SAGA is clearly shifting emphasis from customer service and satisfaction to prioritising profit. My wife and I were left stranded at Heathrow airport in 2012 after an expensive and long return journey from Australia because transport was sent by SAGA on the wrong day. A taxi was subsequently ordered but went to the wrong terminal. A glib apology was received but no compensation offered. Out of loyalty and misguidedly, we again went with SAGA and the Cambodia and Laos tour this year. No ticket was received until 1 working day prior to departure. We later learnt that some people on the tour even travelled to the airport without any ticket. SAGA's response was that the airline made a mistake and sold off our tickets and that they "did not want to alarm the customers". Having been kept in the dark, we had the unpleasant surprise when reaching Laos to learn that 8 out of the 30 people needed to travel on a different homebound route. This meant wasting several unpleasant and sweaty hours in town with no washing facilities which ended up doubling or 12 hour homebound flight.
We travelled by Vietnam airways which is well below the standard of many Asian flight companies (and no doubt cheaper). One elderly couple had only bread and butter because SAGA had not ordered their vegetarian meal. At the dinner table, the majority of the group had tale of woes about SAGA's fast declining customer care and how their complaints department have learnt to respond to complaints. Needless to say we were told we were the only dissatisfied customer on our tour, when we know this was a blatant lie.
With piles of promotional brochures inviting us to buy shares in the company, we have no doubt or the changing focus of SAGA. The idea that the company is more expensive because they provide 'better facilities for a more vulnerable group of people' is fast becoming a myth rather than reality.
i took out insurance last April, had a claim in August for broken laptop, was informed by Saga you are not covered as portable electricals notr covered! Then in March this year lost my watch on holiday, told yet again you are not insured as only jewellery at home covered. when i took out policy i specifically referred to jewellery abroad as i travel a lot, and this was my main reason for taking out insurance cover.. They said they listened to the recording and I didnt mention this, THEY LIED! I had phone on speaker and my friend heard every word I said. Again they refused to pay out on my loss. Now policy was due for renewal and renewal letter arrived and said theywould take yearly premium from my debit card, i rang and said I DO NOT WISH TO RENEW SO DO NOT TAKE ANY MONEY FROM MY ACCOUNT. I see from my bank account they have withdrawn this money! This has caused me to incur bank charges as by their actions they have caused me to go overdrawn. I am 65 yrs old and recovering from cancer. SAGA ARE CROOKS THERE IS NO OTHER WORD FOR THEM, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. I am contacting the insurance ombudsman tomorrow and have already sent my story to Watchdog and am ringing my bank to inform them a crime has been committed by Saga withdrawing monies from my account without my permission.
The booking process is easy either by internet or phone call. As with all travel companies the brochures tend to veil some of the negatives about hotels/locations which is unforgivable when dealing with senior people, many with disabilities. Target/commission led agents can be over enthusiastic with the facts in a effort to coerce a booking. I have travelled with Saga a few times and have a holiday booked for next year and it's a good medium for meeting people in similar circumstances. The no single supplement on most hotel holidays and the little extra you pay with porterage etc included is well worthwhile. Their slogan "holidays done properly" is in the main correct but the company has gone downhill in many clients estimation since the departure of Roger de Haan. It's the little things that need to be addressed to get their reputation back to where it was.