How to Choose a Reputable Funeral Home
It is difficult and heartbreaking to arrange the funeral of a loved one. Decisions are usually made in a very short timeframe, and under a lot of stress during the initial grieving period. Choosing a reputable funeral home is the first and foremost step in the funeral arrangement, because from there the funeral director or advisor will be able to guide you through the funeral process. A quick Google search will pull up pages of funeral service providers in Singapore. They look more or less identical to a layman. With such information overload, how does one separate the wheat from the chaff? Below are some of the things to consider when choosing a reputable funeral home.
Brick and Mortar
Since most of us rely on the internet for information, however we do not know exactly what sort of company is behind that decent looking website. A reputable and well established funeral service home will have a proper shop and office premises, embalming facilities and in-house funeral parlours. A company signboard would be displayed prominently outside their storefront.
Member of the Association of Funeral Directors (AFD)
Another characteristic of a reputable funeral director is that it has membership in a national trade association. The Association of Funeral Directors (AFD) is such an organisation in Singapore, and is officially recognised by the National Environment Agency (NEA) since 2000. Members in the AFD comprises of funeral homes with reputable standing in the industry. The AFD was set up in order to protect consumers and to ensure good business practices within Singapore’s funeral industry.
Having a Casetrust accreditation is also a good sign of a reputable funeral home. As an accreditation arm of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), Casetrust recognises companies that commits to operating with transparency, accountability as well as ethical business practices. An industry standard for fair and ethical business practices, companies have to go through a strict assessment regarding their company’s policies, staff capabilities as well as communication material. Dispute resolution measures are also put into place and unfair trading practices are removed, thereby protecting customers from unscrupulous merchants. Families and clients can be assured of the business integrity and management systems when engaging a Casetrust accredited company for their funeral service needs. During your selection process, do look out as to whether the funeral home displays the CaseTrust logo on their website, or visit the CaseTrust website to find out whether the company is accredited.
Online reviews, especially those on Facebook, are testaments of the quality and reliability of a funeral home and can offer unbiased insights from customers with first hand experience. Positive reviews can be an indicator about the good service standard of a company. Also, pay attention to any negative reviews left by previous customers. Are the service gaps isolated cases or do they occur frequently? Did the management respond appropriately and what was their dispute resolution mechanism? Read through these carefully and consider them during your selection process.
Funerals can be costly, hence, families should make certain that they are aware of what they are paying for. After you have shortlisted a few funeral homes with the above criteria, you could email or call them up to request for their package price lists. Look into the details and do a comparison to determine which funeral package is suitable. Be sure to check that each package has included the more important and costlier items such as tentage or parlour. Also, pay attention to the price quoted, whether over the phone or displayed on the website, to ensure that it is nett price. Most importantly, rather than going for the lowest-priced, choose the package that can provide the best value and is most suited for your needs.