10 things to check when choosing a direct cremation provider
You only get one chance to arrange a funeral of any kind, so finding the right provider to look after you and your loved one really matters.
The death of a loved one is among life’s most stressful experiences and in a lot of cases people are making funeral arrangements for the very first time in their lives. This means that every funeral firm has a duty of care to provide accurate information and support to these vulnerable customers, especially those engaging with customers via the internet.
Direct Cremation is the fastest-growing segment of the funeral market with lots of new providers offering services online – so how do you tell which are worth a call?
A good provider will get a tick against all the points listed below.
Know who you are dealing with
It isn’t always obvious, even with a local funeral home, but it’s all too easy to hide the nature and structure of an on-line business.
1) Who owns the business and where is it based? If you can’t find a premises picture on their website, then harness the power of Google maps.
2) Where will your loved-one be cared for? This may not be at the address on the website but should be at an appropriate facility.
3) Can you visit these premises if you wanted to?
4) What funeral experience does each provider have? Ask how many direct cremations have they performed and how long they have been in business.
5) Check out the online reviews. How old are the reviews and do they relate to the service you are buying, or another part of their business?
Pricing and service delivery
6) What is and isn’t included in the price? Doctors’ certificates for cremation are often missing from the headline price but apply in at least 70% of cases (doctors’ fees don’t apply in Scotland). Some providers also charge extra for the return of the ashes.
7) Does the provider try to persuade you to add extras that you don’t want or need?
8) Do they offer a complete 24/7 service? Some firms only collect the deceased during office hours or from hospital.
9) Does the provider perform all the care themselves or use subcontractors for the transport and care of the deceased? Any mention of VAT will indicate that you are dealing with a broker or marketing company. Real funeral providers don’t have to charge VAT as they are providing a VAT EXEMPT service.
10) Will you be told the date and location of the cremation if you want this information? Most families want to know the date.
Direct Cremation is a distinctive alternative to a traditional funeral – it may cost 60% less, but still deserves real care and professionalism.
Every family we look after wants a very simple cremation but with the same standards of care for their loved one and the same expert advice and support with paperwork that they’d get at the best funeral homes.
As with all things, you get what you pay for so if the price is extremely low, you can bet that something is missing.
See also: What is a Direct Cremation?
Guide by Catherine Powell, Co-founder – Pure Cremation