Club Mahindra 3 year membership (goZest classic) - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Club Mahindra 3 year membership (goZest classic)

Club Mahindra has introduced a shorter 3 year membership targeted at potential customers not willing to commit for a 25 year membership that costs around 10-20 lakh rupees. There was news about it but Club Mahindra refused to give any information in public. Club Mahindra sales team shares pricing and other details only in controlled environments (their marketing events)- recently I was invited to one as they bought customer details from Hyundai and claimed to have special offer for Hyundai customers. I attended knowing their game and got some insights about this goZest membership scheme.

Traditionally, if you are buying a Club Mahindra timeshare membership you have to chose a season (White, Blue, red, purple), room type (studio, 1 BR, 2 BR) and commit a large sum (starting at 3 lakh for Blue season Studio rooms, going all the way upto 20 lakhs for Purple 2 BR). This is lots of money for most middle class families and  a barrage of complaints online about non availability of resorts and other issues made people hesitate committing so much money into travel accommodation. (flight, food, activity everything extra, though name suggests “holidays”)

Now, sensing customer apprehensions, Club Mahindra has devised a new scheme targeted at those who want to try out their membership without spending lots of money. Same resorts & inventory but different group of customers under a different scheme.  This new goZest scheme works like below

  • Membership is valid for 3 years
  • Instead of customers having to select room type, season etc, a point based scheme is introduced. Members get 600 points per year- if you want to book on weekends, peak season, 1 BR rooms it costs around 280 points per day (implies you can book only about 2 days per year). If you can book on weekdays, off peak season, club mahindra owned resorts & studio rooms, then you can book a night for around 75-80 points a day, which means you will get upto 8 days holiday a year.
  • This new 3 year membership has a rack rate of 1.45 lakhs. You will be given some offers (20k off, 0% EMI, some extra free nights etc), effectively bringing down the cost to around 1.25 lakhs. You can try your luck bargaining for some more discount if you are serious.

(Note: I have seen some 2020 blogposts where the price was quoted as 99k, so now it has been increased to 1.45 lakh and some discount is given)

  • There is also a GoZest Premium at 850 points a year. I don’t know its pricing. Probably 2 lakh rupees.
  • There is no ASF (annual maintenance fee) in this 3 year GoZest membership scheme. Regular Club Mahindra members pay 10-20k per year as ASK, which alone is 2-3k per day in addition to the massive membership fee already paid. However this could be charged in another way- like increase in number of points needed for a room.
  • Top up option: If you are left with lesser points you can pay and add points to your account.

If you are attracted by timeshare holiday membership concept and wish to give it a try without taking huge risk (if 1 lakh+ is NOT a risky amount for you), this might be an option to experiment. There are many unhappy customers online but a few happy ones too- if you are lucky you might end up in the happy group if all goes well for you,

Drawbacks/limitations of Club Mahindra goZest 3 year membership scheme

  • Not even breakfast is included. All food items cost extra. But thankfully there are some options- you may be able to cook some basic items in the kitchenette, bring outside food, order ala carte or avail room service. But be ready to spend INR 1000-3000 per day extra on food depending on what options you choose.
  • You still compete with a whole set of Club Mahindra members (lakhs of them) for room booking. Branding is different but resorts are the same. Availability is one of the biggest concerns for the timeshare members, particularly if your options and flexibility is limited. If you can book 3 months in advance for weekday in off season you may get some options but if you are particular about the resort, weekend, date etc you may have to see  “sold out” board. Club Mahindra has no plans to stop enrolling new members so this will be a never ending issue.
  • No exit option: Once you pay 1.25 lakhs your money is gone for good. No refund/exit options if you find later that the scheme is not working for you. A relationship manager will be assigned to you, try your luck getting your issues sorted through them or customer care.
  • Club Mahindra may increase/decrease points at its own discretion. Room that costs 100 points today may cost 120 points from next year and this is how Club Mahindra will cover for inflation and ASF. There is no commitment that point count won’t increase for next 3 years. There is nothing you can do.
  • Still costs a minimum 7600 INR per day (off season, studio room, weekday, budget food) to 28000 INR per day (peak season weekend with food). It is still lots of money for a middle class family. It might be possible to get a decent resort for 6000 INR just like that, without any memberships

Club Mahindra goZest 3 year membership- Per day pricing estimation


Worst case per day cost (weekend, peak season,1BR)

2 days per year (280 points/day)

Best case  per day cost

8 days per year

(weekday, off season, studio)

Initial membership fee

1,25,000 for 3 years

21000 per day (6-7 days total)

5200 per day (24 days total)

Interest lost on membership fee , if it was kept in FD (6%) = 7500/year

3250

940

Food and other essential expenses per day for 2 people

5000 per day (in house purchase, buffet, after some 25% discount for 2 people)

1500 (manage with outside food, kitchenette, other budget options etc)

ASF/Maintenance

0

0

Total

29,000 INR +

7,600 INR

Travel & other costs

Extra

Extra

I have already written extensively about Club Mahindra in the past. You may read these posts if interested.

  1. Club Mahindra timeshare product review
  2. Buy/Sell used club Mahindra memberships
  3. Club Mahindra Binsar Resort Review
  4. Club Mahindra Coorg Resort Review
  5. Club Mahindra legal notice to me!

From Club Mahindra’s point of view, this is an attempt to grab those middle class families who either can’t effort regular 5 to 20 lakh membership or people held back by poor online feedbacks. With lowered entry barrier, now Club Mahindra will add few more lakh customers and competition for rooms will increase. Those who paid 20 lakhs will have to fight with those who paid 1 lakh for same rooms and resorts. 

https://gozest.clubmahindra.com/how-it-works

Club Mahindra Binsar Valley resort










What are your thoughts? Does this 3 year membership excite you? Would you prefer to try this out instead of conventional 25 year scheme?

5 comments:

  1. Hi Srinidhi.. I don't understand the business model of both long term membership & this short term supposedly low cost model.
    Its like you are paying upfront money committing your annual travel plan which is limited to Mahindra resorts & as you mentioned competing with others , trying to prioritize the vacation since it's already paid-up !

    Here is my view , Its a loosing game for both rich & middle class

    Rich - If you have time & money, why would you pay so much at the cost of freedom & hassle of running in booking race with others. You have money, use it to try new resorts, totally freedom to plan last minute trips . Since rich should not care of few thousand difference of cost

    Middle class - You are being sold dream vacation that you used to think only rich can afford. But now once you pay membership, you have pressure to do paisa vasool. So you have to plan those vacation accumulating travel cost, expensive food & other cost just to do false sense of recovery of your membership benefit. Better is book multiple resorts in advance where there are min cancellation charges & if everything is working as planned, enjoy at your own budget & freedom

    ReplyDelete
  2. yes i totally agree with this above comment.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with your concerns.

    Timeshare is sold on following narratives
    - Cost of holiday will go up in time, if you buy now you get protection
    - It forces you to take holiday every year
    - Direct booking is more expensive than what it costs to member

    Because timeshare companies sign up way more members than their inventory this model often results in clash and compromise. No exit options, no service commitment or compensation clause, increasing ASF, food charges etc makes matters worse

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Shrinidhi,
    Are you aware of club Mahindra's policy in Coorg (virajpet and madikeri) to not allow outside food in their resorts as they claim this is to prevent cross contamination ?

    Can they even do this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a separate post on managing food at Club Mahindra. Yes, you can't order from outside restaurants, as it is loss of money for them... But you can go out, eat and come back, or buy items from supermarket to use in mini kitchen provided in your room

      Delete

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