“How to Plan an Affordable Funeral” is a blog post written in 2007 that still makes some great points about educating funeral consumers. This interview with StevenKopp, an associate professor of business at the University of Arkansas, and Joshua Slocum, executive director of the nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance is worth reading.
The questions and answers prove once again that knowledge is king when thinking about funerary services. “We shop for everything, except funerals. Many people have a resistance to even thinking about the events involved in dying and death. While it ought to be something that is more routine, it isn’t. So it becomes a very stressful thing.” Said Kopp. Everyone wants the best price for the most product or service. I have personally spent time and money driving around to compare prices on the same item.
Slocum adds:” Many people make a very bad mistake when choosing a funeral home. The top reasons they pick it is that they’ve used it before or it’s close to their home. Neither is a rational reason. If you’ve never shopped around, you may be paying three times the right price. Don’t be naive—be a shopper.”
All of this is great advice. As I read on, one of the replies caught my eye.
We took your advice and shopped around when our Grandma got sick. We were amazed at the price differences between the funeral homes. We visited/called 6 funeral homes, the prices for what they called a “Traditional Funeral” we from $2,495.00 to $9,750.00. This did not include the cemetery charges. We were amazed at the differences in price. We found that the Dignity corporate owned funeral homes were much more expensive. After reading your article, we did some additional research and we came across an individual that helps people negotiate funeral costs. He is known as “The Negotiator”. His name is Ken Lambert and he is here on Houston, TX. We spoke with him, told him what we wanted for our Grandmothers service. Within an hour, he had someone from a local Funeral Home call us. They assured us that we can have a dignified service at a very affordable price of $2,495. Two days later when she passed, they came to our home and took her to the funeral home. We had a viewing, church service, hearse, graveside service and a beautiful dove release. The obituary in the newspaper, additional flowers and police escorts were additional. The total cost was $3,600.00 in which the funeral director told us up front the day we met. The service was very professional and comforting. I don’t understand how the prices can fluctuate thousands and thousands of dollars.
Thank You ALPHA Consumer, Claire Brothers Funeral Home and “The Negotiator” Ken Lambert for all your help in our time of need.
Rhonda Billings of TX11:35AM February 15, 2010
Be an educated consumer. Ask if the business is locally owned, ask for a General Price List, and know what you want so you can make sure you get what you need.
PS: I have not located Ken “TheNegotator” Lambert as of today. I like the idea of funeral brokers. I’m still searching. http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/alpha-consumer/2007/10/17/how-to-plan-an-affordable-funeral