Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Before considering Club Mahindra Membership : My personal advice

Before your purchase decision, evaluate your decision on following points:

Profile your vacation needs:
· Do you spend most of your vacation days visiting your home town or religious place, can you spare 7 days for Club Mahindra Holidays?
· Do you like to go to historical places or places like Munnar, Poovar, Coorg, etc?
· Do you go for 7 days in a stretch? If you go two places 3days + 4days, you will soon exhaust all nearby Club Mahindra resorts. You will have to revisit those places in order to utilize your membership days.
· You take such trip to relax or like to see places around as much as possible and come to hotel only in evening for sleep?
· If you can only travel in your children' vacation days, You will have to take higher season membership (Red or Purple season), white season membership will not do.
· At Resorts everything comes at cost, full day buffet for 2 adult + 2 Children will cost you Rs2000+ , DVD rental ~Rs40 , children' activities ~Rs100- Rs300 per activity.
· Membership gives only accommodation + dry kitchen facility in some resorts. Anything else comes at a cost.
· Resorts are usually little far away from the main town, Munnar - 18km, Coorg - 5 km, Poovar - 45 km , Goa - 8km (distance from main Bus Stop), 40km from airport.
· Can you plan 2 to 6 months in advance? It is very unlikely to get accommodation in Club Mahindra on 15 days’ notice. Do not believe sales staff if they promise so. Ask for a written commitment on it.
· What is the cost of your money? How much you can earn on that money and utilize same for your vacation. Remember you will be paying ASF also which will increase year by year.
· Will hotel rental always increase in India? (look example of airlines: business class fares are mostly same but economy class fare has come down drastically)
· How much bank charge when you take unsecured loan? 18- 30%! What is the current floating and fixed rate for (secured) home loan? (10.5 - 13%)! 
· What will be the interest rate on unsecured loan to companies like Mahindra Holidays for 25 years?
· Do you know if you borrow 1Lakh Rs for 25 year EMI repayment option at 10.5% interest rate, your monthly outgo will be ~Rs.11433/- for 25 years.
· You are committing 25 years of business to CM.
· Mahindra Holidays spend >50% of memberships sales revenue on marketing and sales.
· Not all resorts are equally good or have commercial value, Average out resort quality.
· A season is wide spread to 16 - 24 weeks, not all weeks in a season are equally valued.
· You will be taking long holidays of 3 to 7 days, not one night stay.
· You may have to plan 2 to 6 months in advance to get your desired dates, location.
· In many respects it is comparable to low cost airlines vs. full service airlines so discount that.

Strip down marketing glare:
· Any promise apart from accommodation! (like free pickup- drop, vacation planning, etc.)
· Search on net for common problem with the Club Mahindra membership. Look
· Not all resorts are same.
· Some resorts has minuscule room capacity (10 - 20 rooms, for more than 1Lakh+ members), very difficult to get booking there. (see a table at end of this blog)
· Most of the people will not be able to realize RCI benefits even up to 10% of what they say.
· They run promotions year around, so if they say this offer is for just today/ this week, do not believe them.
· Usually you can avail free/complimentary holidays in low season only.
· Negotiate on complementary offers/validity days.
· There is no regulatory body in India to govern timeshare industry. Many timeshare companies have gone burst in past.
· Timeshare model Mahindra Holidays follows is not very transparent and complex too, you will not be able to know how company is performing.

Membership termination rules:
If you cancel your membership after ten days (not ten working days) of enrollment you will loose your 60% money straight (in case of full payment), in EMI scheme you will have to cancel your credit card :). Look another post:

Have you read all membership rules before signing it? you will get your membership kit only after a month. Mahindra Holidays has been changing membership/booking rules on their own wishes, can you you adjust with ever changing rules. 

Buy it in seconds sales:
· If you find membership useful to you, buy it in second sale as you can get 30-50% discount after adjusting for promotional gifts items. Link to Buy/Sell entries

Do not forget to Read following post:
My observation on Club Mahindra Membership
What are you paying for your Timeshare Membership?
Club Mahindra at its best: from 50 to 70 consumer cases in 10 months