PHONE ... YOUR LOCAL TV/RADIO STATIONS AND NEWSPAPERS ABOUT THESE PAGES.
These reports/graphics by other U.S. media will help them investigate your local mortuaries.
Examine both sides of this actual pre-pay contract of a cemetery/mortuary and see what problems or deceptive tactics you can find being used. (We whited out the name of the company and the family.)
Prepay plans brag that plans "LOCK IN TODAY'S PRICES!" However, the greatly inflated prices below, and deceitfully-described caskets, urns, and services are what many families find out they are "locked into" and CAN'T GET OUT OF weeks or years later.
Much of this happens because families are amateurs and are trusting, not acquainted with funeral items and prices. On the other hand, companies are experts at pricing, and composing contracts and fine print; salespersons are experts at putting on an "honest, caring" appearance, filling in contracts' blank lines, and coaxing/forcing families to "sign now" before they have a chance to check on prices, fineprint, etc.
Trying to obtain a decent prepay contract is like trying to walk through a minefield without being harmed. If you're really LUCKY, you might obtain a decent contract, plan and funeral. This is because there are so many problems families often encounter with prepaying -- high prices, dishonest salespersons, deceptive and high-pressure sales tactics, deceptive contracts, etc. This contract and the tactics of the salesman demonstrate many of the reasons why buying a prepay plan is so dangerous.
Here is some explanation (more will be added):
"Chapel Vault - Silver, $1,895" This is the beautiful? item shown above, a fiberglass container, which cost less than $100 wholesale. The body will be displayed in it (so the salesman used the word "Chapel"). He "said" his cemetery will allow it to be buried there without an outside container (however, this promise is not printed anywhere in the contract) because he "said" it is so strong (so he called it a "Vault"). It is lightly sprayed with silver paint (so he called it "Silver").
. . When the lid is removed, the body is placed in the bottom half of the "vault," which has a cloth lining and pillow. The bottom half is then placed in a container which looks like a wide casket. This container, sometimes called a "surround" and usually made of mahogany or similar wood, is opened like a casket to display the body to the family and visitors. The "surround" has a trap door in one end, into which the "vault" is slid. The combination can't be taken to some churches because the "surround" is too wide for some church doors. After viewing, the "vault" is pulled out and buried. One mortuary covers it with a free "red velvet cloth" for its trip to the cemetery so that people won't see what the body is really in.
. . One problem with the term "Chapel Vault" is that the name may have been made up by the salesman; it is not a standard term used by the industry. At the time of death, perhaps nobody at the mortuary or cemetery will know or remember what a "Chapel vault" was -- and so can give the family whatever they wish to give them.
. . The salesman said that it was "good-looking" and "much less-expensive" than a casket, but said that he didn't have a picture of it.
"Urn, $320" Problem: What kind of urn for the ashes is this for $320? Granite? Carved marble statue? Plywood or plastic box? Cardboard box? The mortuary can give the family anything it wants -- and the family can't complain.
"Cremation container, $250" This is a strong cardboard box, wholesale cost $20, in which the body is placed for transportation to the crematory. So, a ripoff profit of $230 on a $20 item -- a markup price of 12 times wholesale.
TERMS and FINE PRINT (below):
What do you think about
Other samples, deceptive advertisements and useful information will be added.