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July 13, 2007

Comments

Timothy Totten

Candace:

It should be noted that the Funeral Consumers Alliance is a group with their own agenda - one that does not necessarily match your own or those of a typical consumer.
Let's make sure we keep our guard up all around, as the FCA has been known to act pretty childish about certain aspects of the industry and seems bent on guaranteeing that business people in a supposedly free economy are required to bend to the will of the FCA.
Unfortunately, in their zeal to do battle with the large funeral corporations (owned, via the stock market, by stockholders) the FCA tramples many small funeral homes that truly care about their clients and are just trying to make a decent living, like their parents did.
Should a firm markup a $25 box to $300? Maybe not. But I also don't think shoes really cost $150 and video game systems really cost $600.
But then again, I'm free to choose another provider or to go without.
Consumers have driven the price of cremation so low that some companies see no way to compete without mixing up the numbers.
Cremation is not cheap, regardless of how little you pay for it (sometimes as low as $300).
It is a vitally important task that deserves extreme care and a measure of dignity for the deceased.
Imagine now that you paid the person entrusted with your loved one the absolute minimum amount possible.
Odds are, you'd get the absolute minimum care they could provide.

Patrick Mahoney

Neptune has always been a great marketing organization and has grown in areas where the death rate and cremation percentage has also grown rapidly.

They are a sales organization as many cremation societies are. I am the president of All Ohio Cremation & Burial Society, Inc. www.allohiocremation.com and also urnseller.com, Inc. www.urnseller.com In Ohio it is a little different. Unless the consumer wants to take their cardboard box (which we only charge $25 for) we are required by Ohio law to entrust 100% of our pre-need funds in a trust or with an insurance company. If you die out of state or just out of town, there may be an additional charge, but we still handle the care and cremation of the deceased through an agent in the area where the death occured.

I welcome any qyestions any of you may have.
Pat Mahoney
Licensed Funeral Director

Candace

Tim and Pat,
Your observations as professionals in the industry are welcome and very valuable for my readers. I thank you both for taking the time out to post your thoughts!

Candace

Dan Bieman

If they are a sales organization, then they need to be up front about that. Being dishonest with the phrase "free" is garbage and not a good way to treat customers. Treat us like crap, and we'll do the same to you.

Chris Tucker

Mr. Tutton makes some broad claims yet offers no citation. Nor does he identify himself and his associations. Way to slant.

billyjoebob

Shop Around But Soon Without Medicare ,,,THe SEniors Will be
Heading To HEAVEN????

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C.K. Jones

Ask the Colorado Attorney General about its settlement agreement with Neptune. CAG sued Neptune for, I think, sales deception.
I'll take my chances with FCA anyday. They try to educate the consumer to pre-plan but not to pre-pay. They only have one constituency - the consumer. They are a non-profit and do not try to sell families things at he moment of most intense grief.
Pre-pay is usually not good for the consumer. Once you give your money away to anyone, it is gone. While the Ohio law now demands that funeral directors trust 100% of their pre-need money, who knows what really goes on after they get their hands on your money. Right, Mr. Madoff? He had fiduciary duties, too. Right, Mr. Mahoney? Have there never been any pre=need scandals in Ohio? Ha!

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