BROADVIEW, IL, April 13, 2012 – Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc (WFSI) introduces a new philanthropic program, Commemorating First Responders, which donates burial vaults and urns for first responders who have died in the line of duty.
Families of firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical personnel receive, at no charge, a Wilbert Stainless Steel Triune® burial vault when traditional burial is chosen. If cremation is chosen, Wilbert offers families a choice from four high-quality urns; if the cremains are to be buried, a Stainless Steel Triune urn vault is also provided. Each vault comes with a beautiful Wilbert Legacy Custom® personalized carapace, donated by Legacy Prints, one of WFSI’s vendor partners.
Washington, D.C. – Investigators working undercover in nine states detected significant violations of Federal Trade Commission consumer protection requirements in 23 of 102 funeral homes visited during 2011, according to a press release.
The FTC conducts undercover inspections every year to make sure funeral homes are complying with the agency’s Funeral Rule. Key provisions of the Funeral Rule, which was issued in 1984, require funeral homes to provide consumers with an itemized price list at the start of an in-person discussion of funeral arrangements, as well as a casket price list before consumers view any caskets. The Funeral Rule also prohibits funeral homes from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service. By requiring itemized prices, the Funeral Rule enables consumers to compare prices and buy only the goods and services wanted.
A Baltimore company is making an offer to die for — or at least they think so.
Reed Street Productions, known up to now for creating a zombie-themed 5K race,has thrown down something that will probably bring them even more attention: the chance for people to win a free funeral if they agree to put the race’s URL on their tombstone.
I got the opportunity yesterday to do a video interview with the President/CEO and Vice-President of Genesis Casket Company about where they currently are in their production schedule, and the current state of the company. I talked with them about the recent lay-offs and position terminations, market share, current an future distribution plans, truck load pricing, and where the company is headed in the near future. Also hear how one major casket company is offering 50% discounts in an attempt to gain back customers lost to Genesis Casket.
One of the biggest concerns that funeral professionals and small business owners have about the idea of using social media marketing for their business it that having a social presence will make them more vulnerable to negative comments or bad reviews. This is a legitimate concern and the reply I give is simple: your right!
Let me explain: anytime you have a larger presence somewhere online and become easier to access you are going to be vulnerable to negative comments or reviews. Funeral professionals had the exact same concern when deciding to create a funeral home website.
A newborn in Argentina was found very much alive in a morgue by her mother 12 hours after hospital staff had declared the baby dead.
The mother, Analia Bouguet, tells TeleNoticias TV that the hospital still has issued her only a death certificate for the infant rather than a birth certificate. Bouguet said she is planning to pursue amedical malpractice suit.
The Daily Mail reports that the baby was Bouguet’s fifth and was born prematurely.
Article By: Alan Creedy
Is it possible that in some markets people no longer care?
In this series on Funeral Apologetics I have pointed out that our real problem is cowardice and have endeavored to share some techniques that might help the profession fight for itself. Several very thoughtfulindividuals (whom I also admire) have suggested that, in their market at least, people simply don’t care anymore. In their opinion, the best that can be hoped for is to do more volume on a shrinking sales average. But, I would ask: “Is it that people don’t care? Or, is it that people don’t care the way we think they should care?”
I need to make clear that my optimism on this subject springs not from rose-colored glasses.
- Are we becoming irrelevant? Possibly
- Are our margins shrinking? Yes
- Are we losing ground with every passing day? Yes
- Do we know what we need to do? No
- Is there a single solution? No
- Is there any solution? I believe so, if we fight for it.
But this is not to dismiss the reality that the struggles and challenges faced on a daily basis by our profession, which confronts an increasingly disengaged customer, are both real and acute. I am not suggesting that impacting this trend will be easy or quick. It took us 30 years of neglect to get here. Why should we expect overnight success? That is specifically why I continue to use a “Fight” metaphor. Because being passive is not working! And doing nothing is cowardice.
What we believe and why we believe it is critical to our hope and foundational to our solution. If we believe that people see us as irrelevant without exploring what lies behind that phenomenon then it ultimately becomes reality. If we believe no one cares then…ultimately…no one will care. Not because they aren’t wired to care but because they never knew why they should do some of those irrelevant things that…oddly…happen so spontaneously in tragic public and celebrity deaths.
Click Here to Read Full Article: http://funeralhomeconsulting.org/best-practices/customer-engagement/the-secret-sauce-resurrecting-deathcare/
The obituary, the one constant thing about almost any death, traditional and for the most part boring to read. Not anymore, though the obituary still is a generally a guarantee form of notification upon any death, it is also evolving into something much more than the boring traditional notification of death. Pre-written obituaries are becoming a way for the deceased to have the last word or in some cases, the last laugh. The below obituaries appeared last Thursday in the Denver Post.
In the stock market, bad news brings out buzzards and buyers. The birds are circling to see if the company is dead, the buyers are figuring things will get better when the news passes.
It’s a bit like being an interested observer as you drive by a car accident, with one key difference; rubberneckers aren’t thinking of purchasing the wreck.
Investors, however, look at every headline as a potential opportunity, even one as unpleasant as the recent news that Service Corp. International, the Texas-based cemetery company, was facing a new class-action suit over allegations that it mismanaged and desecrated a cemetery in Florida.
What investors may see is a company that has gained nearly 40% since the start of 2010, and they figure the lawsuit news will put it on sale for a short time.
What they are getting in Service Corp. International, however, is the Stupid Investment of the Week.
Stupid Investment of the Week highlights the conditions and characteristics that make a security less than ideal for the average investor and is written in the hope that spotlighting the flawed logic and dangers in one situation will make it easier to avoid trouble elsewhere. While obviously not a purchase recommendation, the column is not intended as an automatic sell signal.
Indeed, SCI supporters might recognize that this is not the company’s first time at the SIOTW rodeo, having received the distinction in late October 2008.
The stock was more than cut in half over 20 weeks — in line with my expectations for the stock — but rebounded sharply as the market turned, finishing 2009 with a gain of nearly 70% before starting a slower-but-steady climb since. See what I said about SCI in 2008.
Companies get hit with lawsuits all the time and typically can withstand the heat, even though they may suffer for it.
The issue with SCI is that if it loses the current lawsuit, it could suffer a devastating blow to a fragile balance sheet.
Before getting to that, however, consider the simple case for buying the stock.
The appeal of investing in the funeral business is that it has customers regardless of market conditions. As the baby boom generation hits retirement age, the common assumption is that demand for funeral services will be growing.
Service Corp. is the largest provider of death-care products and services in North America, with a network of more than 1,250 funeral-service locations and roughly 375 cemeteries, including some 200-plus combination locations, where a funeral home is in proximity to a cemetery. The company performs about 5,000 funeral services and 8,000 interments per year.
Much of the focus of the death-services business has moved to what is called “pre-need planning,” and SCI has built up a tremendous store of future business, a “pre-need backlog” of some $5.8 billion in future revenues, according to the company’s 2011 annual report.
While there is no telling when those revenues will arrive — the company earns interest on its trusts, but it only collects on the contracts when the trust owner dies — there’s no doubt that the company is securing its share of the never-ending demand for its services.
Apologists must be aware of 4 generally accepted fallacies:
Consumers think in a well-reasoned rational way
- In fact, emotions are closely interwoven with the reasoning process. Most often they are dominant.
Consumers can readily explain their behavior and thinking
- 95% of our thinking is unconscious. Our rational mind serves mainly to make sense of behavior AFTER it is executed
Consumer’s memories accurately represent their experiences
- In fact, consumers memories represent what they think about their experiences not the experiences themselves
Consumers think in words
- We think in terms of images. If I say the word “dog” you do not call to mind a biological description of a dog. Instead, you bring to mind a picture of a dog. And your dog is likely to be different from my dog