I was checking my Online Banking and noticed a Direct Debit from Saga Magazine and realised that it had been quite a while since I'd received a copy. Checking back I found a DD in April 2018 and on further checking it seemed that I hadn't had a copy since about then. I sent them an Email via their website Email facility and after a few days got a reply from a "no reply" address, so ended up phoning them to sort it out. The lady on the phone was helpful enough and acknowledged the problem and offered a refund. I asked for the two amounts to be refunded by DD refund and was told that they couldn't do that as (quote)"Our system won't do that its a bit old, we'll send you 2 cheques and you should get them in the next 28 days"
Yesterday I got a letter from Saga saying that they failed to inform me of a change(increase) in my DD payment for the next years' subscription. This a week after I had cancelled my subscription and accepted a refund. I just wonder how a company can continue to survive with this degree of incompetence in the modern day, and I thought the 28 day thing had mostly gone from modern business practise.
Suffice to say I won't be subscribing to their magazine again and if i want to see a copy will look at it on Readly.
The Saga group is - like many other businesses - facing problems as market forces change. Most of the real money is generated by the travel side of the business, although life isn't easy in that market sector.
Saga takes delivery of a new ship - Spirit of Discovery - in June of this year. Another one is currently building, and will be delivered in the summer of 2020.
Sales for the first 19 cruises of Spirit of Discovery have been higher than expected, and between them the two ships should make a big difference to a business which already turns over around £450 million a year. The challenge is to make a decent profit out of all that revenue in an increasingly crowded market sector.
The magazine is a relatively small part of the business, contributing far less than travel and insurance. Sales are currently around a quarter of a million per issue, down from over 600,000 in 2012. The reasons for the decline aren't clear, but redundancies of editorial staff in 2017 may be a factor.
Whatever the cause, the magazine's future is uncertain. One possibility is that production will be outsourced to a specialist publishing company. Sending out cheques to customers is pretty low tech in this day and age, but as long as you get your money I suppose it is OK.
Sending out cheques to customers is pretty low tech in this day and age, but as long as you get your money I suppose it is OK.
Got the first of the refund cheques yesterday and guess what they've spelt my name wrong. Just hope the Bank will accept it. Since the closure of my bank branch last year I now have to use the Post Office cheque deposit service as its difficult to reach a bank branch easily. I'll probably Phone Saga on Monday to let them know.
The reasons for the decline aren't clear
Probasbly a decline in the standard of content. It used to be a good interesting read but since the revamp a couple of years ago its deteriorated considerably. Apparently the May issue will herald yet another revamp, possibly a precursor to its demise.
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