What’s the Problem?
You’d never walk into the nearest car dealership and buy whatever model and options the salesperson recommended, but that’s exactly how most people buy funerals. Most pick a funeral home that’s nearby—even if they’re not going to use it for a viewing or service—or one they have used in the past—even if they were unhappy. While people shop around for cars, appliances and clothes, and happily share shopping tips, few people visit more than one funeral home and rarely share price information, even with close friends. Unlike other products and services, funeral prices are not easily accessible, so most people are shocked to learn how enormously prices can vary between funeral homes, even those just blocks apart. [see How to Shop for Cremation and Prices] To make matters worse, most people are making this first time purchase under time pressure and in the throes of grief; circumstances that can make anyone vulnerable and unable to make clearheaded decisions. To compound the problem, the only place most people know to go for advice is the funeral home. And, while most funeral directors are compassionate, caring people, they are all salespeople running for profit businesses.