Have you been taken advantage of ?
Surprise, surprise, funeral service makes the local news again. This week a funeral director forgot to bring the casket stand (technical term: church truck) to the service and inappropriately placed the casket on four wooden chairs. Honest mistake I am guessing, unfortunately a total dishonor to the family and their loved one, and another black eye to the funeral service industry. It is our responsibility as funeral professionals to do our job skillfully. This means to always double check and never assume. This is why you pay a funeral home a professional service fee.
I write my articles to educate you, the public, on how to avoid making costly mistakes and bullying encounters with unprofessional funeral service providers. I know that I am not the most popular funeral director in this business, nor amongst my colleagues, however, I am not in this profession to make friends. My goal is to be truthful and honest with the families I serve. I am here to educate and help the public understand the facts and reality of what goes on behind the scenes.
I highly recommend avoiding storefront services that are popping up everywhere. They have no investment other than a sign and a rented office space. They mislead you into thinking they are professionals and have all the equipment needed to serve your family. Storefronts are very deceiving as most DO NOT own crematoriums or embalming facilities. In many cases these providers also do not own removal vehicles, limousines, hearses and facilities such as chapels or reception areas. Honestly, this type of business practice would be comparable to owning a restaurant that does not have a kitchen. Why would you support this type of provider? I write about cremation so often because many people are now choosing this service as final disposition. If the cremation price is too low something is missing. The statement “you get what you pay for” is extremely accurate in this circumstance. Funeral homes that own crematoriums and buildings have huge expenses and overhead because we are providing services the right way. In 2018, we witnessed a Transcona funeral home go into foreclosure. Why, because their pricing was too low and they probably could not cover the overhead. Many families that prepaid for funeral services with this funeral home also lost their funds. If a funeral provider does not own equipment required, or their building, how do we know that they will be here in the future?
When a loved one passes, they should be treated with all the respect and dignity in the world. This does not mean a family needs to spend thousands of dollars on expensive caskets, or cremation services to show their love. It does mean doing things accurate. A funeral home should be transparent and honest. Avoid using funeral homes that call themselves crematoriums, cremation services, or alternatives. Ask the questions:
• Do you own and operate a crematorium?
• Is my loved one going to be subcontracted out to a third party for the cremation?
• Where is my loved one going to be located prior to the services chosen?
• If requested, where does the embalming take place?
• Do you own your own vehicles?
• Do you own a chapel and reception area?
For funeral homes that do not own crematoriums, their response to your question will be that they use the professional services of a crematorium. What they do not inform you is that your loved one is NOT in their care 100% of the time. This means continuity of care is absent. If the subcontracting crematorium is doing the cremation how do you know how your loved one is being treated? How do you know you are getting your loved ones cremated remains back? The answer simply is that you do not and neither does the funeral home because they did not witness the cremation process and your loved one was not in their care. These providers simply receive a cardboard container back and assume that it is your loved ones cremated remains. This sounds extremely morbid, but could not be farther from the truth. This could be the reality you could be facing when dealing with this type of provider. It is your legal right to know this information.
A perfect example of a horrifying mistake that happened, was earlier in the year when a funeral director made the news again. He provided a family an urn with no cremated remains inside. The urn was completely empty. Why did this happen? This happened because the funeral director in question trusted a service provider and subcontracted out the cremation process. The cremated remains where eventually recovered in a Transcona funeral home and thankfully returned to the family.
This week I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman who preplanned and prepaid for immediate cremation for himself and his wife. The funeral home they initially preplanned with seems to be doing things the right way. They own their crematorium, vehicles and have all the facilities required. Unfortunately, they have extremely high-pressured sales people selling their services. The man and his wife each paid with tax $5,856.00 for immediate cremation. This comes to $10,240.00 for two cremations. This is their pricing breakdown: MDF pine cremation container $1,095.00 (not required), estate settlement papers $295.00 (not required), transfer fee $375.00 (extremely overpriced), second vehicle $150.00 (not required), facilities $395.00, professional service $225.00, preparation decedent care $625.00 (not required), adult cremation fee $675.00, administration fee and documentation $1285.00. Wow… talk about taking advantage of a family. This gentlemen’s wife did pass away and after reading one of my articles he exercised his right to transfer his wife’s policy to Voyage Funeral Home, paying a grand total of $1,680.00 tax included for simple cremation. He was reimbursed over $3,500.00 that he overpaid for the exact same services. He then transferred his policy to Voyage, where upon his passing, his estate will be reimbursed over $3,500.00 as well. This a major financial saving.
Do not be fooled or taken advantage of at your time of need. Educate yourself today for peace of mind tomorrow. Voyage takes pride in treating your loved one as we would our own. Not only is that a promise it is a fact. At Voyage Funeral Home, we own and operate a state-of-the-art crematorium. Your loved one is always in our care 100% of the time. I personally guarantee the cremated remains you receive are those of your loved one. Voyage welcomes immediate family, who wish to say their final goodbyes, to our crematorium to witness the cremation at no charge to the family. This provides you and your family with peace of mind. We have funeral directors available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, meaning we are always available to help you at your time of need.
I would personally like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year. May 2019 bring many blessings into your homes and lives.
- 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
Ask the Funeral Director
August 18, 2018
As a Funeral Director, I try to be a caringView More