Thursday, July 19, 2012


NOTE - To all those ethical and moral funeral representatives, I commend you for standing by your personal oath to help and serve. If this post does not pertain to your business practices, then enjoy it and I think you will definitely understand exactly the type of people I am referring to.  On the other hand, if this refers to you and your way of doing business........ To bad.


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Hiya, Hiya, Hiya, Do I got a funeral

I know my "Special Friend" has missed me a great deal, yes very, very much...

Well here I am again and I know it has been a very long time since my last BLOG. Yes a very long time.  We have experianced a very large request for cremation services in the valley as of lately. Not because more people are passing, but because we are offering cremation at a very affordable price that has spread to the community and the word of mouth on this affordable service is getting out to the people. The community has grown tired of the deceit and lies.

Families are calling and are becoming aware that direct cremation no longer is worth the price that so many corporate and independent locations are charging. One corporate funeral provider in Sun City AZ just increased the price of Direct Cremation from $2,300 up to $3,200. The sad part about this is that a good 80% to 90% of the population in Sun City AZ are elderly retired who are on in years and are not able to make quick decisions or are a little lacking in guidance. Many Pre-Need funeral insurance counselors actually prey on Sun City and sell two or three policies for the same service over and over to the same elderly, all the time the senior not being  aware that they will never use all and the counselor will clean up on a fat commission. How unethical and unscrupulous is that.


Come visit us
So what is a funeral service representative? What do they do? are they a counselor? are they a minister? are they qualified in sales? are they business managers? are they anatomy specialists? are they designers? publication specialists? administrators?  coordinators? crowd control specialists? etc. etc. etc?

Well, to be honest, they are a little bit of all of those things, but if you notice, one thing it does not say they are a cheap used car salesman, furniture salesman, or anything salesman for that matter.

So why is it that a vast majority of those people that seek me out for something so simple as a direct cremation, come in so much on the defensive and keep reminding me over and over and over that "all we want is a direct cremation" or "don't try to sell or push anything on me like the guy down the street" or "we don't need a fancy wooden casket" or "were gonna scatter the ashes so we don't need an urn" or on and on and on.


…The people at the funeral home were an oily bunch who made a sales pitch like carnival hucksters.  Within thirty minutes of her funeral and just a before she was to be buried, the funeral director says he wants to "secure payment", but he acted like a goon working for a loan shark.  I told him she had burial insurance and I thought that they worked with the insurance company like the doctors do.  He told me no and what I should have been doing all along.  I apologized and explained that I didn't know what the procedure was since this was the first time I had buried a member of my family, but I like most people couldn't just write a check a check for over $6000.  (Never once did they explain anything to me about the option of Insurance Assignment) I paid him the next day and he was late with the death certificate by about a month.   I finally had to call the state on him for being out of compliance with mandated timeliness.  THEN he finally sent me the certificate (BTW it is best not to give those guys full payment until you get the certificate since otherwise you won't have access to the funds that you need to settle business of the estate).  It is awful, but it seems that when you are sick with grief, sleep deprived, not eating, and you are so punchy you can't even drive, and there are people who take advantage of you.  I guess I am in the anger stage of grief, but I don't think that my response is irrational….  

WOW! I feel so bad because some poor people come in so spun up from the nightmare they just went through at "the other place". I usually tell a family at this point, because it's important to try to put a little calm into this poor families emotions,

"OK, I am not a salesman, I am a serviceman, I am here to serve you, not to sell you. There are no cars in my parking lot nor is this wall mart. I want you to do only what you want and purchase ONLY what you ask for."

At the end of the conference, I tell them exactly what comes with the simple direct cremation and then I ask,

"Is there anything else you might need or wish to inquire about?"

For $7,000 I'll walk you to the grave
Ladies and gentleman, I am not a salesman! We may make more revenue from selling a great big nice fancy expensive service (not as much as the other guys I'm sure), but if this is not what you want, why would it be In my best interest to make a family squirm by pushing something on them they just don't want or maybe even feel more uncomfortable because maybe they would like it but cant afford it, so now they are feeling bad because the counselor is making them feel bad. Do you think they will return to this location? NO THEY WILL NOT!


Now, if the guy down the street wants to take a collage course on high pressure sales so he can make that Mercedes payment by making you feel bad enough to purchase that Mahogany casket for a cremation for $10,000. So be it (we sell a solid Mahogany casket for $2,875), of course he's not gonna tell you that about $8,000 of that casket is pure profit. AND THEN! they charge you more to cremate the casket.

I guess I'm just gonna have to settle for a direct cremation sale. I'm not greedy.

So remember, the next time you go to a funeral home for a simple direct cremation, be weary of a few things;

1. Sitting you in the arrangement room and leaving so you can look at all the "stuff"
2. Leaving the "Casket Book" on the table so you can look through the caskets
3. Telling you the cremains will be returned in a "plain Cardboard Box"
4. Giving you the "Cardboard Box" without placing it in a dignified pouch at least.
5. If you inquire, opening the Urn book to the middle. (Ask to see most affordable first)
6. Telling you "now lets look at urns" when you did not ask
7. Telling you "now lets look at a cremation casket" when all you want is a direct cremation
8. If you select an Urn, charging you to transfer the cremains into it
9. Selling you a cremation box for $95+ when they only pay $10 for it

can be used for a visitation to.
Number seven is probably the worst one, because families don't know they have the option of the simple cardboard box that costs the funeral home $10 or less. Most facilities charge $100 or more for this stupid cardboard box.

So now the family thinks that the cremation container has to be a casket, so they select one, even if its an affordable one, the funeral home is still selling you something that you have been convinced you need, when you don't. NEXT they ask you if you want the deceased dressed for the casket, you assume that the body needs to be dressed and if you inquire like most will:

"Is that what people usually do?"  you ask...

 "Well yes, most people ask us to dress when we put them in a casket"

You just paid for that when it is not needed. up to $150 at some locations. Lets not forget the disinfecting charge of $150 for the staff to handle the deceased to dress, (why?) were they infected with something? Do all bodies automatically start to get infected with "ANYTHING" at the time of death? No, they do not. Also, how about the cosmetics you will be convinced to have done so the deceased looks more "NATURAL", yup, another $150, I mean, you will be talked into this because you chose not to embalm. OH YES!, we have to place the deceased in the casket, Casketing = $150, AND! Lets not forget the ONE TIME refrigeration charge of $350 (Corporate Funeral Homes charge up to $695) because you now chose to have a I.D. viewing (that's what they call it) without embalming. OOPS! how about the use of the Chapel or a visitation room now! YUP! $410. As you can see, it all starts to add up.

$1000 Direct Cremation
$100   Casket Cremation Extra (to burn the casket as well)
$700+ Cremation Casket
$150   Dressing
$150   Disinfecting
$150   Cosmetics
$150   Casketing
$350   Refrigeration
$410   Visitation room charge (I.D. View)
$3160 Total before TAX

Guess what? All this started out with dressing because you "THOUGHT" you needed a cremation casket, or you were conned into believing you needed one OR (this is the worst one) You are asked if you want to see your "MOM" one more time?. Remember, The $10 cremation box is good enough. Even for an I.D. Viewing.

The sad thing is, you went in there thinking you were going to pay a few dollars for a direct cremation. You are tired, hungry and sad. You are vulnerable to unscrupulous people that make a living doing this to people.

REMEMBER! most caskets are only sold for viewings or that if their was to be a formal visitation you could have it in the cremation box or even a rental casket. As the conversation and the arrangement conference continue, you find yourself getting farther and farther away from the cardboard cremation container and the direct cremation to a formal viewing/visitation that not only did YOU not want, the deceased didn't want, you cant afford and it appears the only person that WANT'S it is the funeral used car salesman.
Do you know how many times I hear a family member tell me something like:

"I Don't know what happened, we started out at $1,000 on the phone for a cremation then after we got there it got all out of control after $3,000 and I just wanted to get out of there", so I just signed the papers and left.

As sad as it sounds, this happens all the time, more so then not.
I take it my Funeral Used Car Salesman
treated you well and I got what I wanted?
(Uhhhh..... I mean what you wanted?)

So please remember, you know what you want, if you don't, DO NOT go into a funeral home saying "I don't know were to start or what we want" That is a green light to go after you for every single emotional pull that the prestigious "Licenced Funeral Director" can. And most will, someone has to help him pay for his next overnight to his cabin in pine top or road trip to wherever, don't be that guy.