Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hurrah for Saga Radio

I have been doing a lot of commuting recently (I worked out I've driven for about 24 hours this week). My commute takes me from Bristol, up the M5 to the congested mess that is Birmingham's motorway interchange. Forget the fabulous M6 toll motorway, it only works if you're coming from or going to London. Fortunately, as the traffic slows to 0 miles an hour, I at least have one consolation - Saga Radio, which my car radio can't get in Bristol.

Saga Radio is the station for pensioners (well, people over 50), and although I am 34, my inner pensioner (I call her Audrey) is VERY strong. The station's proud tagline is "all the hits from the last six decades AND NOW!" It doesn't play a lot of "NOW" really. This picture is taken from their website - it depicts what appears to be an "average" listener, enjoying themselves while listening to Saga. Actually, it looks like they just died and rigor mortis set in a few hours ago. You'd probably never notice.

My favourite Saga advert is one they have for insurance. They perfectly key in to the moaning minnie attitude of so many British old people (and the old at heart like me) by saying things like "If you phone our hotline, you will speak to a BRITISH PERSON and we don't use the automated menu systems that are so COMMON NOWADAYS." I almost feel like getting Saga insurance (even though I probably don't qualify), just so I can speak to a real live British person, rather than hear a computerised voice say "Press 1 if...." for 25 minutes, and then be put through to someone who's accent is not mutually intelligble with mine. Perhaps a lot of Saga's customers get confused by computer menu systems (not realising that they are talking to a computer...

Bewildered old person: "Hello love, what's this about insurance?"
Computer Robot voice: "Please enter your 23 digit security number."
Bewildered old person: "Ohhhhh I don't have it love."
Computer Robot voice: "Press 1 if you want to enquire about your policy."
Bewildered old person: "You what? The battery on my hearing aid's a bit low. Say again?"
Computer Robot voice: "Press 2 if you want to change your details."
Bewildered old person: "retail? What retail? Someone help me!"
Computer Robot Voice: "Press 3 if you want to speak to someone in India."
Bewildered old person: "What number was that pet?"

Saga news (which happens every half hour) is always a lot of fun to listen to. For the past week only one news story has dominated their news. Forget the mid-term Elections in America. It's all been about those poor kiddies who died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning on their holiday in Corfu. I know it's tragic, but Saga News has been covering the story like a rather morbid aunt who likes nothing better than to hang off every gruesome detail, and then have a good funeral to cry at. It's always the top news story. Last week I must have heard them say 8 times that the father had woken up but had not yet been told that his children were dead. Yesterday the story had progressed to the possible criminal prosecution.

To be fair, they do play some good music - though nothing too fast or with too much of a beat - they would be worried about over-stimulating people's pace makers and inducing coronaries in half their audience. There is no shouting and no unpleasantness either. That's what's the best thing about being old. It's just cups of tea and a nice song from the days when music had a proper tune and most of the songs had a story to them. Not like NOWADAYS. I can't wait.


Reluctant Nomad said...

God, how frightening, I'm almost of the age when I become the target age for Saga.

matty said...

We have coffe in the US called Sanka.

radio, coffee -- seniors -- my line of thought kind of makes sense.

Especially if you've been up for close to 24 hours like moi.


KAZ said...

OK Lubin - It may be fine to listen to Saga Radio when you are youthful and virile - but most people of my age are still trying desperately to appear *young*.
We daren't even be caught listening to Radio 2.

P.S. Give my regards to Audrey.

Kevin said...

Saga scares me in so many different ways, I think it might have something to do with the elderly who I commonly associate with zombies.

Amusingly though I find their inaccurate view that all insurance companies use automated systems and crazy foreigners.

I'm with Norwich Union and the only voice thing I get is some Australian woman telling me about the road traffic act and how they share my details with the state. Then I get bounced off to somebody in Blackpool who tend to be rather nice, even when I shout things like "WHAT DO YOU MEAN CANCELLED MY F***ING POLICY, ISN'T THAT JUST WONDERFUL AND GUESS WHAT I NEED TO CLAIM" (in the end the woman after suffering my abuse said she'd handle it within 10 minutes and ring me back (which they did and it were fixed). But I guess that's the luxury I get for being on one of their trial schemes.

Somebody remind me where I was going with this.....