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SAGA Insurance - their old affiliate program which was corked while it was at Platform A / Buy.at

This is an old page telling the history of the affiliate programs of Saga Insurance. Here at Zyra's website we get on very well with Saga Insurance, and we've been promoting Saga Home Insurance and Saga Motor Insurance for years. Everything was going well until the affiliate marketing company Buy.at (who are supposed to manage the accounting and tracking) got bought out by AOL. Buy.at used to be a good company before that, but after being bought out, things became unreasonably difficult, and it was a shame because it wasn't the fault of SAGA and it wasn't our fault either. It was the fault of the middleman-company who just didn't seem to understand the importance of fuss-free business and the ease of running things. It's a bit like someone failing to put oil on the gate and so it squeaks, and then failing to put oil on the bicycle chain and so it rusts, and then failing to put oil in the car engine and guess what, it conks out disastrously.

I'm sorry to have to tell you that in my opinion SAGA's nice affiliate program with its easy-running well-managed relationships has been unceremoniously scraunched to a halt because of mismanagement at Buy.at under Platform A.

Now that the affiliate program has moved to TradeDoubler, we can now resume the affiliate program, although by then, Buy.at had been bought out by Affiliate Window and had become The new Buy.at! You can still visit Saga Home Insurance and Saga Motor Insurance here!

All this historical affiliate stuff may not be much comfort if you are a customer eagerly waiting to get a nice insurance quote from Saga for your home or motor, but please hear me out as I feel that justice needs to be seen to be done, and I consider that Saga have been sorely wronged by Buy.at , not just financially, but also in terms of Public Relations, and I hope to see this put right!

If you feel you are in a rush and you don't want to hear me out, you are still welcome to put in the Saga web addresses (www.saga.co.uk) which are available via Saga Home Insurance and Saga Motor Insurance

If you're still with me on this, then let me show you an example to the type of problem needlessly introduced because of Platform A Buy.at: SAGA is of course an honest company, and they don't want there to be fraud, which is understandable. Much of the dishonesty in question came from a small minority of websites in some distant foreign locations, so the following guideline was introduced: "Affiliates must be VAT Registered at Companies House", or something like that. Now of course the obvious flaw with that is that as anyone knows if they're running a business in the UK, it's the HMRC who deal with VAT registrations, whereas Companies House is to do with LTD companies. However, regardless of that, as there's no VAT on affiliate payments, many affiliates aren't VAT registered, and because of the backlog in bureaucracy it takes many months to be VAT registered, and most affiliates aren't LTD (Limited Companies), for the simple reason that most affiliates have much higher income than expenditure, so there is generally no need to acquire the legal protection against creditors as per Limited Companies and limited liability. In other words, the ruling is SILLY.

However, SAGA had stated that it was a GUIDELINE, and that exceptions could be made. Thus, a wise and sensible maxim. Obviously this is a nod-and-a-wink to say that it's largely to scare off fraudsters at a distance, and that all honest affiliates of good repute should be accepted.

The problem is, AOL / Platform A / Buy.at did not seem to understand this, and instead they imposed the rule as an absolute rigid edict, and so most affiliates were suspended on the affiliate program, leaving SAGA sadly missing out on a huge amount of business which they would have otherwise had, from the great many sole-traderships and non-vat-registered affiliates in general.

I have been promoting SAGA Insurance for years, and looking at past years' figures, I know that I have personally missed out on a couple of thousand pounds' worth of commission, which means logically therefore that Saga have missed out on many tens of thousands of pounds worth of insurance policy sales, and I'm sure you can guess whom I blame for that!

When the whole nonsense of the Buy.at contract got out of hand, I started phoning merchants, and when I told those helpful friendly people at SAGA, they were horrified at what Buy.at had done. I felt really sorry for them, and I made positive suggestions towards migrating the Saga affiliate programs to one of the other affiliate networks where things were managed better. Shortly after that, I received the following e-mail message from Buy.at ...

Dear Zyra

I'm sorry to say your application to join the Saga Home Insurance programme has been declined this time.

Applications are declined for a number of reasons that include factors such as the retailer is building their programme slowly, the retailer is currently hitting their acquisition targets via affiliate marketing or the retailer has concerns about whether your site is a good fit with their products.

If you would like us to get the retailer to reconsider their decision please let us know.

I phoned Saga and found they were unaware of this. So in other words, we can surmise that Buy.at are sending out these messages as pretence that Saga are rejecting affiliates, when in fact the problem is not with Saga but with Buy.at!

(To answer the points mentioned in the spurious e-mail: 1. Saga have not declined this site. It's Buy.at who've done that. 2. Saga may or may not be "building their programme slowly", but I have been included on it for years anyway, and nomatter how slowly a program is building up, good merchants don't chuck out affiliates who've been trustworthy for years. 3. As far as I know, Saga is a wise company where they're not so silly as to have "acquisition targets" (which are part of the capped programs nonsense), and 4. You can't get much closer to being a good fit for their products when this site has dedicated pages such as Saga Home Insurance and Saga Motor Insurance and Saga Travel Insurance and has been attracting people to sign up for years (as verified by my accounts which are documentary evidence!)).

Anyway, let's sum this all up in a set of concise opinions which I express as follows:

1. We like SAGA. They are a good insurance company.

2. Buy.at have messed things up.

3. We look forward to SAGA having a new affiliate program arrangement at a different affiliate marketing company so we can resume being mutually good for business as we have been for many years!

On this last point, I will not say publically what is going to happen, except to say "Watch this space!".

There is good news on this and you can now get to SAGA Insurance here: Saga Home Insurance and Saga Motor Insurance and now also Saga Travel Insurance