Tricks of the Funeral business
Posted: Aug 04, 2019
There are many tricks one should take note of when becoming the unfortunate customer of a funeral planner.
You should take note that we ourselves are funeral planners working in a highly competitive industry for 8 years. We have seen it all and done it all.
However, there are some practices which we truly discourage when planning a funeral for our clients. Below are some of such practices that give a bad name to us Undertakers.
Oftentimes, Families are too distracted to care about their bills when mourning the loss of a loved one. This is completely understandable and justified. However, several funeral planners are known to charge 'hidden costs' which are ambiguously excluded from their funeral packages. In some cases, families could be overcharged by $3,000 if they are not too careful.
Always be careful when discussing terms with your funeral planner. We always suggest families to select funeral planners most recommended by their friends (assuming they have went through the same predicament). Those that have a credible reputation for honest pricing are often punctual and caring as well.
Aside from 'hiding expenses' in ambiguous packages - some funeral planners are more blunt by charging unnecessarily high rates for simple logistics like chairs, fans or food. They understand that you may not have the time to shop around for the 'best' funeral planning service, thus they cleverly markup their rates to unreasonable amounts that consumers do not often take note of.
Therefore, one must be savvy enough to call up several funeral planners for quotations before engaging their services. Often times, you would then be in the position to negotiate prices further when you discover that the most convenient funeral provider is overcharging you slightly.
This is common practice in many areas, much like how every other business offer their services. We therefore encourage you to 'shop around' before settling for a funeral planner immediately.
Some Funeral planners often over promise their deliverables. From "nice" locations to "quality" coffins - one should always be on the lookout for scammers before engaging their services. A telltale sign of dishonesty is when you discover several of the above practices adopted by them - and usually, accompanying these traits, you would see foul practices and terrible workmanship.
A good way to spot this is by asking questions when they try to upsell you, or critique their responses to simple questions like 'How fast are you able to organise this?' or 'How much paperwork would we need to handle?'. Oftentimes, the dishonest would give unrealistic or brown-nosed responses to these questions without explaining details.
This is via our personal observation and not immediately obvious. We have discovered that funeral directors tempted at closing their sales faster are too engrossed with profits and revenue. Never would they be seen with a body or comforting a grieving family. These directors may not necessarily have your best interest at heart, especially when they are too "salesy" for your deal. But do understand that it may not necessarily be true as Funeral directors still have mouths to feed.
We hope you find this article useful! Looking for funeral planners is tough especially when one is in a state of shock and grief. We therefore urge you to discuss this with close friends that have been through this, or contact funeral planners with a history of honesty when looking for undertaker services.
We run a Undertaker business in a highly competitive city for the past 8 years. We service many different religions and we are familiar with a wide array of funeral practices in Singapore.