Service Corporation International (SCI) is the largest corporate chain of funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries in North America. They operate over 1,800 funeral homes, crematories, cemeteries and memorial gardens and trade under various trading names. SCI’s dominance in the death care industry has mainly been due to a large-scale acquisition process, and in many cases they retained the original funeral company names.
In addition to their main Dignity Memorial brand, SCI also trades under the name Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services. Advantage is marketed as “an affordable, simple and economical alternative to traditional funeral homes”. According to their web site, they have 19 locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
National Cremation Society (NCS) , Neptune Society and the Trident Society, are also all SCI brands promoting themselves as local providers of direct, affordable or low cost cremations.
Started in 1973, the National Cremation Society has 24 locations in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. Their claim is to offer families a simple and affordable cremation service, however in some areas they are competing with other SCI brands also offering simple and affordable low-cost cremations.
There is one commonality about all SCI’s affordable cremation brands – and that is that they DO NOT disclose any prices on their websites, or in their advertising, not really making it very easy to work out just how affordable they are!
Price disclosure is something the funeral industry in general has just not got its head around, however this is certainly an area where local companies offering a low-cost cremation can clearly gain an advantage over corporate companies. Families searching online for an affordable cremation want to know one thing. How much does it cost?