Q&A: Talking to Sujatha Sashidhar - curio shop owner and long-standing timeshare customer
Sujatha Sashidhar runs a quaint little gift shop in Bangalore’s Cooke Town. It’s called “Wind Chimes” and you’ll find a wide range of gift ideas and handcrafted products out here. She has a corporate background, having worked at Britannia, Compaq and Brooke Bond.
Sujatha’s passions include music, meditation and travel. Even though she’s been to some of the best tourist spots in the world, Sujatha says there’s no place like home. In India, Coorg is her favourite destination as many of her friends have estates out there. She has been a timeshare customer since 1994 and visits their resort in Benaulim almost every year, along with her family and many of her friends who are also members.
A: There are several points according to me. For an initial investment, we continue to get a week at an exotic resort year after year - and this works out very economical in the long run. Using RCI, bonus weeks and the exchange option, your choice is wide, both here and overseas. Even if we don’t plan to use our week, we can gift it to other members of the family, or friends.
A: Another key benefit is the fact that your vacation gets a definite slot on your calendar; you shouldn’t really put it off, though you can bank your weeks. So we really get to plan our holidays and spend quality time with the family – in our case, I make it “compulsory”.
A: During the early years of timeshare – when we got into it – the service was not so great. But with several large players coming in, the standards seem to be going up with some focus on customer service. Earlier, there were communication gaps between resort and customer - which even led to losing track of paying annual maintenance fees and things like that. Over the years, there has been a visible improvement in this area, with computerization and database management helping streamline the quality and delivery of service.
A: Keep track of your maintenance fee payments – make sure you pay before the deadline, no matter how busy you get in life. If you can manage this you have nothing else to worry about. Since you’re asking me for feedback, the escalations - almost annually in the maintenance fee is a cause for concern.
A: Customer service, by and large is good. They are polite, eager to help and resolve issues in a timely manner (both RCI and the Royal Goan Beach Club).
A: For old members who are regular on their payments and use of the facility, resort owners could give better deals or advantages, as we have trusted and invested in them for years.
As part of their marketing efforts, resort owners sometimes offer city club members free stays at the resort - and this can sometimes be a bother, and an inconvenience. So maybe you can be not so liberal on free stays.
A: No, I haven’t tell me more…
Our answer may be useful to other timeshare customers who have not heard of AIRDA.
The All India Resort Development Association is a self-regulated, independent advisory dedicated to the timeshare and vacation ownership industry. AIRDA’s primary members are resort owners, who benefit from AIRDA’s constructive sharing of ideas and strategies on the running and promotion of timeshare. AIRDA works closely with members to cut a clean image in the industry and offer fair value to end customers.
AIRDA also represents the industry and lobbies with the government on policy issues that could have a bearing on timeshare and vacation ownership in the country.
AIRDA has a balanced end-customer focus and provides updated information on the official website. This covers the timeshare marketplace, advice on making informed choices on vacation ownership and assistance on complaint redressal, if any.AIRDA is an affiliated member of the American Resort Developers Association.
Welcome to AIRDA's virtual tours gallery - an initiative to provide an enhanced visual experience of our member properties.
What does an AIRDA membership mean to resort owners and developers? AIRDA comes in as your industry partner, conscience keeper and business catalyst - with a wide portfolio of support services.
What does AIRDA mean to holiday seekers and prospective customers? AIRDA comes in to provide information and offer guidelines on making the right timeshare decisions.