Choosing a cremation service provider can seem overwhelming if you have not had any prior experience handling cremation arrangements. Trying to get pricing is not always simple. Many funeral homes will not even provide their cremation pricing online, and it can even be difficult to extract a clear price when you phone them.
We have put together these 3 tips to help you best choose a cremation service provider to serve you.
#1 Price & value for money
Although many funeral homes do not like the fact, most families today shop for cremation with cost as an important factor. We are so used to price comparison as a means to shop today. And why should that not apply to procure a service such as a cremation? Cheapest is not always best, but value for money or ‘best value’ is a way to ensure we get good value for our money.
A direct cremation service package is a fixed package. It should be pretty much the same from every funeral provider, but many will add additional items that are included in the ‘small print’.
So tip 1 is to ensure you are comparing like-for-like cremation services when choosing a cremation service provider. You should ask what the price quoted includes, and what it does not include. What can appear at a cheaper price online, can often be a ‘bait and switch’ tactic. So ensure you clarify exactly what is included in the price before you contract any services. A licensed funeral home must have a set General Price List (GPL) and according to funeral legislation MUST disclose prices to you when you make an inquiry. Every GPL has a direct cremation service listed on it.
#2 Location & availability
If you require a meeting to make arrangements or wish to have a ceremony, then the location of your cremation service provider can be very important.
This will determine your selection process. However, if you are out of the area where the death occurred and are making arrangements, or wish to conduct a direct cremation service, then location is not as relevant. You may wish to select a provider who has a service area that covers the location of the deceased without additional transport fees. But pretty much a direct cremation can all be handled with online or phone arrangements.
Although I personally like the idea of the functionality to make arrangements online through a web portal, this is not for everyone. And, I think it is vitally important that you have already established the availability and responsiveness of the cremation company. Leading on to tip #3.
You must establish that you are working with a trustworthy cremation company. How they deal with your inquiry can go a long way to reassuring you what type of company they are, and what their customer service is like. Especially if you are using a funeral home that you have no experience with. If the person answering your call is not clear about answering your questions or providing a cremation price, this should probably ring an alarm bell!
Apart from speaking with a funeral director or funeral arranger, you can check out other sources to establish trust. Reviews are the main source we use today to establish trust, but online reviews today can be very subjective. Especially if there is not a substantial amount of reviews to qualify the level of service. Also, reviewing something like a funeral service can be a difficult (and not popular) option for reviewing.
Speaking on the phone, and having some specific questions to ask, can help you decide if the company appears professional and reassure you.
Checking how up-to-date the company’s website is, and what information is disclosed online, can also be another way to validate their reputation.
There are more funeral homes now operating a separate direct cremation brand online. If you want a best-value direct cremation service, then you may need to be prepared to make arrangements online. This is how some funeral homes are able to offer a value direct cremation package but keeping their overhead costs down for this service.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about choosing a cremation provider. DFS Memorials has selected a network of funeral and cremation companies to work with that all offer a ‘best value’ cremation service to their communities.