Basic Service Charge
What does the Basic Services of the Funeral Director and Staff mean?
We do not own a hearse or a limo as those vehicles are very expense to maintain and with cremation are used infrequently. We have the ability to rent the cars as necessary. This is yet another huge expense. I remember back in the day when our firm would have a fleet of vehicle which would allow us to have what we needed available. Depending on the service selected, hearse as not used as often and limos are very rarely used. They are expensive just to rent. Image the cost of tires, and gas, and vehicle insurance. Those are all costs that are passed along to the consumer and added to the total cost of the funeral bill. Once again, we prefer not to do that.
Another budgeting idea is to keep our staff to an absolute minimum. We have the ability to hire staff members as necessary. We might sometimes have the door locked during the work day and we don't have a secretary to answer the phone all the time, and we don't keep extra funeral directors around, but keeping the payroll down really is the greatest of all budgeting savings. We do employ a wonderful answering service who only works within the funeral industry. This gives us a better representation of our firm, and they are able to ask the appropriate questions. In addition, technology allows the funeral director to listen to the conversation to make sure that our families are being treated properly.
I read a book a few years back on "rightsizing" business. The book basically shows owners and managers ways to only use what is needed and this logical approach controls expenses. So as you can see, we have made every effort to reduce the costs of the funeral arrangements and use of the building and pass those savings on to you, the consumer. We do this with little or no change in the ability to provide a first rate experience for our client families.
When people ask me what the average cost of the funeral I will usually point them to the Basic Service fees found in the General Price Sheet of the funeral home. Other funeral home fees and costs are related to the Basic Service fee and will typically be higher and be reflected in the total overage average cost.