Club Mahindra - A good concept, great facilities, but run by rogues !
Guys, think twice before thinking of enrolling with Club Mahindra. Don't get lured by the attractive schemes and advertisements, the picturesque presentation and the sweet-talk of the sales-guy. There are a lot of fine prints and hidden rules, which I'll try to let you all know, about which, the sales-person will never let you know.
1. The newspaper advertisement says "Holidays made un"interest"ing", and means that EMIs will be interest free. The truth is, you have to make 15% downpayment upfront for all the schemes. The 0% EMI scheme applies only if you avail 6 EMI or 12 EMI options. The interest rates for other EMI options are 24 EMI (16%), 36 (16.75%), 48 (17.5%), 60 (18.5%).
2. Ad says "At attractive EMIs of Rs 3481"... The price is for a Studio apartment which can be availed in the Blue season (60 EMI, 18.5% interest) (blue season means the lowest season, for e.g. at the Goa resort, the blue season is March or June-July when they get the lowest tourists). The same EMI for the Purple season (peak season, dec end) would be Rs 8000+. Hence, you will get holidays in bad weather, or when your children/office won't have vacations.
For a 60 EMI package, you can go on a holiday to a resort only after 18 months. Your 7 days of promised holiday starts after 18 months. So after paying 15% and next 17 EMI (for next 17 months, u get nothing), you will be able to start your dream holiday... quite a distant dream indeed!
3. Ad says "Sign up now and get 81cm Samsung LCD TV Free"... Nothing comes free in life, you get what you pay for. Some of my friends have opted out of the free TV offer and got cash discounts on the package. I wanted to buy a LCD TV hence got caught in the bait. Even after 4 months of registration, with 15% down payment and the 3rd EMI paid, there is no scent of the TV. The catch was "I should pay at least 2 EMI and wait for 45 days after this for the TV to get delivered". This was never disclosed at the time of registration. Also, i got a email a week back, informing that the Samsung model will be replaced with a Sony.
Ad says "Holiday 7 days a year, for 25 years"... Not for free. Even after paying all your EMIs or the full fees, you will still have to pay Annual Subscription Fee (ASF) every year (irrespective of usage). The ASF for 2008 was 2Bedroom-Rs14592, 1BR-Rs10402, Studio-Rs7408. Note that this value will keep increasing every year, with inflation.
Free RCI Membership - They will provide you RCI membership for 3 years, but if you want to avail of any RCI Hotel for stay, you will have to pay the Hotel charges... then what is the use of this membership?
Considering Club Mahindra has only 23 resorts, i am not amazed by people complaining that they don't get reservations. Club Mahindra has not disclosed any numbers on the amount of members they have now. Moreover, I'd request people not to get into new memberships so that existing members can at least get something out of their hard earned money, at least we can hope we will have a good holiday for the next 25 years.
When asked about all the negative reviews Club Mahindra has got, the sales-guy says it is normal to have 1-2% grievances in the service industry, and that those who have applied late and not got reservations have bad-mouthed about them. But here i am, writing about them, even after booking my holiday with them!
Not everything is bad about Club Mahindra, those who have visited the resorts, have been fully satisfied and happy. Great locations, nice hospitality. But one has to have a lot of patience and early-planning (5-6 months in advance), then go through lot of un-cooperative and unresponsive sales-guys, customer support professionals. In the end, you do feel cheated, and as a customer, it is a bitter pill to swallow!
I am going for my first holiday with Club Mahindra in Sept'09, will surely update this page with my experience. Thanks for reading, stay away from Club Mahindra!
I received my Sony Bravia LCD TV yesterday. Thanks to Club Mahindra! But my feedback for them is, please please please improve your Customer Service. You have started a good concept, a good company, you could have avoided all my complaints and everyone else’s, so why not pull up your socks a bit!