A few months ago I stumbled across the FuneralAdvice.com website when searching the net for some information on embalming. Google found a post on the site that was somewhat helpful, but did not provide the answer I was looking for. I bookmarked the site, and by coincidence, visited the site again today.
The site’s current post asks what can be done when Grandma’s preneed contract is refused by the new owners of the local funeral home? The site acknowledges this situation is becoming more common, and recommends that the poster contact the state board of funeral directors for suggestions. The response concludes with the following advice:
A good lawyer should be able to quickly and effectively remedy the situation.
If this post is genuine and the site sponsors have extensive experience with the death care industry (as they claim), then I must not be a good lawyer. I have resolved many disputes such as this with a letter threatening litigation. In almost all situations, the new “owners” eventually agreed to honor the contract. However, I do not consider this type of remedy to be either quick or effective for the family. The value of the ritual has been permanently scarred by the experience.
The About page for FuneralAdvice.com explains the site was born out of the need to find non-biased information relating to the funeral industry. The page also advises that the company that manages the website has extensive experience in the funeral industry through the ownership of other websites related to the industry. If one takes the time to track through the provided hyperlinks to the related websites, additional information can be found about the company’s officers. When I read through their bios, I can’t help but think of that line from the hotel commercial:
No, I am not a funeral director, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
There is a need for Internet websites that provide objective information relating to the funeral industry. While FuneralAdvice.com does provide some useful information, the site goes too far in holding itself out as “Funeral Advice You Can Trust”. The format also seems to be misleading, and I sense that FuneralAdvice.com is just seeking to establish traffic for the web services offered to the funeral industry.