As I mentioned in Understanding Direct Cremation , the cost of a direct cremation can vary quite significantly, so it would be wise to compare direct cremation service packages from more than one cremation provider. Many within the industry are skeptical of “discount cremation providers” suggesting that they are offering an “inferior” service. This can be attributed to the fact that the industry (as a whole) is resistive of the trend towards cremation, and even more so the trend for direct cremation. Why? Simply because it is reducing the ‘value’ of the funeral service industry.
Comparing direct cremation packages
I explained in How much does a direct cremation cost how to ensure you are comparing like-for-like in direct cremation packages. Not all funeral home direct cremation packages are the same, and it is essential you check EXACTLY what is being included in a quoted or advertised price. As many more funeral homes are competing for their share of the cremation market, some are employing marketing tactics such as advertising low prices for a direct cremation that do not even include the cremation fee!
It can be a good idea to check if the funeral home actually has their own crematory or cremation equipment. If a funeral home is contracting their cremations out, the crematory fee can often be a fixed additional cash disbursement added to the fee they quote you for their services. More funeral homes are adding cremation equipment to their premises in order to be able to have more flexibility in what they can offer families. This also means a funeral home can have more ‘play’ with their pricing structure for cremation.
Not all Budget, Discount or Low Cost Cremation Providers are ‘bad’
In fact many traditional funeral homes today are operating a budget cremation arm, and your direct cremation could be performed by your local full service third generation funeral home. The Internet has offered many funeral businesses the opportunity to market their low cost cremation services on a much wider scale. And being that no services are required for a direct cremation, a funeral home can travel a much wider radius to serve families. A number of our DFS Memorials providers will actually cover their whole state for their basic direct cremation package, enabling families in rural areas (with maybe only one traditional funeral home) to access more competitive cremation prices.
Reviewing direct cremation providers
Funeral home reputation had generally been something passed along by word of mouth. Today we have become a nation of reviewers, self-publishers and social network junkies where we share all and sundry online.
This has opened up the funeral industry to real-time feedback, and you can review a funeral home on sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Superpages, Yahoo Local and Google if you so desire. Unfortunately feedback for a funeral home is of a rather sensitive nature, and I have more often witnessed families’ leave negative feedback after a bad experience, than families who leave glowing reports of how well XXX funeral home laid Auntie Betty to rest. As with all other services or products that we seek out reviews on, you need to take a balanced approach.
Personally I would recommend that you do attempt to validate any online direct cremation company you come across. Key things to check are whether they are a local, family-owned funeral business. Do they clearly state WHO they are? Do they provide a business location? As stated above – you may find that the cheap direct cremation offered by XXX Affordable Cremations is actually being operated by a reputable funeral home anyway!
The DFS Memorials network providers are all licensed, family-owned funeral companies that serve their local community offering affordable cremation and funeral services. We only work with cremation providers who are reputable and can deliver the best value direct cremation package. Our aim is to assist families by helping to connect them with their nearest low cost cremation provider, taking away the hassle of making multiple inquiries to find out cremation prices and inclusive direct cremation deals.
We aim to work with funeral homes, who not only offer an affordable direct cremation package, but who can also assist you if you require additional services such as a viewing, transportation or a affordable traditional funeral. Our aim is to ensure your family are cared for by a local family!