OFTEN IMITATED, NEVER DUPLICATED
This article will be very direct, honest and to the point. As most of you know, I started writing “Ask the Funeral Director” many years ago with each of my articles published in the Winnipeg Free Press. For the last few years I have written these longer articles as well. The purpose of both articles are to educate you today for peace of mind tomorrow. My “Ask the Funeral Director” and longer articles are often imitated, but never duplicated. Although imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, other alternatives/ funeral homes try to use this to confuse you. They use the wording “Ask the Funeral Director” on their websites or Google searches to attract your search to their website or services.
Funeral service should be one of the most honorable and dignified services available. Trust, care, empathy, understanding, respect and compassion are a must. As Funeral Directors, our main priorities should be the respect and care of your deceased loved one, guiding and protecting a family when they are most vulnerable, and the protection of the public at large from infection, disease, etc. A majority of Funeral Directors are compassionate professionals who have chosen a career in funeral service to serve families through their most difficult of times, the loss of a loved one. Yes, funeral service is a business, but it is the way you run and operate your business that matters. You must be sincere, have ethics and morals and fair and honest business practices with upfront pricing and no hidden costs. A business should have systems and procedures in place and every family should be treated equally.
What makes a business a business?
This week I received a call from someone who works in the funeral industry complaining that others are undercutting their pricing, yet this person does exactly the same thing. Why is it okay for that person to undercut pricing but not have others undercut them?
Anyone can open a business by renting a building, putting up a sign, offering services and then start undercutting their competition. The question is, what are they really offering you? Do they offer a complete service? Do they own their own equipment and are they hands on to get the job done and provide continuity of care? Do they own a crematorium and morgue facilities ensuring your loved one is in their care 100% of the time or do they rely on others to complete this process? Do they own chapels and reception areas to provide services for families? Do they run their business from their hearts with integrity and compassion? What is their vision for their business?
At Voyage our vision incorporates tradition, compassion, cultural sensitivity, and cost options to meet the needs of every family. Each family that Voyage serves becomes the focus of our commitment to excellence in funeral service. We truly believe in treating your loved one as we would our own. We have proper leadership and work as a team. Our families meet one on one with a licenced funeral director with no pressure sales tactics, no hidden costs or hidden surprises. Voyage has invested in our business by owning and operating all of our own facilities. We own and operate a state of the art cremation facility with two cremators, we have morgue facilities, as well as our own chapels and reception areas. We do things precise and do not cut corners. We provide complete hands on services to our families ensuring continuity of care.
Commissioned Sales in Funeral Service
In my opinion there is no room for high pressured sales people in funeral service. A family should never have to deal with a high pressured sales person in their time of need. Just honest, caring, hard working people who take care of others. Do not be fooled or misled; there are rules, regulations, and laws in place to protect you the consumer. If you are receiving phone calls or emails asking for your personal information be careful. This is a gimmick that is in place for a highly trained commissioned sales person to call you endlessly to try to sell you services and/or cemetery property. Some will offer you free will kits, questionnaires or other free packages but only once you provide your name and number to them. Others will prey on those who have just lost a loved one by playing on their emotions when they are most vulnerable and have them preplan for many services/ products that are not mandatory nor needed. If you ever feel like you have been misled, lied to, or treated unfairly by a sales person or funeral director, you may contact the Funeral Board of Manitoba at 204-947-1098.
Continuity of Care
Continuity of care should be a main priority with any funeral provider/ alternative. This is when your loved one is in the care of the funeral home/ alternative your family trusted 100% of the time. When your loved one is not in their care, continuity of care is lost. There are many funeral homes/ alternatives in Manitoba; 94 to be exact. Many of these funeral homes/ alternatives do not own a crematorium nor morgue facilities. Manitoba only has 18 licenced crematoriums (as per The Funeral Board of Manitoba’s website). If the funeral home/ alternative does not have morgue facilities, where is your loved one resting after being taken into care from the place of death? If the funeral home/ alternative you chose does not own a crematorium, more questions now arise: where is your loved one, whose care are they in, who is cremating your loved one and why are they not in the care of the funeral provider/ alternative you chose in the first place? Funeral homes/ alternatives that do not own a crematorium subcontract this process out to a third party that you have never met nor trusted to care for your deceased loved one. Continuity of care is now lost. Here are some honest questions to think about in this situation when choosing these types of providers: How many funeral homes/ alternatives does the subcontracted crematorium do cremations for? Who are they? What kind of control do they have? How clean is their cremation facilities? What systems and procedures do they have in place to avoid human error? Can your family go witness the cremation or inspect their cremation facility? How can you be certain you are receiving the cremated remains back of your loved one?
These are all legitimate and sincere questions. Since Covid-19 happened many funeral providers/ alternatives encourage families to practice safe distancing and complete arrangements on line. This is fine and safe to do if you are using a funeral provider you can trust. Reputation is everything. Do your research, ask many questions and know who you are dealing with. Do not be fooled or misled.
Voyage Funeral Home is proud to say that we have invested in our business and the families we serve by owning and operating a state of the art cremation facility. If a family requests to be present to say their final good-byes prior to the cremation at our crematorium we offer this service to your family at no charge. Voyage will not sell you a cremation casket, nor tell you that it is mandatory to identify your loved one.
As a funeral director, I cannot take death away nor can I take away the pain. I do however have empathy and will do my utmost best to carry your family through the most difficult experiences caused by death. I promise to be honest, loving, caring, understanding and most of all have the greatest compassion, respect and dignity for your family, regardless of your situation.
- Hespeler Location
220 Hespeler Ave,
Phone: (204) 668-3151
- Pembina Location
1577 Pembina Hwy,
Phone: (204) 284-7500
- Selkirk Location
713 Greenwood Ave,
Phone: (204) 668-3151
- Newest Location
472 Kirkfield St
Phone: (204) 888-7001