SAGA Magazine lifetime subscription - compulsory shift to digital format

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  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,292 Forumite
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    Alderbank said:
    Sorry, Last sentence should read -
    Your new membership card entitles you to receive twelve copies of Saga per year for life.
    ...so they will be emailing you twelve copies a year to your inbox for the rest of your days whether you want them or not.
    One wonders what those subscribers who do not have e-mail or means of accessing a digital version of the magazine are expected to do ? 
    They're demanding £29.95 in order to get the paper copies - even though those people have already paid for a life membership.
  • Aylesbury_Duck
    Aylesbury_Duck Posts: 14,154 Forumite
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    edited 29 May 2023 at 11:24PM
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    I suspect SAGA will back down if this makes it into mainstream media, but it will probably also be a case of being careful what you wish for.  If forced to deliver a physical magazine to hundreds or thousands of lifetime subscribers for the next many years or decades, the chances are you'll soon be receiving a slimmed-down pamphlet stuffed full of advertisements, with shortened articles and the "enhanced" content online, possibly behind a paywall.

    Obligation met.
  • Murphybear
    Murphybear Posts: 7,312 Forumite
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    Robin9 said:
    Robin9 said:
    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.
    I get Readly every month, roughly 6000 magazines online.  I look at them on my iPad, it works well for me.  
    Have you tried on a Smart phone ??????
    No, I am one of these weird people who doesn’t use one   :D.  I read books, magazines and watch films on my iPad, it’s brilliant.  
  • EnjoysHelping
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    First thoughts.
    Need to maintain lifetime membership by logic rather than upsetting anyone.
    Has anyone genuine total circulation and readership figures for printed magazine?
    From this the advertising agencies will calculate the value and PAY FOR ADVERTISEMENTS . Note, this is based on not just circulation , but readers, which is much higher on printed compared to email figures.
    At this stage I would guess , with some understanding of how this works that it would be expensive to Saga future income to openly show massive reductions in circulation.

    Others have correctly shown discontent with other saga HIGH VALUE PRODUCTS DUE TO PREMIER NAME OF SAGA. Once such a name of value, secured over numerous years of HIGH WORTH CLIENTS, who previously , willingly paid a premium for quality is lost it is difficult to EVER regain it.
    This is quickly shown in share values , and I would respectfully suggest to anyone of influence that this would be like a turkey promoting Two or more Christmas a year.
    If I had shares in company, which may be my main source of income , the loss of my large salary and bonus could disappear at just the time I could need to sell such shares.

    The current world is full of so called good ideas which are causing horrendous problems for the population at large , but at the same time destroying loved and respected companies to the detriment of all.
  • logic33
    logic33 Posts: 11 Forumite
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    I have joined the forum specifically to add to this stream concerning my mother's Saga lifetime subscription.  She is 95 and really enjoys her magazine which is quoted from numerous times.  She doesn't have a smart phone or tablet.  She has a computer but is unable to use it! To get the magazine they are effective asking her to pay twice. the original lifetime subscription and again each month.
    I have also written a 1 star review on Trustpilot - not sure it does any good but gives me satisfaction.  Also written to the email address given on my mother's letter with cc to the CEO.  Had a reply but they just reiterate what the letter says.
    Hopefully mainstream media ie either Martin Lewis, Rip Off Britain, Moneybox (although Paul Lewis writes for Saga magazine so may have divided loyalties), etc., 
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 14,746 Forumite
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    I suspect SAGA will back down if this makes it into mainstream media, but it will probably also be a case of being careful what you wish for.  If forced to deliver a physical magazine to hundreds or thousands of lifetime subscribers for the next many years or decades, the chances are you'll soon be receiving a slimmed-down pamphlet stuffed full of advertisements, with shortened articles and the "enhanced" content online, possibly behind a paywall.

    Obligation met.
    Not forgetting they will increase their products costs as well 🤦‍♀️

    Could also be that they simply decide that due to costs & the backlash on the digital version, they simply pull the magazine altogether. 
    Which they can simply say well it was the lifetime of us publishing it.
    Life in the slow lane
  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,292 Forumite
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    Interesting to see the traction this thread’s already getting. And its visibility on Google. I’d be surprised if someone inside Saga hasn’t spotted that.

    So a message for the Saga CEO Euan Sutherland:

    We know your rather less than glorious previous track record with the Co-op and Superdry (acrimonious tenures, according to The Times) doesn’t look too good on paper. We know your intention is to reduce the size of the debts at Saga, created by mismanagement. And we also know that you’ll be trying to make yourself look good in the short term, before you move on again doubtless. 

    But there’s a very real longer term harm done to a company like Saga when word gets out that it will happily break the contracts it has with the people who buy its products. If it can break this contract, it can’t be trusted to keep to ANY contract. Why would anyone do business with that sort of company, whether it’s buying holidays or any other service?

    You’re only concern will be what you can get away with in the short term, before you move on again, before the brown stuff hits the fan.  But the company as a whole will suffer from your short term gains. Remember what you did to the Superdry share price? You may not care, but shareholders might if you destroy the integrity and reputation of the company. 
  • Fitzherbert
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    Hi everyone

    My wife being very diligent has still got our original membership card, which provides the full extent of the contractual terms.  Based on these, we have now written to Saga, as follows:

    QUOTE

    Re: Lifetime subscriptions to Saga Magazine are switching to digital

    We are in receipt of your letter dated 16th May with regard to this matter.

    When we subscribed to Saga Magazine Lifetime Membership in June 2000, we paid your company a large lump sum of money relative to the then annual cost of the magazine in return for you contracting to provide “12 issues of the Saga Magazine per year [and Life Membership of the Saga Club]” - please see our membership card - copy attached.

    In 2000, the only “issues of the Saga Magazine” that existed were the printed product. We continue to expect to receive this same printed product until our deaths as contracted by you in 2000.

    We would point out that your predecessors at Saga in 2000 knew full well the implications of offering a contact of this type to members such as ourselves aged 50 and 51 respectively with a future life expectancy of potentially 30+ years, as well as the potential impact of future inflation on your magazine production costs and other future changes that might occur.  

    Whether or not “the media landscape is very different to when we offered our subsidised one-off subscription cost .…. [and that] there has been considerable increases in print and postage costs” (to use your words in your letter) are of no matter or interest to ourselves.  Your company made a legally binding offer in 2000 and we accepted the contract and paid for it.

    Should you fail to continue to deliver “12 issues of the Saga Magazine per year” in the form of a printed product, we will regard it as a breach of contract on your company’s part and will take legal action accordingly.

    Yours sincerely

    UNQUOTE

    Now, if everyone else wrote a similar letter....

  • bonsai_2
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    I am absolutely disgusted being asked to pay £29.95 for a magazine I have already paid for. I phoned Saga and the lady was sympathetic but said there is nothing that can be done.
    As long as the magazine is being produced we should receive our paper copies as per the contract we entered into.
    I emailed Ripoffbritain and it will be interesting to hear their response if at all.
    Before I retired I witnessed C.E.Os ruining moral and causing major problems trying make themselves look good. I don't know if this is the case here with Mr. Sutherland but he must be in a position to correct this unpopular decision. 


  • Doc_N
    Doc_N Posts: 8,292 Forumite
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    Hi everyone

    My wife being very diligent has still got our original membership card, which provides the full extent of the contractual terms.  Based on these, we have now written to Saga, as follows:

    QUOTE

    Re: Lifetime subscriptions to Saga Magazine are switching to digital

    We are in receipt of your letter dated 16th May with regard to this matter.

    When we subscribed to Saga Magazine Lifetime Membership in June 2000, we paid your company a large lump sum of money relative to the then annual cost of the magazine in return for you contracting to provide “12 issues of the Saga Magazine per year [and Life Membership of the Saga Club]” - please see our membership card - copy attached.

    In 2000, the only “issues of the Saga Magazine” that existed were the printed product. We continue to expect to receive this same printed product until our deaths as contracted by you in 2000.

    We would point out that your predecessors at Saga in 2000 knew full well the implications of offering a contact of this type to members such as ourselves aged 50 and 51 respectively with a future life expectancy of potentially 30+ years, as well as the potential impact of future inflation on your magazine production costs and other future changes that might occur.  

    Whether or not “the media landscape is very different to when we offered our subsidised one-off subscription cost .…. [and that] there has been considerable increases in print and postage costs” (to use your words in your letter) are of no matter or interest to ourselves.  Your company made a legally binding offer in 2000 and we accepted the contract and paid for it.

    Should you fail to continue to deliver “12 issues of the Saga Magazine per year” in the form of a printed product, we will regard it as a breach of contract on your company’s part and will take legal action accordingly.

    Yours sincerely

    UNQUOTE

    Now, if everyone else wrote a similar letter....

    I’m sure many of us have done, and direct to the CEO, Euan Sutherland, too. But Saga are at present still sticking to the plan and ignoring the legal issues.  That may change, depending on their view of the financial and reputational implications.

    They may of course decide to make individual settlements, with or without non disclosure agreements.
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