Don’t fall for club Mahindra free holiday voucher scam. Remember there are no free lunches in life. I had gone for one such invitation plainly out of curiosity and was not surprised at the fraud that awaited me. What did surprise me was the new levels of low in rudeness and poor customer service that these people had stooped to and were in the process giving a bad name to the Mahindra group. Wonder what Anand Mahindra would have to say about. Speaking of which maybe this feedback needs to reach him too!
So here’s how it goes. A guy calls up to say you are among the lucky people chosen for a 3D2N stay at any of Club Mahindra’s ‘resorts’ anywhere in the country absolutely free. He emphasises the words ‘resorts’, ‘anywhere in India’ and ‘free’ several times in the call. He tells you there are no hidden charges whatsoever and all you need to do is come for a presentation at a 5star hotel in your city or an adjoining city.
You ask to speak to his senior who also parrots the same lines and assures you that this is how it is. You come and attend a presentation at a 5 star, go back with the free voucher and immediately book a holiday wherever you want in India in any of club Mahindra resorts. You wonder how bad can this be and decide to go of course with your spouse as that is a condition they have.
From that time till the time you arrive at the presentation you get several calls from a guy from ‘operations’ who keeps asking whether all is going as planned and you are coming. He literally guides you to the hotel and tells you to call him the moment you reach.
Once u reach there you find out that operations guy was never there but was calling from another city. You a greeted by complete strangers who scrutinse you from various angles to size up your credit worthiness.
They ask you to fill out a long form and capture your data. Then a sleazy and upstart sales guy approaches you and gives a plateful of crap about how wonderful the Mahindra holidays are.
He seems unhappy to see that you don’t look impressed by his speech and that you’ve traveled abroad several times.
He forces you to sign up for a 25 year holiday package and shell out close to 5 lacs on the spot as this offer is valid only on that day!!
When you tell him that it’s not practical to take a decision like that when you hardly know these people, he looses interest and is angry that you’re not buying his package.
So much so about the presentation. Now about the strings attached offer of the free holiday voucher. Turns out they had actually lied about the no hidden clauses thingy as this so called voucher is applicable in some 3 star hotels of Mahindra and not the resorts all over India that was promised earlier! When you point out this lie to the sleazy sales guy he simply retorts that the person who called us made a mistake and he can’t do anything about that!
When you point out that by doing this he is bringing a bad name to the Mahindra group as this defeats the purpose of this brand building exercise since you will never forget this poor customer service experience and will recount it to your near and dear ones so they can be wary, mr sales guy will patronisingly look at your iPhone and educate you that iPhone is too big to be affected by a few bad customer reviews and that same is the case with the Mahindra group and its holidays!!
You swear never to go for such invitations even out of curiosity next time and return home.
A few days later when you are about to trash the free voucher you decide to login to club Mahindra website to see if you can still expect any honesty from what is left of the tarnished image of this group, not surpringly you find all club Mahindra 3 star hotels already booked on all days throughout the year!!
You decide to thank the operations guy who made you go through this wonderful experience but naturally he listens to your experience and then says he’s actually not that guy we spoke to but will try to arrange a call back that never comes!!