And what other copies of the Saga magazine existed in the mid-1990s?  This can only mean a paper copy.
    No it does not, it just says copy. You cannot assume that just because a certain format was in sole existence at the start of the contract, this will always be the case.
    Some interesting legal arguments, then, perhaps, on the interpretation of the words ‘copies’, ‘receive’ and ‘issue’. Though I really can’t see Saga taking it as far as that, given that even a win would send out the message that it can’t be trusted not to try to wriggle out of contracts.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,813 Forumite
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    Doc_N said:
    Doc_N said:
    Whether online works for individuals or not is irrelevant - Saga simply do not have the legal right to back out of a contract which very clearly stipulated that 12 copies of the paper magazine would be sent every year.

    If you can't trust Saga to stick to its contract on this, how can you trust them to pay out an insurance claim or meet a holiday obligation?  

    This is unlawful - and disreputable.
    Did it though?  Got a picture of this?
    or did it say you would get 12 copies a year? Just at that time digital copies were not such a thing.

    Wonder how many people getting the no more paper copies, still have any Saga products?
    Here's the exact wording:

    "I have pleasure in enclosing your new Life Membership card.  Your new membership card entitles you to receive twelve copies of Saga per year for life. Don't forget that each issue of Saga contains exclusive members-only offers."

    At the time of the letter the magazine wasn't published online - just hard copies.  No surprise, because we were all on dial-up with a maximum speed of 33.6KBps!

    Any case taken against them in the County Court would be indefensible - and the damage done to the Saga name incalculable. 

    One might reasonably reach the conclusion that Saga could plead poverty (which is the line it's taking with the magazine issue) and refuse to pay out on any of its contracts - holidays, financial or other.
    From your previous post
    clearly stipulated that 12 copies of the paper magazine 

    Seems to be missing a word. 


    Life in the slow lane
  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,293 Forumite
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    Doc_N said:
    Doc_N said:
    Whether online works for individuals or not is irrelevant - Saga simply do not have the legal right to back out of a contract which very clearly stipulated that 12 copies of the paper magazine would be sent every year.

    If you can't trust Saga to stick to its contract on this, how can you trust them to pay out an insurance claim or meet a holiday obligation?  

    This is unlawful - and disreputable.
    Did it though?  Got a picture of this?
    or did it say you would get 12 copies a year? Just at that time digital copies were not such a thing.

    Wonder how many people getting the no more paper copies, still have any Saga products?
    Here's the exact wording:

    "I have pleasure in enclosing your new Life Membership card.  Your new membership card entitles you to receive twelve copies of Saga per year for life. Don't forget that each issue of Saga contains exclusive members-only offers."

    At the time of the letter the magazine wasn't published online - just hard copies.  No surprise, because we were all on dial-up with a maximum speed of 33.6KBps!

    Any case taken against them in the County Court would be indefensible - and the damage done to the Saga name incalculable. 

    One might reasonably reach the conclusion that Saga could plead poverty (which is the line it's taking with the magazine issue) and refuse to pay out on any of its contracts - holidays, financial or other.
    From your previous post
    clearly stipulated that 12 copies of the paper magazine 

    Seems to be missing a word. 


    In contractual matters, some terms are express and some implied. The word paper is an implied term.  

    But discussions here are pointless.  The only discussions that matter are those between the life members affected and Saga.  And, of course, those that take place in the County Court in the extremely unlikely even that it goes that far.
  • Undervalued
    Undervalued Posts: 8,899 Forumite
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    Doc_N said:
    Whether online works for individuals or not is irrelevant - Saga simply do not have the legal right to back out of a contract which very clearly stipulated that 12 copies of the paper magazine would be sent every year.

    If you can't trust Saga to stick to its contract on this, how can you trust them to pay out an insurance claim or meet a holiday obligation?  

    This is unlawful - and disreputable.
    Did it?

    If I read your later posts correctly the word "paper" didn't appear? It is all getting very confused.

    If the life membership was taken out before online magazines (or on CD for that matter) I'd be very surprised if the word "paper" actually appeared because back then there was no alternative way of distributing a magazine.

    Life memberships, a bit like the state pension, are a minefield and plenty of organisations both large and small have got their sums spectacularly wrong!
  • escreet
    escreet Posts: 4 Newbie
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    After being referred to as "common", he probably wouldn't respond anyway!
    Predictive text - tut tut not what I typed.
  • GingerTim
    GingerTim Posts: 2,064 Forumite
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    edited 27 May 2023 at 8:17PM
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    Doc_N said:
    Whether online works for individuals or not is irrelevant - Saga simply do not have the legal right to back out of a contract which very clearly stipulated that 12 copies of the paper magazine would be sent every year.

    If you can't trust Saga to stick to its contract on this, how can you trust them to pay out an insurance claim or meet a holiday obligation?  

    This is unlawful - and disreputable.
    Did it?

    If I read your later posts correctly the word "paper" didn't appear? It is all getting very confused.

    If the life membership was taken out before online magazines (or on CD for that matter) I'd be very surprised if the word "paper" actually appeared because back then there was no alternative way of distributing a magazine.

    Life memberships, a bit like the state pension, are a minefield and plenty of organisations both large and small have got their sums spectacularly wrong!
    I'd be very surprised if any similar 'life subscription'  from that period specifically mentioned paper or hard copies - they'd be a hostage to fortune.

    Here's a story about a CD-Rom magazine published from 1994 by Felix Dennis - quickly superseded by the Internet, of course!

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-forgotten-history-of-the-cdrom-magazine
  • Username81
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    Saga, presumably a company with due diligence taken as granted, would have factored into the charge they made for a lifetime subscription the costs and risks. (Just like an individual made the decision whether to subscribe, or not.) The projected future costs of the obligation would appear on the company’s accounts as a liability. This cost of this liability may vary over the years, but that is part of the risk that would have been declared.

    Saga’s accounts would show the liability to provide paper copies.

    There is no reason that increased, or decreased, costs should alter the fact that the company is liable.

    As an aside, the number of copies should be going down year by year, as we older subscribers die off.




  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
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    I wonder if it can be argued that any ambiguity in a contract favours the party that didn't write it? 

    Ultimately the company will hope the majority are happy with the change, those who aren't will accept it and the few who don't accepted it will not put up much of a fight and quickly go away. 

    Sorry if I've missed it but, has anyone had a response from company in reply to any objections? 
  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,293 Forumite
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    I wonder if it can be argued that any ambiguity in a contract favours the party that didn't write it? 

    Ultimately the company will hope the majority are happy with the change, those who aren't will accept it and the few who don't accepted it will not put up much of a fight and quickly go away. 

    Sorry if I've missed it but, has anyone had a response from company in reply to any objections? 
    On the first point - most definitely, yes.  That's the way a court would deal with it in a consumer contract.  
    On the second point - agreed.
    On the third point - they're issuing standard copy and paste refusal at present, but that will, I suspect, change for those who make it very clear that they're not going to go away.
  • Be_Happy
    Be_Happy Posts: 1,391 Forumite
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    I've just received the June issue which we were told would be our last paper one and was grudgingly accepting the need to look at the future issues on line.

    Should I be writing to complain or doing something 
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