Something that isn’t discussed enough in the funeral industry is values. It’s what directs the decisions funeral homes make and the business methods they use. It’s what shapes legislation that regulates disposition options and funeral services. It’s what influences the funeral services we personally choose for ourselves and loved ones.
Values are different for everyone and every business. We feel it’s important to make our values known since they motivate everything we do at Cremation.Green from the services we offer to the way we communicate with families.
In a previous post we discussed why making funeral services accessible and equitable is one of the core values behind our business. Transparent pricing is another core value that sets Cremation.Green apart from other funeral homes.
The worst thing the funeral industry is known for is having bad actors that take advantage of people when they are at their most vulnerable. One of the biggest issues people have had is the lack of transparency in terms of service prices. They are given price ranges, there are unexpected related fees and upcharges for what seem like essentials.
Although there are federal regulations to help protect consumers, it isn’t enough to assure true transparency. It’s up to funeral homes to make ethical choices that put people ahead of profits. The services we provide for families are simply too important, too sacred, not to put the people we serve first.
We’re on the Side of Consumers in the Funeral Home Pricing Debate
You won’t read this on their websites or see it in any marketing material, but there are many funeral homes that believe prices shouldn’t be published online for you to see. There’s an ongoing debate among funeral home professionals as to whether or not funeral homes should post their prices publically. There are even legislative talks about it.
Consumers deserve to have transparency. They are already dealing with heightened emotions like coping with grief, which can impact decision making. Not to mention, funeral services cost thousands of dollars. It’s a huge expense for many families, especially those that don’t have life insurance or savings to help cover the costs.
Families are already under enough stress. It’s the funeral home’s duty to ease their burden, not add to it with practices that conceal costs. That’s why one of our core values at Cremation.Green is transparent pricing. No matter what the federal or state regulations may be, we’re going to exceed them in pricing transparency.
Limitations of the General Price List Rule
You may have heard about the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule. It’s a federal regulation that requires any and all funeral homes across the country to provide three price lists upon request:
- General Price List
- Casket Price List
- Outer Burial Container Price List
That is a good start, but it’s not enough for true pricing transparency. There are a few limitations that still make it difficult for consumers to understand the actual end cost and compare service rates prior to choosing a funeral home. And many people only have a day to select a funeral home if the deceased didn’t make funeral pre-arrangements or specify preferences by documenting end-of-life wishes.
The first limitation is that funeral homes aren’t required to post their service prices online. A lot of businesses in many industries aren’t required to do so. Currently, in Texas, the General Price List must be printed and available to those that physically come to the funeral home and request a copy. However, that is the extent of the requirements.
Another limitation is that the price list doesn’t have to include all of the possible funeral services. The FTC only requires that 16 services be itemized on the GPL. Funeral homes can include pricing on funeral packages and other services, but they don’t have to. That means there are a lot of potential extras that could add up.
Finally, it’s possible for funeral homes to slightly inflate prices to offer “discounts” that are actually just their real service price. It’s a practice that the FTC frowns upon, but it happens.
Consumers should consider the Funeral Rule to be the bare minimum. Funeral homes that are doing the bare minimum aren’t doing their best to serve you.
Why You’ll Always Find Our Funeral Service Prices Online
Instead of looking for loopholes in the FTC’s Funeral Rule, Cremation.Green is expanding upon it. We feel like there’s more we can do to ease the burden for families and make arranging funeral services much easier. And one of those things is making funeral prices transparent.
Being transparent is also part of our mission to make funeral home services more environmentally-friendly for us all. We don’t want you to have to burn fuel making a trip to the funeral home so you can see the prices for services. That’s unfair, inefficient and unnecessary. We’d rather you save your time and reduce carbon emissions by doing the simple thing – publishing our funeral service prices online where they are easy to see.
It’s simply the right thing to do, and that’s at the heart of our values. Doing the right thing isn’t always the most profitable approach to doing business, but it’s the only way we do business.
Pricing Transparency From Standard Rates to Custom Quotes
We not only put our funeral service prices online, we give you multiple ways to accurately estimate the cost of our services. You can find standard rates for all of our funeral services on our website. There’s also a downloadable General Price List, or you can take a quick questionnaire for a personalized quote.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your unique needs and the costs, please contact our team at any time. We’re available to answer calls, text messages and emails 24 hours a day.