Are funerals life's ultimate rip-off?

@boiboing (12772)
Northampton, England
April 22, 2016 4:26am CST
My good friend has just cremated her mother (well obviously, she didn't do it personally - she hired a professional) and is now up in arms about the bill she has received from the undertakers. This bill is more than twice the amount she had to pay 5 years ago when her step-father died and his cremation was handled by the same people. Luckily for her, she has the evidence of the paperwork from the last funeral and so she has evidence of the ridiculous increase in the costs. She's off to have a 'robust' discussion with the firm of undertakers and to invite them to reconsider their invoice before she takes it to their professional association. I can't help thinking that these companies take advantage of grieving families and assume that since most of us don't need their business very often, we won't shop around and we won't compare prices. In this case, they clearly don't know what's about to hit them as my friend is not the slightest bit embarrassed to challenge them for their over-inflated invoice. I'm looking forward to hearing how she gets on as I think she has a very strong case.
19 people like this
13 responses
@Drosophila (16705)
• Ireland
22 Apr 16
It's probably an insensitive thing to say, but as a childless person, when I cack it at least, I won't worry about who's going to foot my cremation bill.
2 people like this
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
23 Apr 16
Who pays if you die with no relatives? I guess there must be an arrangement.
1 person likes this
@Drosophila (16705)
• Ireland
23 Apr 16
@boiboing the state actually foot the bill and take all your belongings.. seem to be fair
@Shavkat (63439)
• Philippines
22 Apr 16
It really a costs of an arm and a leg. Some companies take all the chances for the sake of business. It is not also good to over price such services.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (118553)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Apr 16
I would be interested in knowing how this turns out too. I know costs go up and it gets rediculous.
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
23 Apr 16
I hope to see her soon and get an update.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (118553)
• Boise, Idaho
23 Apr 16
@boiboing ....I hope you will keep us posted.
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
23 Apr 16
@celticeagle I'll give her a call next week. I suggested she check for a professional association she could threaten them with.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (47895)
• Centralia, Missouri
23 Apr 16
I know prices do increase, but that seems, well a bit excessive. Still I bet it was cheaper than the whole casket and plot route.
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
23 Apr 16
Oh gosh, yes. That must be incredibly expensive these days. I don't know anybody who's actually been buried. We're very much cremation all the way in our family.
1 person likes this
• Centralia, Missouri
23 Apr 16
@boiboing I want to be part of one of those cremation plant a tree things, or a diamond, because it amuses me that the family could then 'wear grandma" or something
• United States
22 Apr 16
My mother was cremated and I plan the same route. I don't want a viewing and all that jazz so cremation and sprinkle me on the pool is all I want.
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
23 Apr 16
Once you're gone, you're gone in my book. The body is then just 'packaging'.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Apr 16
@boiboing Exactly. And no party after....
@Gabugs (1763)
• United States
23 Apr 16
Yes, you are absolutely right on this score. Its unbelievably shameful that these people take undue advantage of the grieving family.
@PatZAnthony (12772)
• Charlotte, North Carolina
22 Apr 16
Hope she gets a discount. It is very expensive and yes, seems to be out of control when it comes to pricing.
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
23 Apr 16
Whether she gets it or not, she's going to put up a fight.
@hereandthere (31794)
• Philippines
22 Apr 16
more than double in 5 yrs is indeed shocking
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
23 Apr 16
If it had gone up by around 30-40% I think it might have been within expectations but to double was ridiculous.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54385)
• United Kingdom
22 Apr 16
I wonder she didn't ask the price before she employed them.
@boiboing (12772)
• Northampton, England
22 Apr 16
I think that because she'd used them 5 years ago, she thought she knew more or less what it would cost, allowing a bit for inflation.
1 person likes this
@Beatburn (3904)
• Philippines
22 Apr 16
Some people really try to get away with such things. It's a good thing she just didn't pay without checking and comparing.
@Inlemay (16655)
• South Africa
22 Apr 16
I think undertakers and crematorians are coining it - it costs a good old $350 in SA just for the cremation, that is not the box before (or as I call it a paupers coffin) , and the box the ashes are placed in - that is another $300
@Morleyhunt (19806)
• Canada
22 Apr 16
I don't think she has much of a case. She signed on the dotted line...she pays. Pre planning could save big bucks....you have time to shop around and negotiate. It also saves your family the difficulty of making these decisions.
@sol_cee (15812)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
22 Apr 16
Looks like she doesn't even need a lawyer.