When a loved one dies due to sickness, natural causes, or an unexpected event, family members must experience the difficult task of making funeral arrangements. The first choice a family has to make is whether to have a conventional burial or cremation. Many families’ choose cremation because it is an economically less expensive way of bidding farewell to their loved one.
Unfortunately, as cremation services costs continue to rise, operators may need to reconsider how to continually offer high quality crematory equipment and services at the lowest possible cost. Throughout the country, competition has grown among cremation service facilitators, causing the price of the direct cremation to fall below what the funeral home charges for its basic fee for professional services. The Federal Trade Commission requires that a funeral home operator cannot lower its fee for basic professional services. Therefore, many death care operators have been evaluating whether or not they should purchase cremation equipment or whether to even offer cremation services at all.
The FTC issued a response to concerns about the potential damage done to the cremation industry; making direct cremations exempt from the “no discount rule”. However, as with any service, operators typically offer packages and the cost of those packages is still lower than the basic service fee. Operators who purchase quality and reliable cremation equipment have an especially difficult time keeping their costs low.
In response to worries pertaining to home funerals costs, the FTC considered an exception that allows operators to lower basic professional services fees under specific conditions. The FTC conceded that it would not object to the lowering of the basic services fees as long as the reduction is equal to the limited use of the operator’s facilities and services. In addition, the FTC inferred that funeral home operators could offer their clients other options to the basic fee for cremations.
Due to the lack of overhead a funeral home incurs, cremation societies can offer the lowest cremation price for any particular region. However, when the family wants to a direct cremation package, the ability to adhere to a set cremation price becomes more difficult. In their time of need, the goal of death care operator’s is to offer their clients the best products and services at an affordable price.