Sunday, December 12, 2010


So you are brought aware of the death of a friend of yours, you couldn’t make it to the services. You realize that the funeral home used by the family is not in the local area they lived in, and the date of service is a few days from the date of death. You wonder why it took so long for the family to handle the arrangements and why they chose a location on the other side of town. Finally after it is all over, you run into a mutual friend of the family who attended the service and you ask;
So was it a good funeral or just a cheap knock off?
What did I just type? What did I just insinuate?
Not the type of question you would ask is it? As a matter of fact, some of us often wonder when a friend or family member dies how the immediate family is going to afford the services that are mandatory to reach a final disposition of the body. Burial or cremation, full services or just a simple visitation…a decision has to be made.
This goes back to my original posts when we first opened and how you would be lead down the path to believe that you should be ordering the french cuisine of funerals when all you might be able to afford is a simple burger. In the end, both meals fill you up, but with a burger you won’t get stuck sitting at the table figuring out how you are going to pay for what you just ate.
I don’t think I ever mentioned it but…
There are no payment plans, no credit applications, cash, check or credit card UP-FRONT. AND after burial, the funeral home can NOT threaten you with digging up the loved one to receive final payment.
I have seen funeral homes ask families if they have:
  • Fine jewlery
  • Antiques
  • Stocks
  • Automobiles
  • Motorcycles (specifically Harley Davidson)
  • Mobile Homes
  • Deed to property
  • A house
Be very careful of those facilities you use, I will be the first to tell you that "some" of those "affordable" locations can be less than reputable. When all else fails, try to raise funds through civic events such as car washes, bake sales and try putting donation jars at local facilities in the neighborhood.

Of all things, TALK TO YOUR COUNSELOR! Let them know were you stand, keep them in the loop. Don't be embarrassed and be honest. If a funeral home can't understand your position and starts slamming you with $100.00 a day storage fee, consider moving on, find another facility. If you know you need to come up with the funds, the first question you should have is, "What is your daily storage or refrigeration fee?"

So why would I use the phrase “cheap knock off”? Well, because there are establishments out there that will try to convince you that anything other than the absolute BEST that THEY have to offer, or another funeral location, is just a cheap knock off.
The difference between what they offer and what you may choose is irrelevant when it comes down to affordability, and people will try to confuse you and throw this type of spin into your decision making process to encourage you to pay more for what you don’t need.
A full service funeral home is something that is designated to the facility by the Arizona State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. A funeral home can not designate itself with these credentials.
A great deal goes into the process of acquiring ones license in a specific location and neighborhood.
Some funeral home owners look for ready made and established facilities to purchase, put the key in the front door, and drive it away.  This already comes with the community relations the facility has with the community, thus the new owner takes not only the credit for all but also the fame of the facility.
Others prefer the “from the ground up” approach. They start with nothing and build from nothing. They reach out to the community and honestly search for those parts of the community they can serve the best and help. They establish a good working relationship with local law enforcement, fire department and charitable organizations. Some times they reach out to churches but remembering that not all individuals attend church services and that they must also be provided a dignified service to as well.
As you can see, there are those that think on the level of “classes of society” and who is most fitted to serve a specific class. That is fine. If facilities and individuals feel that this is how they need to operate by adjusting there pricing to accommodate those “select” classes, then so be it. I encourage free marketing in America, I fought for those principals and am glad to have provided that opportunity to everyone. But remember, YOU, as a consumer do NOT need to be mislead, misguided or confused when it comes down to what you are purchasing, why you are purchasing it and what its worth is to you when you are trying to do what you can with what you have.
On the other hand, some facilities do honestly only charge what a service and merchandise is worth, Seek them out, PLEASE! Compare and then decide. I encourage you!
Take the time to tour some of these labeled “cheap knockoffs”, and decide for yourself if you have been mislead. In the end, I’m sure you will see the difference and that difference will not be as financially painful as you originally thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment