Death is a subject that is difficult to discuss and disclose your final wishes to your loved ones. Nobody really wants to talk about death and that is the exact reason why people are being taken advantage of in their time of need. People should educate themselves today, for peace of mind tomorrow.
Funeral industry hit the news again this week. CBC Marketplace went undercover with hidden cameras once more in five funeral homes to show that the same scams, lies and sales pitches are still being used. Do not ever underestimate the power of a salesperson working in the funeral and cemetery business. They are highly trained and cultivated professional sales staff educated with the greatest upselling techniques. These salespeople play on your emotions and your wallet at the same time.
It is tough for a person to realize when they are grieving they are sensitive, vulnerable, and at risk of being easily taken advantage of. The grieving process sometimes will allow us to make poor decisions that could prove to be costly. An example of this would be, the salesperson indicating that your loved one deserves something dignified, comfortable, the best, and it is the last thing you can do to show your love. Upselling and preplanning funerals is a multimillion-dollar business, and eventually, you will need the services of a funeral home, crematorium, or cemetery.
Please do not think that all funeral homes are bad or dishonest. There are many honorable and honest funeral homes along with truthful funeral directors all across Manitoba. Unfortunately, there is a vast difference between a licensed funeral director and a high pressured sales person.
The commissioned sales staff will go through many detailed programs teaching them every trick in the book on how to sell, sell, sell. The more they sell you, the more commission they take home. It is important to understand what is and what is not mandatory by law. Here are a few examples of what is not required, yet you will be instructed that it is mandatory:
1) Mandatory to view or identify the body prior to cremation – False
2) Disinfecting and washing the body prior to cremation – False
3) Embalming is required by law – False
4) The purchase of an urn from the funeral home – False
5) Service vehicles are required – False
6) Estate fraud and protection packages must be purchased – False
7) All funeral homes own crematoriums – False
8) The cremated remains cannot be scattered – False
9) You must use the funeral home situated on the cemetery property – False
10) If your loved one is over a specific weight, there are additional charges and you must purchase a cremation container that can handle the extra weight – False
11) The purchase of a casket for cremation – False
The list goes on and on. Why support the fraudulent type of behaviour and allow these funeral homes to continue to take advantage of people? The truth of the matter is this happens every day. People need to stand up for what is right and support funeral homes that do the right thing and not take advantage of you in your time of need.
When a loved one chooses simple cremation it is because they want things simple. This usually means they want no viewing and no one touching their body. Their wish is to take them from the place of death to the crematorium. At Voyage simple cremation is $1,600.00 plus GST. Some other funeral homes will charge as high as $4,500.00, for the same services.
When shopping around and calling for pricing, always ask a lot of questions. For example, do you own and operate a crematorium, or do you subcontract this service out to a third party? At Voyage, we own and operate a state of the art crematorium. We will always honor the family’s wishes. If you wish to say your final goodbye at the crematorium, we welcome you to do so at no charge. This is a benefit of using a funeral home that owns and operates a crematorium. Your loved one is always in our care, and to me, it is so important knowing your loved one is in the care of the funeral home you trusted in the first place. Voyage takes pride in treating your loved one as we would our own.
Voyage is a full-service funeral home. Another fact is if your wishes are to have a full traditional earth burial, our cost starts at $5,000.00 which includes a casket. Others charge as high as $10,000.00 or more. Again, with Voyage, there are no hidden costs or surprises.
To avoid being taken advantage of at your time of need and darkest hour, I suggest that you start thinking about pre-planning your final wishes. I believe pre planning is truly a gift of love that you leave behind for your family in their time of grief.
Experience the Voyage difference; you will not be disappointed. This is a guarantee from me to you. At Voyage, you will find no gimmicks, no hidden costs, no sales people, absolutely no pressure. We do not play on your emotions or benefit from your grief, that is a fact.