Sunday, April 12, 2009

Alto, But You Still Can't Go!

Why can't you go with an Alto? That's because of your time-share vacations.

I have always marvelled at the ability of companies to sell time share vacations. I have pitied those who buy them. In time-share vacations:
a) They sell you 7 days of resort stay a year - fixed for a particular time of the year.
b) They sell you the vacation for 25 years in future.
c) You have to pay for the 25 years of vacation upfront or in instalments over about 25 months.

So,what's wrong? Plenty!

a) You get a fixed period of 7 days a year. If your time share is valid from the 25th December for 7 days can you ensure that you can always take these 7 days off?
b) Sure, you are allowed to exchange this slot with another. But, that quite a bother and is subject to the availability of the alternative slot. It is also subject to additional payment.
c) You have to provide for administrative delays of getting the alternative slot.
d) You have to pay upfront or in EMI's for the next 25 years. Will the time-share company be around for the next 25 years? What if it disappears or gets into financial trouble. Several time-share vacation companies which started around 20 years back did get into financial trouble or even disappeared. It is like losing money in the stock-market.

Is this they way you want to plan your vacation for the years to come? There are new holiday opportunities every year. There are new locations and newer resorts. Taking a time share is like booking a train or airline ticket in advance and then going through the trouble of cancelling it and bearing the cancellation charges.

A decade back you could safely plan your holiday weeks if not a few months in advance. Today, the economic situation (whether in a bear or bull phase of the economy) does not always allow you the liberty of planning a holiday.Whenever the situation allows it, you go - provided your investment in the time-share vacation allows it.

For many it's Alto, yet can't go!

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