Economy funerals are not a given

Published 12:06am Thursday, November 14, 2013

I was riding down the street the other day when I heard a commercial, and it made me cry because I thought about something I had experienced that hurt my heart.

I lost my father earlier this year, and I took him to what supposed to be the original $2,495 funeral home. I had to pay my father’s final expenses out of my pocket, and my finances weren’t perfect at the time, so I was looking for good quality at a decent price. I decided to go to this funeral home because they had been advertising $2,495 for a complete, traditional funeral.

It was when I made the arrangements for my father that I realized I was sold a “fake dream.” After choosing what all I needed for his funeral, the funeral director told me my total was $6,200, and I was appalled. I didn’t know what I was going to do because my money wasn’t perfect at the time when this unexpected thing happened, so I asked for a few days in order to get the money.

I asked the director to explain to me how my cost went from $2,495 to $6,200, and he explained I had to purchase a box for the cemetery, a family car, barber, a wake service and key chains.

I was so upset by now because I’m sitting here thinking about the radio commercial I just heard when I was on my way to the funeral home naming all these things that were supposed to be included, and now I’m being charged extra for them. I called my lawyer, and he told me that funeral homes have general price lists and cannot over charge you because they are set costs approved by the state.

After my lawyer did his research, he found out all funerals must come with a visitation or wake unless the family decides otherwise. He also found out the burial container or box was to be included with that service and also a family car, but they wanted to charge.

I was just so hurt because I thought for this low and awesome price being advertised that I could put my father away nicely and with love and compassion, but this wasn’t the case. I ended up getting a loan, and after all the extras I paid for, it hurt me so bad that I couldn’t get a wake for me and my family to spend them last most valuable moments with my father because of the business’ distance from my hometown.

My overall reason for this letter is to let the community know the $2,495 special these funeral homes are advertising — a select few — is a true gimmick and the public should be aware. It simply doesn’t exist and is only to get families in the door at their vulnerable moments.

 

Tony Griffin

Natchez