Becoming informed is the key to stopping abuse and high costs of funerals.
"At birth we cry; at death we see why."
- Bulgarian proverb
Funerals have also become increasingly expensive in recent years.
In 1991 the average cost of a funeral including burial was £893, but in 2000 it costs £2,048 - a rise of 129% according to the "Oddfellows" survey of Funeral Costs in Britain.
A cremation in 2000 cost £1,215 compared to £726 nine years before - an increase of 67%. UK business," Undertakers to make prices clearer"
It now costs an average of £2,048 for a burial service in the UK.
A cremation is cheaper, but still costs about £1,215 - a 12% increase in two years.
Over the last nine years, the cost of a send-off for loved ones has risen by 129% for burials and 67% for cremations.
Funerals in London are the most expensive, at £2,646 - £598 higher than the national average. Costs for burial service in the UK.
--------- The US undertaking business is a virtual monopoly with
one in five funerals handled by a cartel of three big
companies -Service Corp International, the Loewen
Group and Stewart. They set the prices which smaller
firms feel compelled to emulate. You really should learn about the firm, google them, why it is important to learn the name of the firm you are shopping with, and get the GPL to study the costs in black and white. Also, buying the casket at a casket retailer offers BIG savings over the funeral director. Do NOT let them talk you into a "Package" you will be paying more. Contact a retailer to learn how to get the very best savings -- they also have every brand name casket that you might wish for, but at considerable savings.
and from 1999 Funeral costs continue rising
''Nobody's going to pay $10,000 for a funeral,'' said Hugh Peeler, who has worked at Bridges Funeral Home for 60 years. (Quote from the funeral director)
''Personally, I just think it's a matter of time before some of us are just going to fold up. You can price yourself out of existence.'' U.S. News " The cost of dying isn't getting any cheaper."
(and that's right, on one account - but people are spending ten grand, and it's because they don't think or know of the choices
"And funeral costs are high these days. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), funerals and
burials are among the most expensive purchases older Americans make. The average cost for an adult funeral ranges from
$4,500 to $5,500. About one-third of that goes to the cost of the casket alone. What's more, an in-ground burial can add
another $2,400 to the total.
With funeral prices continuing their upward trend, a $10,000 burial policy purchased today might not cover a funeral's bill when the time comes. Paying for it might require dipping into funds from a major life insurance policy, a trend that Dean Lambert, director of marketing for Homesteaders Life Co., says is becoming more frequent. "When that lump sum goes to the family, they will spend it on whatever they have to. They shouldn't have to spend it all on the funeral, but that might be the case. If they are grieving, they may not make the most informed choices, perhaps spending more than they should." Money Matters in funerals too http://www.memorialheritage.com/apps/blog/show/8161456-tips-for-buying-funeral-insurance
--------- Go gentle (again a 1999 article, but a really good read)
Compelled to acquire – often on short notice and in a state of emotional disarray – life's most unpleasant and least-desired
commodity, the aggrieved consumer does not typically shop around for funeral services. But with prices rising three times faster
than the cost of living, final arrangements are one of the largest expenses families must face. See if you can learn how to do it with full knowledge and planning. ---end copy---
Where are the reports for the last 3 years?? If the cost of an average burial service has risen by 25 per cent over the past two years - 'til 1999, what have they done in the last two? Another 25%? I have seen the average cost of the basic service fee go from (a 50% increase!) $600.-900.00 to $1,495.00!! And (some say profit is there instead of on the cost of the casket, hogwash, lots of mortuaries are still making thousands on that sale as well, "double dipping" )
That is why those non profit org. like the NCRA, CCRA and the Texas formed org. need to monitor more and fight this abuse, Because some of the others (like above) have and been worn out in the process. It is NOT just the "Growing Monopolization in the Funeral Industry" that is the whole problem.
It is how some of them are fighting competition, to get rid of casket stores and third party suppliers -- as a whole. Can you imagine what would happen then -- to the unsuspecting public and the cost of funerals rising still much more, if that were to happen? People are trying to cut funeral costs by arranging a cremation, so now the trade has made that cost close to that of a traditional funeral. Some of the public are fighting back these high costs by "handling their own dead" as the huge costs are perhaps providing a more prosaic reason for the shift towards these back-to-basics ceremonies
.Still though, you can direct the mortician to your wishes, and cut costs if you become informed. Stand up for your rights. You need to march with your feet and fingers. If you suspect you were treated unfairly or know it to be a fact, contact the FTC. The Federal Trade Commission enforces a "Funeral Rule" so the public will not be taken advantage of by anyone in the death care industry. Without your input, they have no idea it is as a widespread problem as it is. If good people stand by and do nothing, the abuse will continue and grow.The FTC will perhaps be able to get part of your money back, but they will also become informed of firms in question.Read http://www.ateammasters.com/Orders.html
While many casket store retailers are in business to help the family lessen the funeral expense, they also need to assure the public
that the owners of the casket stores will join the fight for the rights of third party retailers to compete fairly, so the public will (always) still have choices. This is a List of things that need to be stopped
or added, or enforced in order for that to happen..... (can you add any??)
1) Bundling (where the family is forced to pay a set (high) amount for the "package" regardless if they purchase the casket from the mortician or from an outside source.
2) Selective Discounts (where only the smart shopper who now says they are purchasing the casket from a casket retailer and not the funeral home salesman, now is told they "will meet that price." Yet the rip off of the huge NORMAL sale amount is not reduced to the next unknowing and unsuspecting customer - unfairly. Is the public really ready to be put through this "sales tactic" at this time in their life? Why did the FTC require prices of caskets to be displayed if this is permitted? No, it was so THESE "games" couldn't be played. )
3) Slander (Years people were warned about inferior product and other lies, exposed as all untrue, it still happens today yet again. The same unit in the showroom is advertised as the most chosen product, yet there really is no choice, as those manufactures try (but fail) to restrict sales to "non funeral directors" artificially keeping the prices high for their biggest customers)
4) Non Compliance with the FTC funeral rule (Not handing out a GPL or leaving one with the family making funeral arrangements, so they can shop around. Requiring embalming when it is not needed, switching prices on caskets, etc.)
5) Owner of funeral establishment is not displayed (So while the customer thinks they are shopping, indeed it is really the same
corp. owned firm, and no choice is truly given.)
6) Education of the public needed badly (Scams where the bottom line to (just) the unethical funeral director is going to be the same, no matter what the unsuspecting customer does, because they are uninformed of the "tricks" some owners play, by manipulation or lies "need to be there for the delivery "/ "outside product will add a service fee" / "you are required to purchase the casket here if you use our services" etc. etc. )
7)Lack of enforcement or monitoring of the funeral trade existing rules, or action on the part of the FTC to come up with new rules to protect the public TODAY, as they make funeral arrangements. (Many dollars are given to people running for office
and different lobbing groups, and this has a huge effect of the rules that are "set in concrete" and enforcement, or not. "If an agency or concern that is overseeing the funeral business, is understaffed and OR dominated by industry powerhouses, there is a great danger to consumers making purchases in that field." The FTC
also has promised the new rule to be acted upon, yet it sits with no action for nearly two years. While these things take time,
there should be action - no action is hurting the public. The funeral trade is too big for them to monitor on it's own, and people
are distressed enough - without filing complaints when they really REALLY feel they SHOULD. More enforcement or higher
penalties should be required for those in the funeral profession that do not do their customer justice when they come to them by
employing any of the above scams or tricks in sales. If you do not know what the Funeral Rule is, see the FTC website at www.ftc.gov - don't be uneducated in this field. Sadly,
"An AARP study found that only 8 percent of those surveyed knew it existed, even though it's been around about 20 years,". "If you don't know what your rights are, you can't look for them."
Some Resources to check Funeral Industry and other News