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 when planning your own funeral.
Catherine, our Customer Experience Director of Pure Cremation, said: “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 points listed below, and the text in italics shows how Pure Cremation measures up.
We’ve divided the list into 2 parts that address the key pitfalls:
Here’s the checklist:
- 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 and Streetview.
You’ll find our postal address and company registration details in the footer of our website pages. Our history, photos of our team and of our HQ, Charlton Park Crematorium, are all easily found on our website and the wider internet.
- 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.
We look after everyone at our HQ in Hampshire, in the same building as the customer care team. Being able to say (truthfully) “Dad is here with me...” makes a huge difference.
- 3. Can you visit these premises if you wanted to?
While we arrange the cremation by phone and email, our lovely grounds are open to visitors 7 days a week and you can make an appointment to speak with a member of the team.
- 4. What funeral experience does each provider have? How many direct cremations have they performed?
Our founders have more than 30 years’ first hand experience of caring for the bereaved and the people that matter to them. Our wider team have many years’ experience of every aspect from transporting the deceased, arranging funerals and managing crematoria.
- 5. How old are the reviews and do they relate to the service you are buying, or another part of their business?
We are very proud of our great reviews which all relate to the arrangement and execution of Pure Cremations.
- 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.
Pure Cremation is committed to price transparency. All prices are clearly displayed on our website – and £1,195 covers everything from collection from hospital to hand delivery of the ashes. Add £250 for collection from non-hospital settings, any time day or night.
- 7. Does the provider try to persuade you to add extras that you don’t want or need?
This is all we do so we won’t sell you a more expensive service. We DO check that you understand what we don’t offer…and if we’re not right for you we’ll say so.
- 8. Do they offer a complete 24/7 service? Some firms only collect the deceased during office hours or from hospital
We have a team on duty 24/7, all year round. We come as quickly as you need us – whether that’s within a couple of hours or we can wait a couple of days if you want more time to say goodbye.
- 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.
Our own wonderful staff perform the collection, care, cremation and return of the ashes.
- 10. Will you be told the date and location of the cremation if you want this information?
Most families want to know the date. We always telephone and email the information at least 2 working days before the event. All unattended cremations take place at Charlton Park Crematorium.
Catherine added: “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.
“Unfortunately, some new entrants just see this as a logistics exercise or a “collect, burn and return” service that can be done on the cheap. As with all things, you get what you pay for so if the price is extremely low, you can bet that something is missing.”