I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day. “I Can See Clearly Now” – Johnny Nash
Recently, a local news station did an article on concerns over transparency and clarity with funeral pricing. While a family’s bad experience with a local funeral home prompted the news story, it happens a lot more than most realize. The reason is simple; grief alters our mental state, and unlike Mr. Nash in the song above, we don’t always see clearly when death occurs. With funeral prices varying by thousands of dollars depending on who you call, here are some key points to remember as you try to navigate funeral prices with clarity and transparency:
- Since 1984, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has required funeral homes to list their prices on a document called a General Price List (GPL). A GPL for you to keep must be provided without obligation and before you discuss funeral goods and services. If you are not offered one, ask for it.
- GPL’s are not created equal. GPL’s can range from one page documents to booklets of twenty pages or more. Don’t fret, regardless of size, it may require a bit more effort to find but they are required to have the same itemized prices in them.
- “Packages” are not necessarily for your benefit. While package pricing provides a quick, “bottom line” price, packages may also contain items you do not need.
- Compare the bottom line. When comparing costs among funeral providers, make sure you compare “apples to apples”.
- All staff are not the same. As important as price may seem, take the time to meet the staff as well! You are, after all, entrusting them with a most sacred possession, your loved one.
- The owner may not be the name on the sign. Since names can be bought and sold, multiple funeral homes can now be owned by the same company and thus, offer similar pricing.
- Be wary of those who “price match”. If a funeral home puts you first, shouldn’t you get their best price first without asking?
Sound like a lot to take in? Well, even with over 50 years of staff experience dealing with these very issues, we agree! The next time you want straightforward and simple answers, remember Lowe-Neddo Funeral Home. We can come to you and our complimentary Price Value Comparison service will ensure that you understand exactly what you need, what you do not, and all costs involved so there are no surprises down the road. It is one burden we take off you so you can continue to live, laugh and love.