Since Simple Direct Funerals began life as Purely Cremations you might have noticed a change with other Funeral Homes promotions.
I started by advertising a fixed price that clearly showed all the services (which covered everything a family needed for a cremation).
This wasn’t the case before I started, when Funeral Homes didn’t advertise their prices (some still don’t) and they could charge families almost anything they liked for even the most basic cremation. The Funeral Home could easily lead families into having more and thereby increasing sales. It was not uncommon for families to be shocked when the final invoice arrived.
But now that SDF got a small piece of the market, they reacted quickly. They promoted low-cost cremations – probably with the hope I would disappear and they could return to business as usual.
I had a very limited focus that was specifically for families wanting a simple low cost funeral. They didn’t want to be talked into spending more and they definitely didn’t want any surprises with the final invoice.
I never wanted (and still don’t) to do the big formal traditional funerals with expensive coffins, lots of flowers, flash hearse and all the other things that go along with it. I never pretended to do this and if families wanted that service I happily encourage them to go elsewhere. Because ultimately I wanted what was best for them.
Why low cost doesn’t work for Funeral Home
The simple fact is this. Their low cost funerals do not cover their costs, so there is no way they could seriously maintain this. If they did they would be out of business.
It is a gimmick.
The purpose of this is simply to get people in the door and then (hopefully) encourage them to spend more – “to better honour their loved one.” There are many techniques used to make families feel that spending more would be better. (Earlier blog on 15 things funeral homes don’t want you to know)
These Funeral Homes even create new businesses who only do these low cost funerals – Value Cremations is Simplicity, Nelson Tasman Cremations Direct is Marsden House and Cremation Care is Shone and Shirley.
There is absolutely no way they would survive if they allowed too many people this option. They aren’t geared that way with their buildings, staffing and other outgoings. They are geared for families who want the traditional funeral service – which many do.
Why am I angry?
You may notice I’m a little angry. What makes me angry is the deceitfulness. Why can’t they simply focus on what they do well and serve the families who want that service? Why are they so determined to try and get the families who just don’t want all the bells and whistles. And they don’t need to be pressured into spending more.
Sure, they could do a few cremations at this low cost – but it would be highly subsidised and financially unfeasible in the long run. So the main idea is to get you in the door, which some freely admit (behind the same closed doors) and then start the sales pitch.
This is where I’m different. I don’t have staff or huge overheads. I built this business specifically in order that I could genuinely offer low cost simple funerals – EVERY TIME. There is no reason or, more importantly, need for me to increase prices. My services are specifically catered for families wanting a simple funeral. So my upselling extends to if the family want to buy an urn from us or not – no pressure.
So what now…?
I know there will always be competition – like in most markets. I just want people to be properly informed so the decision they make is based on the facts.
If people want a traditional funeral, I have absolutely no problem with that. That is not my market. People are free to choose what they like.
But if SDF stopped tomorrow I guarantee you that funeral costs would rise and be far less transparent before you know it. Just as they were before SDF started.
The thing that gives me the greatest joy in my business is when families appreciate how easy I made a tough time for them. There was no pressure or coercion. Just the focus and the freedom to do what they family wanted for their loved one.