The thing about cheap funeral homes is the business model works for them and may not necessarily work for you. You, the person who has just lost someone you love. You, the person who needs the services of a funeral home.
Cheap funeral homes hang their hat on volume. They are playing the numbers. Lots of funerals, little service. The bar is low by design. The professional staff to funeral ratio is low. Fewer skilled people doing more funerals translates to less overhead for the funeral home and determines their profitability.
That can mean families have less time with the funeral director handling their family member’s service. It can mean less consistency. You may not be able to talk to the director you worked with yesterday, today. Fewer people doing more nearly always increases the risk for error. Many people need more help and guidance than they expected when they are tired and numb following the loss of someone dear. The kind of service, how do I write the obituary, how do I notify social security, how do I access my father’s veteran’s benefits, is often not a part of the service model for low-cost funeral providers.
Cheap funeral homes usually have bare bones facilities. The location may be in a light industrial or shopping area. The building may be more like a warehouse and less like a home. The atmosphere may be less comforting than what you and your family are accustomed to when you have worked with your local neighborhood funeral home in the past.
Cheap funeral homes tend to advertise a low-cost bare bones service. Often this service does not include what you expect from experiences you’ve had in the past. You may find things you expected to happen are not going to happen or can only be done at an additional cost. For example, the low advertised price may not include an opportunity for out-of-town family members to say a final good-bye.
As you move closer to what you wanted and expect in a traditional funeral you will move farther away from the low advertised price that first drew you in. By the time you get what you want, if you can get what you want, you may find you are spending more, not less, than you would have spent at your own hometown funeral home.
Before you decide on a funeral provider call your local hometown funeral home. Be up front and clear about your budgetary needs. Funerals leave lasting impressions; they can heal but they can also hurt. You only get one chance to get it right.