MakinMemories Holiday Membership: Cost, details, analysis - eNidhi India Travel Blog

MakinMemories Holiday Membership: Cost, details, analysis

MakinMemories seems to be the latest entrant to timeshare holiday membership business. After attending Karma Holidays and Club Mahindra Marketing pitch, I got an invite from MakinMemories (note the spelling, it is NOT Making Memories, g missing) recently. Again they bought customer data from Hyundai and approached me stating I got selected in their special scheme for free gifts and I was invited to their marketing campaign.

I did some research on the company before attending and learnt that it was set up in 2019 with just about 2 lakh rupees investment (1 lakh paid up capital, 1 lakh INR share capital.) Few online reviews were already indicating these people take money and then deny services promised. Common with most timeshare companies.


Anyway I decided to get hands on experience, even if it means enduring their marketing pitch for an hour. I was promised some gifts and a 2Night/3 Day holiday voucher.


Below is a summary of what MakinMemories offer under their "holiday ownership" scheme

  • Holiday membership of 5, 10 or 15 years duration
  • Access to 1000s of properties around the world
  • Each year 6Night/7Day stay with breakfast included
  • Pickup & Drop from nearest airport/ railway station (this alone can cost a few k per trip, not sure how they can offer for free)
  • Lunch/Dinner- free at some resorts, 50% off other places
  • A vehicle at your disposal 24x7 (only fuel charges to be paid I am told)
  • Other resort facilities
  • Some membership benefits like movie tickets, gym membership etc

All the above sounds too good and tempting. Below is what their membership costs

  • 15 years: 3.5 Lakhs (their website lists 7.49 lakhs for 15 years)
  • 10 Year: 2.3 lakhs
  • 5 year: 1.5 lakhs INR. Later this was brought down to 110000 INR for 6 years.
  • When I refused, I was asked to take 1 year membership at 17500 INR

Points to note: an extra amount of INR 1699 for studio room, 2699 for 2BR to be paid per day. I was told this is tax amount.

Effectively below is what it costs you to experience MakinMemories timeshare membership. 

Let us take example of 5 year membership

  • Upfront payment: 1,10,000 INR for 6 nights per year * 5 years = 3700 INR per night
  • Interest lost on membership amount (if membership amount is kept in FD at  6%) =6600 INR per year = 1100 INR per night
  • Amount to be paid extra per day for studio:  1699 per night
  • All these adds about INR 6400 per night per room. Plus I am sure some sort of tax will be collected extra, so effective cash outgo of about 7500 per night
  • You can advance your holiday from next year or carry forward unused days to next year. I was told there is up to 15 year time to consume all your holidays
  • There are no seasons and no ASF. (may be 1699 you've to pay would increase over time bit by bit)
  • Food, travel, sightseeing extra (read how much it costs in Club Mahindra for food)

Representative image- Evolve Back Coorg, which MakinMemories list in their brochure

7500 INR is not super cheap but a fair amount as several luxury resorts sell for 15-20k per night. Evolve Back rooms sell for 30-40k per night. Not sure how Makinmemories can provide then for 7k. My guess is they add a few rooms in ultra luxury properties for a loss purely for marketing purpose. It may be near impossible to get confirmed booking in these properties.


In addition, timeshare memberships have following concerns

  • MakinMemories does not own many resorts. They only have tie up- like they would pay an yearly amount to Radisson and get say 5 or 10 rooms in their property. Most of these properties would have agreed for super cheap rates to MakinMemories under the promise of huge volume. As long as MakinMemories pay their due on time, Radisson or any other partner hotel will honor Makinmemories customers. If MM start defaulting, the list of available properties will begin to dwindle, or properties would refuse to check-in after you arrive.
  • MakinMemories already has about 10000 customers and enrolling thousands more like crazy. They are running membership campaigns all across Karnataka and will expand to other states as well. As more members sign up, unless inventory is increased, providing rooms to all will be a challenge- particularly during long weekend, holiday season
  • The company is just a few years old and started with just a few lakh rupee capital, backed by a Thane Politician. Remains to be seen how they sustain and grow over years without causing any fraud like many other timeshare companies are criticized for (making unrealistic promises and then not fulfilling them)
  • The whole approach- inviting people- explaining them the membership in a controlled, confined environment, not giving people any time to think or evaluate and insisting on spot payment feels dubious. If given some time, people will find negative reviews online, find other faults and will back out. Hence most of these timeshare companies never disclose their pricing terms in public. Plus various marketing tricks were thrown on me- like they are looking for only 10 members from Udupi, 6 people have already signed up and I need to hurry. If they are a honest business why trick people? Why not give them some time to decide.
  • MakinMemories doesn’t have a transparent booking system yet. Their website is basic and most bookings are done offline. 
  • There is no exit option once you commit. I was told they will give refund in case of family medical emergency or such extreme rare cases. But going by what I read online, this won't happen. Your money is gone for good once paid, no water what service you get.

How MakinMemories timeshare is different from Club Mahindra and others?

1. Club Mahindra has largely own properties, MM has partnership with hotels n resorts

2. Club Mahindra has seasons, Annual Subscription Fee (or points for goZest) while MM doesn't have seasons but an extra amount to be paid per day per room at the resort.

3. Club Mahindra has been around for 15-20 years, MM is new entrant

4. MM includes airport/railway station transfer, breakfast while Club Mahindra doesn't

5. MakinMemories is cheaper in terms of pricing- CM goZest was 125000 for 3 years while MM is 110000 for 6 years (+ 1699 per day extra = 60k for 6 years, may increase over time.


Makin Memories claim to be a corporate travel agency which has recently entered holiday ownership business. They started the session very systematically checking if I can take decisions independently and if I have the financial power to buy a membership etc. Staff talked very professionally, showed me a bunch of documents, brochures etc to win my confidence. All good.


Eventually I left the event venue without paying anything and refusing to sign up. I was given a glass bowl and some useless 30% discount vouchers. No holiday voucher was given- I was counting on this 2N/3D voucher and trying to make a Goa trip out of that, but no luck. Staff gave some lame excuses and I left as there was no point arguing on this matter.

Verdict: is MakingMemories bad? Should you avoid them?

At this moment they are a new company trying to expand their business. I do not have any personal experience to declare them bad or fraud. Use your discretion. The marketing event shows all the signs of typical trap followed by timeshare companies. But there are a few happy timeshare customers as well, so if you want to take a chance, then go ahead.


Timeshare is a tricky business. You need lots of paying members to accumulate capital and buy properties. Members need lots of properties and facilities. Timeshare companies try to balance the two by lying or tricking both members and property owners about an ideal situation that never materializes.


Personally I am not keen to commit 7500 per night for holiday stay. Often I manage with budget stay. (Read: Hemmadaga nature camp Dormitory stay at INR 317 per person). We get decent hotels for 2000-2500 INR which is enough for me. Once in a blue moon I can spent little extra for direct bookings of luxury hotels. Long term commitment of a holiday membership doesn't sound convincing for me yet.


Their official website  https://www.makinmemories.in/memberships.php

10 comments:

  1. Excellent view and informative details thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very perfectly told with out missing any detail ! The main problem is that everything should be on mail what ever you need from them !! You always can't wait for their email as there may be some emergency situations! I personally bought a package and think trying to go for a vacation to see how these guys manage ! It's only a profit booking when they give you a 4 star property as they promise !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Economics doesn't work out for them if they give everything they promised. They can be profitable only if they cheat members in some form or other.

      Delete
  3. Excellent review, but I already taken the membership let's hope for the best experience.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for saving my time. Now they have reached Bhubaneswar, Odisha too. I got a call for today evening and definitely, I will stay out from it following your review. I love managing self literary for family trips.

    ReplyDelete

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