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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Magic holidays timeshare cost & review

10 days ago, I saw a series of print ads by Magic Holidays related to timeshare concept. Their concept and scheme looked like an exact replica of Club Mahindra. Out of curiosity, visited their website, which hardly answered any of my questions, as it had generic glorified info. I registered on their website to know more. After full 3 days I got a call from them and 2 days later, a sales rep met me. I was expecting him to carry a laptop and show me the videos etc, but he came with a file folder, which had some brochures and Xerox copies of the sales materials like rate cards etc.


I listened patiently while he completed his generic sweet talk about his company and then asked him following specific questions:
1. Do you sell property to non members? If a member is not getting rooms but non members are able to book in open market, what should members do?
Answer by Sales Manager: (He didn’t give a commitment that they don’t give out property to non members) “That’s very unlikely scenario as our primary focus is our members. If members want to book at short notice they can call us. We’ve a MRD team which has access to certain VIP rooms in all resorts- with CEO’s approval we can give those rooms to members if there’s a genuine reason”

2. Do you have any upper cap on how many members you plan to sign up? (if # of members is > #of weeks * # of rooms # # of resorts, there’s bound to be shortage)
Sales Manager: Compared to others, we have very less membership base. For past 2 years we’ve not been marketing at all and were growing by referrals. Only now we’ve launched an ad campaign. We’ve only 2000+ members as of now, with 17+ properties and 21 more soon coming up. We’ll never face shortage of rooms. If you can’t get a room even after giving multiple date and location choices, call us, we (our MRD team) will help (Note: again, there’s nothing in writing to indicate what process will be followed if above mentioned situation, which is always a theoretical possibility-occurs)

3. What if I give 3 dates, locations and make my request more than 30 days in advance and still fail to get a room?
Sales manager again reinstated the MRD team, VIP rooms and special arrangements. Again this was superficial promise, there was nothing written in writing to cover this possibility.
The sales guy also showed Club Mahindra and Sterling rate cards, season chart and made following claims: 
  • Magic Holiday rates are 30-40% cheaper than Club Mahindra Holidays, ASF is also proportionately cheaper
  • Magic holiday doesn’t have a purple season
  • Magic Holiday is just 3 years into the business, already has 30+ properties and 20+ lined up, while CM and others, despite being in business for many years, don’t have as many rooms/properties as Magic
  • CM and Sterling need 30 days notice for booking, Magic needs 15 days
  • Selling your membership week is legal with Magic. Suppose if you get a booking of 1 week in Goa and then wish to sell it to a colleague, Magic would charge Rs 1000 for this and all liabilities will be borne by your colleague who uses the property. In CM, actual member will be liable
  • Magic holidays resorts are closer to city while others have their resorts far away.
  • Magic Holidays allows you to advance your next year’s days to this year.
  • Minimum booking is 1 night whereas it is 2 nights with others
Below is the actual chart shown be sales person, highlighting the differences

Note: Above are the claims made by sales rep, presented here as info. I’ve not personally verified these claims. Please use your discretion and cross check.

Just like CM, Magic also offers complimentary holiday, free gifts, meal vouchers, cash discount and so on. There is a weekend clause- your 7 days a year can contain only 1 weekend. You can't take 3 vacations of 2 days each, all during weekend.

Magic Timeshare Holidays current membership cost/tariff/pricelist
Below is the photo of Xerox copy he gave me. Click to enlarge. Membership rate varies from 1.6 lakhs to 7.8 lakhs ( For 7*25= 175 nights) + annual fee of 5k to 11k)
(Club Mahindra rates start from 2.5 lakhs and goes all the way up to 12.5 lakhs for Red 2BR (16+ for Purple season) + ASF ranging from 10k to 22k per year- More details here)

Below: A chart which explains No of days conversion between season (i.e. if you buy a studio blue season, you can still book a 2BR in red season, but for 1 night only, as against 7 nights in a studio apartment in blue season

Your travel, food, site seeing expenses extra. In a recent presentation by Singapore tourism board, they said Indians spend 40% of the travel budget on accommodation, 21% on shopping, rest on food, travel etc. In case of domestic holidays, majority expense will be on reaching the destination-(flight mostly, if you’re in other part of the country). So having a good timeshare membership but not having budget travel options can make our travel budget go out of control.

Should you buy such timeshare membership? By calculating the per day expense, it doesn’t make sense spending so much money now, hoping to save in future. ASF would increase in line with inflation. Very difficult to predict how our life will be over next 25 years. Having your money locked in with one time share company limits your options during a holiday. Many a time a Rs 1000/day home-stay can offer much better experience that Rs 7000 a day resort.

Below: list of properties as claimed by Magic Holidays
However, if you’re already sold on the concept of timeshare, have decided to buy a membership and trying to decide between Sterling, CM, Magic, then you can give magic some serious considerations. No one can certify a product/service better than an existing customer, so find an existing magic holidays timeshare member, take his feedback before deciding.

Only 2 of Magic Holidays resorts are gold crown certified- Allepy and one more

I'm yet to get some clarity on their cancellation policy and few other follow up questions. Expect some updates to this post little later

Also read: Club Mahindra membership review

37 comments :

debarpita mohapatra said...

Very nice comparison Shri... Thanks for the information.

Gaurav Gupta said...

Did you notice they have put Mahabaleshwar in Karnataka...seems they have week geography, how they are selling holidays?!!!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Gaurav: Good catch

Deb: Thanks

Anonymous said...

You bet Gaurav.. When someone is weak (not week) in Geography the other can also be weak in basic grammer & spelling too... lol :)

Good insight Shri...

Anonymous said...

Guys
Following are my understanding before you select CM is meant for you and ready to invest the money.
1) Be clear about resort and hotel. (Find the difference first).
2) Be clear about what is time share and your personality suits the same? E.g. time management.
3) Be clear about your financials and understanding of the inflation.
4) Be clear about your need of vacation and members joined during vacation.

Please note CM is only and only make sense for you if
1) You are a family man and like luxury.
2) You are going for vacation minimum 2 times in 3 years for 10 days of trip.
3) You are not greedy to see the complete state within 3 days. (e.g. Himarchal trip of 7 days and just running or travelling from one place to other continuously)
4) You can plan well in advance minimum 3 months. (e.g. school going kids parents can plan well by going for vacation during the their holiday period only. )
5) Understand the increase of inflation. Kerala trip in 2008 cost me Rs. 25000. Today the same itinerary cost me around Rs. 75000 for family of 2 adult and 2 kids for 7 days. This is power of inflation. What will be the price of same itinerary in year 2015 and 2020 god knows.
6) CM resorts are luxury resorts and not small time lodge or 1 or 2 star small hotel / resort. So if you are a person who can compromise the stay in Rs. 1500 / night hotel during peak season, CM is not for you.
7) If you are a person who would see that food bill does not increase more than Rs. 400 a day (3 meals), CM is not meant for you. In India you can get a meal in 20Rs. And 2000 Rs. Choice is yours. Luxury always comes with price.
8) Agree there was issue of resorts in past but not now. Many resorts are available now at various places and locations. Infect average utilization rate is 80% for 2012 and 2013. This info available on company’s website.
9) You are particular about the crowd in swimming pool.

If any of the point is coming NO request for big “NO” for enrollment as the person do not belong to time sharing concept and luxury resorts.

Some Advice for purchasing (if you want)
if you are family. (RED and PURPLE is the only season to choose)
If your trip generally not dependent on kid’s school holidays (Minimum white)
If you do not care of any season and free bird. (Elders only Blue season. Strict no to youngsters as they will have family if not today after few years and then they will have conflict of school holidays and CM seasons) land up with school holidays timings of kids)
People fall a trap when they do not see the things in black and white. E.g. a family of 2 + 2 school going kids cannot buy blue or white season as school will not have holidays during that season.

Anonymous said...

GUYZ ...TRY country club,,,,cheaper memberships worth paying best resorts (nt all some are superb ,,some are terrible bt be aware hw much u pay ,for wat u pay and wat u get dont get cheated by marketing peoples..bt product is worthy..

Anonymous said...

seems magic holidays is worth paying... and going for the membership, MC is growing up with many properties

Anonymous said...

1st and foremost magic holidays hardly have their own properties, second if u have seen goa property which they have is pathetic...they dont own much properties so hardly there is any comparision, if u like luxury then pls dont fall into trap of magic..trust me

Anonymous said...

Magic Holidays has more than 36 properties now and all are owned by them, they had some very good properties in Lonavala, Alleppey, Chail, Kodai etc. They also had good MRD department and one of the timeshare company which can be looked after to go with


Anonymous said...

My personal experience is company n product is good but that sales person is totally new in time share he came with his boss vivek or something that person is totally fake he just trying to take money from the customers by giving wrong comments.. ..so take care guyz buy this product but with right person.

Anonymous said...

email to magic holidays from me

Hi,


I got membership of Magic holidays few months back at the time of presentation Mr Arun from noida office showed me several resorts which he claimed that they belong to magic holidays,

After few days when i went to him he said these all are RCI resorts...

This is a clear case of cheating...

Mr Arun is the most irresponsible,laid-back & stupid person i have ever met....

This is a clear case of fraud by your Noida office kindly refund me my money ASAP,

Otherwise I will be forced to take legal action against your company....

Thanks & regards
Ankit Gera
9891103789

RANVIR said...

I have an option to offer for consideration by sensible participants. You may like to check it out at the given link http://daredreamrealize.blogspot.in/2013/12/club-membership-vacations.html - See more at: http://www.tflguide.com/2012/07/club-mahindra-membership-fees-review.html#comment-30642

Rupankar Mahanta said...

I was once sold on CM. But got my money back sfaely after reading fine prints of the agreement. But recently I got sold to 'resale' of old 99 yrs Sterling memebership which makes lots of sense. You can a red season studio around 1-1.2L depending on your patience in scouting classifieds. These are freely transferable with at least 70 yrs remaining. Compare this against atleast 5L for ant red membership, that too for 25 yrs.

Anonymous said...

M into Magic holidays, finding it hard to book a holiday in Goa Graciano. I hv called twice, emailed once, I have not got any acknowledgement for my stay yet. Wht shud I do next?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks folks for your comments. Looks like magic holidays is becoming yet another irresponsible timeshare company.. They had a chance to be different, but looks like they missed it

Anonymous said...

Magic Holidays is truly a great experience, must go ahead and become the member of "MAGIC HOLIDAYS" for magical holidays with your family..

Durbadal Mukherjee said...

Magic Holidays is a Big Fraud.
I had taken membership of Magic Holidays on 22/12/2013 by paying a down payment of Rs 15750/- . Thereafter I have given 3 EMIs worth Rs 3945/- each. In total I have paid them Rs 27585. From the beginning I have got nothing other than false promises. To narrate the exact details:
1) When I signed the lucky coupon at Big Bazaar outlet Kolkata, I was told that this is just a promotion offer and no membership will be required.
2) When I got the call from Magic Holidays that my coupon has been selected, I was reiterated that there is no membership involved and its just a holiday promotion.
3) When I reached the venue I was told that Magic Holidays will offer me membership, quite contrary to what I was told. Anyway, I heard the offer and decided not to go for it. I was literally put in so much pressure about benefits, I told that the free vouchers and gift have no value for me and I frankly asked that I can join in only two conditions:
a) Magic Holidays arrange a house boat accommodation for me at your Alleppy house boat and
b) Magic Holidays arrange another accommodation at any beach.
4) I was promised the following by their Salt Lake City Center Office by Mr Biswanath:
a) total 6 days 5 nights joining offer with Rs 5000 as food voucher for the entire duration of stay.
b) two days house boat accommodation at alleppey
c) I was told that your Kollam resort is the best resort in India wherein we can enjoy the beach, which is very near to the resort.
5) When I got the joining kit I got only Rs 3000 as Food Voucher and on asking your representative Mr Sushanth he denied that a promise was made for voucher of Rs 5000 and it was only Rs 3000. On enquiring from him again that whether House boat will be provided, he reiterated that the same will be provided and inclusive in the package.
6) I had air tickets for Rs 28210 + Rs 20065 spent just to enjoy House Boat and a serene beach with my family. To my utter surprise at Alleppey I was not given House Boat, but a normal small room to stay with. When I enquired about House Boat, I was told to pay additional Rs 8500 for it.
7) I immediately contacted Mr Biswanath, and he assured me that he will look into it. I called him for about 20 times in the two days at alleppey for any feed back. He never called me back, at second night when I charged him that he could have at-least given me a customary apology, he said that he would compensate during my stay at Kollam.
8) On reaching Kollam, I was dissappointed to see that the resort is no where near the beach and Magic Holidays have actually cheated us and ruined our Holiday. I immediately informed the Kollam resort staff that I will not stay any further in the Resort and I checked out early morning next day even when I had booking for three days. The room furniture were so bad we even could not sleep in the bed provided.

We have incurred huge sum of money as flight fare to enjoy House boat and beach. Me and my wife had taken 5 days leave to enjoy here, but we were simply cheated by Magic Holidays. We had no other option but to leave their resort with utter disappointment just to try to salvage the balance 2 days leave we had. This was our worst holiday ever.

Anonymous said...

None of the company is fraud if it is one the listed company...buyers force the sales person to give them fraud...holiday membership is a luxuary....dnt mold it in terms of more and more offers....else it will come in the pathway of fraud...because none of the sales guy want to lose a client for silly offers and in the end all will be miss commitment.

Anonymous said...

I personally do not agree that sales executive to commit anything in excess, which is beyond his capacity n control.
Every customer wanted the right value for his money.. and I believe thats quite fair in this competitive market. Be honest n bow a seed for long term or encash short term cash crop n struggle forever.

Anonymous said...

i have filled a voucher in big bazaar, now i am getting a call from Magic Holidays that i have won a free holiday package for my family. should i go and collect? whether it is actually free?

please suggest....

Shrinidhi Hande said...

I suggest don't waste your time. If you decide to go, leave your credit card behind. You might be brainwashed to sign up because of 'today only- now only' offer

Anonymous said...

Beware of Magic holidays.
It is fraud company.
do not believe their words.
they make fool.

Anonymous said...

Same with me, I filled the coupon at big bazar kandivali & I got selected. Actually they call all the members who fill the form & inform them that they are selected & offer is only for today. Therefore don't be under an impression that you are lucky & offer is only for today. Actually this strategic is open through out the year.
I new its a trap, therefore i was well prepared, & said to my self before going, that what ever it be I am not going to fetch up any money, at least not on today.
I went there along with my wife & spent around 1 hour hearing there offer. Finally I decided not to enroll since it wasn't much impressive or rather expensive for me, since we are not a regular traveler & what benefit we get is just accommodation, rest all we have to arrange. They never utter this word, until i asked them.
Finally there real game started, they started forcing me to enroll, I said them straight forward that i am not interested, then they came with other least offer, again for the same, i said i am not interested. some way or other he was trying to brainwash me. Finally i said, sorry I don't have money. I just took my free holiday package for 3 days & bowl set & simply walk away. Now I just have to see whether the voucher is really valid or not.
I would feel pity for some people who might not be able to cope up with this people and get trap with the hope of getting a free holiday & get enroll, only to realize that there cheap holiday is going to be a costly affair in totality.
So even I would suggest the same, that if you are willing to go there, just keep your card at home.

Ram Chandra said...

That was a great review by the author. I would have saved my hard earned 18k rupees if I had seen this post before I ve listened to a false marketing guy from Magic Holidays. Surprising thing is that after I have proved to Magic Holidays that a false sale is made, thier region head also tried to dilute the matter. I have not received my refund yet. I would say it is a good plan - ONLY if you pay correct amount to own it. Before you pay for it, think twice - Do you really need such a vacation plan??

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks for the comments, sharing your experiences

Neil said...

Thanks for your review....helped me take a choice.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hi Neil.

what choice did you make? (If I may ask)

umang khaitan said...

I am an earlier unsatisfied and now partially satisfied magic customer. I was also duped and pressurized by the sales guy into buying a blue season. I made 2 EMI payments and then realized that none of their promises are holding true. So i wrote lot of emails to the management and finally got my 25 yrs scheme converted to 5 years mini magic for 50K without any AMC. This scheme is for unsatisfied customers. This is red plan with peak season accomodation. I have recently utilized their Chail & Goa (peak Dec season) resorts.
1)The resorts are not ultra luxurious but nice and clean to stay.
2)Their staff and hospitality is very good.

What I feel is that they have wrong people in sales who over-promise and the company is not able to deliver.

On the ground level, they have very clean and good resorts with very good staff.

Members are very less compared to other companies. They have more resorts. Getting a room is easier if booked in lil advance

They should go slow on their sales pitch is what i recommend.

For consumer, I feel they should decide on basis of their requirement. Personally, I feel if I had read this blog earlier I would have never bought it.

1) 25 years too longer a duration - you get stuck with 1 company with limited resorts.
2) No company is dupe-free. CM rooms arent available as lot of consumers.
3) your choices /priority changes with time so magic being a lost cost version might not excite you after some time.

All in all 5 yr mini magic seems working for me.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hi Umang

Thanks for sharing the detailed insights with us. Wasn't aware of 5 year scheme.. looks like Indian Army short service commission :)

Hope you'll enjoy your 5 year stint.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Durbadal Mukherjee ...
for sharing your valuable points & feedback. Just now iam above to join in this club ... and after reading your comments on MHC.., and decided not to join in this club.

Thanks,
Ramu

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I would request you not to buy any plan from Magic holidays, its a kind of fraud company, brain wash middle class people, and will not share any proper details with you. even in the website there is no complete information. Initially they will offer an lucky draw holiday for 1-3 days somewhere. then they will call you and asked to collect offer from their office,
then they will brain wash you till u not giving them credit or debit card to buy an offer.

moreover they may commit you big plan and will offer you something else.
once you deposit your amount late they will never call you and will forgot about u.

if you dont believe me search magic holidays in consumercomplaints.com

they cheated many people as i am also one of them, i requested for refund but not getting a single rupee after 1 year now.
If anyone has suggestions please mail me on punjabi_samosa@yahoo.co.in

thanks

Shrinidhi Hande said...

hmm, very unfortunate. You could have done some research before purchase. Hope for best. File legal case along with other affected customers

Anonymous said...

Magic holidays is really a chor company. I paid them 2000 rs for 3N/4D voucher and now i wanted to avail that voucher. They told me that the 2000 rs reciept which they gave me is not
real. I am filing case against them. I wont let them go after stealing my money. Now this company will pay alot more. Hi All, Join me with this mission and atleast you people can file consumer complaint online against it and magic holidays will be blacklisted.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,

I also lost 10k because of magic holidays, kindly give me a solution to recover that amount from them.

Anonymous said...

Thank u all. It really helped me alott before stucking in problem. Thank u

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Anon 1: Could you recover it? Guess that was the advance paid?

@Anon 2: Great.