WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN A FUNERAL HOME MAKES A MISTAKE?
No one is perfect, and that includes funeral home directors and cemetery plot leaders. You hear about it occasionally when a funeral home by mistake cremates the wrong body, or buries the wrong body in the wrong plot. Unfortunately, while no one means for these mistakes to happen, they are serious and need to be taken seriously and dealt with professionally.
There are places to go and ways to seek remedy if you wish to file a formal complaint against a funeral home should you feel as though you’ve been wronged by a funeral service or cremation. First, though, you need to know exactly what to do and what that process looks like before you consider filing a complaint.
Keep Good Records
Write down everything in your dealings with the funeral home, from the minute you begin up to your last conversation or correspondence. Make sure you record details while they are fresh in your mind, and if another person in your family has dealt with the home too, make sure you consider and note their concerns. Keep good notes, and dates, of each correspondence. Keep a log of all your phone and mail conversations to ensure that every detail is fresh should you need to review it later with a lawyer or arbitrator.
Know What Constitutes a Legitimate Complaint
Funeral home complaints fall under a large breadth of categories, but they do not include you complaining for paying too much for the service. If you signed a contract and agreed to it without coercion, issues like that are not grounds for formal complaints.
That being said, there are several key areas of legitimate complaints to be levied against funeral homes, including unexpected costs (where a price list doesn’t adequately match up with what a funeral director tells you about pricing plans and costs), unethical conduct (where you were told embalming is required for family viewing when it isn’t, for example), negligence (where your funeral director fails to send the obituary to the newspaper in town), or breach of contract (where the funeral or monument dealer failed to deliver the gravestone maker).
Examples like this are issues that are all covered under funeral contracts, and thus, if they are not followed through on, they are examples that can result in the legitimate ability for you to file a complaint.
If you have proven that a contract has been breached and have kept good records on the correspondence and unprofessional behavior, it is imperative you visit a good lawyer who specializes in funeral home law and legal issues related to funerals. They can advise a best course of action ranging from lawsuits to settlements.