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As my mother lay dying the past few weeks, a funeral home put me through added hell.


I purchased a plan for her direct cremation on January 5, and I thought that was taken care of. A few days later, a funeral director called to set up an appointment for me and my stepfather to come in and sign the permission forms. We went there, following a terrible ice storm, and my husband fell in their parking lot. When we were finally able to get to the door, no one answered. I called their number, and they said they'd be right there. We stood there in freezing temperatures for about 15 minutes before we decided to leave.


I called them again--it's always an answering service, and I have to wait for the funeral director to call me back. No one was apologetic. The funeral director told me that she thought the appointment was on another day, but not to worry that she'd come by in the morning with the papers. She didn't show up, but called and said she'd try to get there in the evening. She also requested my social security number, which I think is odd. She never showed up in the evening, and I heard nothing from them.


My mom was getting closer to death, and I was worried about those papers. I called the funeral home upset. I spoke to two different people. Neither were apologetic. They assured me that someone would contact me soon.


No one did! My mother died two days ago, on January 19. They picked her up and said they'd call me the next day about signing the papers and filling out the death certificate.


They apparently assigned a new funeral director to handle my mother's death. He called and said we could do the paperwork via email, but my stepfather and I still need to come in and sign the papers.


He sent a draft of her obituary and the death certificate for me to look over and correct. I made the corrections and sent them back to him immediately, but he apparently never got them as he emailed me this morning, asking why I hadn't sent the paperwork. I wrote back that I'd sent them yesterday, and I tried to call the funeral home. The answering service said they'd have him call me, but he hasn't.


This has all been insane! Not only am I grieving my mom's loss, but the funeral home has significantly compounded my grief. For the past two days, instead of relaxing, I've been having to sit by the phone and computer, waiting to hear from this incompetent funeral home. I'm worried that my mom will be racking up extra fees for cold storage as the plan I purchased only covered two days. Her obituary hasn't even been published in the paper yet.


I just really need for this aspect of her death to be done!


Any suggestions? What can I do?

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I just wanted you all to know that I met with the funeral director, and we've finally resolved the matter. It's such a feeling of relief to get past this part of my mother's death! A great weight has been lifted.

I do wish that I hadn't given them my social security number. The funeral director I saw didn't give me a clear explanation only that they needed to check something. I can only assume that they checked my credit to see if I could pay--even though I'd already paid!

Thanks for all of your suggestions and messages of support. I appreciate it.
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I just wanted you all to know that I met with the funeral director, and we've finally resolved the matter. It's such a feeling of relief! Thanks for all of your comments. I appreciate it.
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This is just all so very wrong! I had a relative cremated and the process was as smooth as butter. I was her guardian and conservator and she in a SNF near death when I originally met with funeral home to pre-plan.

I called and made an appointment. I was told who would see me and he was there. I was shown a price list and discussed all options. I was told exactly how everything was handled, from pick up of her body to ashes, etc. A check was written and a contract was signed.

She passed a week later. I called the funeral home and someone was sent immediately to pick up her body. I met with them a few hours later to bring clothing. She was cremated 72 hours after her death. Everything went exactly to plan. Everyone with whom I dealt was professional, sympathetic, respectful. There were no surprises. The charge for the cremation was around $800.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. It all sounds so fishy and just plain awful. At a minimum a very honest Yelp review is needed.
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BettyBB Jan 23, 2020
That's exactly what I wanted when I made plans. I just wanted to get it done so that I could focus on my mother and deal with my grief.

The total cost for everything was close to $1,000, including the death certificates and obituary so at least their prices were reasonable.

I agree. They're going to get a bad review.
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I live in a small town and our funeral director is a family friend. I went to school with his sister. Saying that, this funeral home is weird. Anyone associated with it should be willing to help. Everything should be in the computer. I too would wonder why your SS was needed. Do they do a background check to make sure you can pay?

If they try and charge u for storage, throw a fit. The hold up is there fault. A cremation should not be this hard.

So sorry for your loss.
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I’m so sorry for your loss and I am outraged for you! Having lost both my in-laws within the last 18 months, I can tell you that this funeral home you are dealing with is unprofessional and there is something very wrong here! I wish you the best & hope tomorrow’s meeting is successful.

if this sorry excuse for a funeral home has a Facebook page or a yelp review, I hope you will leave them
a bad review detailing your horrible experience.
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Great advice and answers here but find out why they needed your social security number please and make sure that information goes on your complaint.
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 21, 2020
Absolutely, good suggestion! The OP has a right to know why they need the social security number. Is it for a legit reason or not?
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I am sorry that you had/are having such a negative experience with a funeral home/directors. If I had made an appointment to meet with a funeral director and the business was closed when I arrived for my appointment, I would have changed funeral directors--even if I had to go to another town to do so.

Some states require that funeral directors take courses and become licensed (just like a nurse has to have a license before she/he can work as a nurse).

This website is the National Funeral Directors Association and you can check each state's licensing requirements for funeral directors and also find out who to contact so that you can file a complaint about a funeral director.

https://www.nfda.org/careers/licensing-requirements
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BettyBB Jan 23, 2020
I couldn't switch so easily as I'd already paid. I was afraid that I wouldn't get my money back.

Licensing is required where I live. It wasn't just one funeral director but the whole company.
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Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Absolutely! It has been so frustrating having to deal with this while I'm grieving. My son called them a little bit ago and talked to another funeral director. He learned that the one who was helping me was off today. I've been waiting here all day to hear from him, waiting for nothing.

At least my son managed to get us an appointment for tomorrow morning. Hopefully, this will resolve the matter.

I will call that number and file a complaint. Thanks again.
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lealonnie1 Jan 21, 2020
Of course! I sincerely hope you get this resolved tomorrow morning and to your satisfaction. You already have enough to deal with without compounding the grief!
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I am so sorry for your loss and I would feel the same way about the funeral home. You should not have to be dealing with this while grieving for your mom.

Thanks Lealonnie, thoughtful and useful help to the OP.

Please follow up with the number that Lealonnie gave you to make a complaint. I just wanted to offer support and express my condolences.

Many hugs for you! 💗
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BettyBB Jan 21, 2020
Thank you. I agree. It's just ridiculous having to deal with this at this time! I will certainly do that and file a complaint.

Thanks again!
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How awful! I wonder if you're dealing with a real business here or some fly-by-night operation? In any event, when I looked online, here is what I found:

For issues with funeral homes, you can file a complaint with the FTC online or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) I would also tell them that you plan to call the local television news channel to get them involved if they don't hurry up and get this situation fixed immediately! Nobody wants publicity of that type.

Wishing you the best of luck trying to get this situation remedied quickly, and again, my condolences over the loss of your mom
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