Eight years ago, a woman in Connecticut buried her late husband on their 8-acre property, where previous owners had been interring the dead for generations. But her subsequent attempt to make sure this was all okay with local authorities has led her on a legal wild goose chase all the way to the state Supreme Court — and now all the way back to where she started. [More]
Elizabeth missed her grandfather’s funeral because of a broken seat belt. Well, that’s not entirely true. United Airlines claimed that there was a broken seat belt on the plane she was supposed to take from Chicago to Savannah, then kept pushing back and ultimately canceled the flight. By the time they finally canceled the flight, there were no more flights to Savannah for days. A broken co-pilot seat belt and a massive customer service failure is what kept Elizabeth and other passengers in Chicago. [More]
A couple in New Jersey thought they had made the final payment on their prepaid funeral arrangements 30 years ago. That is, until the cemetery called to tell them they still owed more than $2,000 if they ever hoped to actually be entombed in the crypt they had purchased. [More]
If the responsibility has fallen on your shoulders to close up the accounts and cancel the contracts of a loved one who passed away, it can be a painful, slow, and confusing process. Here are 9 tips to make it go smoother. [More]
After a coworker’s mother passed away, J’s officemates chipped in to buy a very large, very pretty flower arrangement for the viewing. It cost around $200. While delivery and overhead are substantial in the flower industry, they didn’t expect to find that this pitiful thing had been sent in place of the massive arrangement they ordered. [More]
Rita’s mother recently passed away. We offer our condolences to Rita and her family, and our rage to the American Airlines employees who were complete jerks to Rita as she tried to travel from Texas to the distant Canadian city of Halifax, Nova Scotia for the funeral. After her first flight was twice delayed due to “mechanical problems,” she wound up stranded in Orlando. Missing her connection due to the two delays wasn’t the airline’s problem, a supervisor told Rita. [More]
Fries, liquor and prescription medications have long been offered in drive-thru form, so it was only a matter of time until funeral homes followed suit. [More]
Superficially, weddings and funerals have a lot in common: everyone’s dressed up, families get together, some people are crying, and the guests of honor ride off in fancy vehicle to an uncertain future. Funeral homes, though, are large and beautiful spaces that provide a cheaper alternative site for wedding receptions and/or ceremonies. [More]
We’ve said repeatedly that prepaid funeral plans are bunk–the industry is too unregulated to be trustworthy, and it’s far too easy to lose money when you could just as easily set up a savings plan for a funeral on your own. Now there’s news from California that the state’s second-largest prepaid funeral trust was spending money “improperly” on everything from political lobbying to conventions, blowing $12.6 million from the $70 million paid in advance by customers. [More]
The Ohio state board that licenses funeral homes has shut down a business in the town of Findlay while it investigates a list of allegations against the funeral director who owns the business. It’s a long list, too, including being naked or half-clothed during business hours, putting on the jacket of a deceased man in front of the man’s family, threatening employees, and being drunk. [More]
Thanks to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers have certain rights when it comes to funerals. Consumers have the right to purchase only the products or services they need, to use the services of a funeral home while declining embalming, to see written price lists before they begin to make decisions, and the right to purchase a casket or urn elsewhere. An undercover FTC investigation, however, discovered that in 30% of the funeral homes they visited, at least one part of the Funeral Rule of 1984 was violated. [More]
If you don’t want all your various online accounts left unattended when you permanently go off the grid, you can now hire several different services to clean up any loose ends–closing accounts, sharing passwords with survivors, transferring gaming accounts, and so on. Wired says they cost anywhere from $10 a year to $300 for a lifetime account, although after reading about this you may find it’s cheaper and more efficient to just add the necessary info to your will. [More]
D.’s mother passed away last week. The funeral is today, and the wake was yesterday. He writes that thanks to Costco and their supplier Universal Casket, the casket that he ordered with expedited shipping was somehow shipped to a different city entirely, leaving the family scrambling for a new casket at the last minute, and defeating the entire purpose of ordering a casket by mail order in the first place. Costco did reach out and make things right, but not until later. [More]
After the death of a relative, Mike put together a photo tribute for the funeral, in order to “remember the good times,” he says. Only a Walmart cashier put a stop to his purchase. Here’s what happened. Do you think Walmart was in the right?
Walmart now provides for their customers from cradle to grave. Quite literally—since you can not only purchase cribs there, you can now order caskets and funerary urns from the mega-retailer’s Web site.
Remember Burr Oak this past summer? That was the Chicago cemetery that dug up bodies and resold the graves to new customers. Well, yesterday a U.S. Representative from Illinois introduced the Bereaved Consumers Protection Act, a bill that would standardize record-keeping, make cemeteries accountable to federal officials as well as state, and protect consumers from shady business practices.