complaints-img1At one time or another, all of us have found ourselves in a situation where we felt that we were not treated fairly, honestly or politely. We felt that those who were providing us a service or merchandise were not treating us as we were entitled to be treated.

It is always upsetting to find ourselves in this type of situation. It is even more difficult when it happens at a time when we are dealing with the loss of a loved one. We are under great emotional stress. Concerned that we may overreact, we decide not to react at all.

How do I effectively communicate to the funeral home that I am dissatisfied with the funeral service I have received?

Be calm and polite.

First, be calm and polite. Determine exactly what you are upset about and how you want it corrected. Communicate this clearly to the staff member at the funeral home who is handling or has handled your arrangements.

Give the staff member the opportunity to make the correction for you.

By being calm, polite and communicating clearly what you wish to have corrected, you give the staff member who handled your arrangements the opportunity to make the changes you are requesting.

Seek permission to consult the manager or the owner.

If the staff member you are dealing with tells you that he or she cannot make the change, simply say, “This is very important to me. Is it all right with you if I speak to the manager or the owner about this?”

Ask your staff member to introduce you to the owner or manager.

By asking the staff member’s permission, you are continuing to seek his or her help. You are not going around him or her. You are not being angry or belligerent. You are simply asking your staff member to introduce you to a person who has more authority.

In situations where you want a corrective action now, the best way to proceed is by being calm, polite but firm and making your wishes known to the person in charge.

By assuming that a simple miscommunication has taken place, you do not make the funeral director feel defensive. You are giving the funeral director the opportunity to serve you as you wish to be served.

Funeral directors are very service oriented professionals.

Funeral directors know how important every detail and request is to the family they are serving. They are trained to give special attention to even the smallest details. Let your funeral director know graciously if you are not satisfied so that the funeral home staff will have the opportunity to adjust anything that is not the way you requested it.

Always give the funeral service professional the opportunity to make necessary changes.

Your funeral director wants to give you the service you and your family request. As with any matter concerning many details, there is the possibility for miscommunication.

Communicate with your funeral director.

Let your funeral director know when he or she and the staff have done an outstanding job of serving you in your time of loss. Likewise let your funeral director know when he or she and the staff have not performed as you had a right to expect. The funeral director will value both types of communications.

What if my funeral director will not listen to me?

If you have tried to communicate with your funeral director in a calm, polite manner, and feel that he or she is not listening to you, then you should seek the mediation skills of the Funeral Ethics Association.
What is the Funeral Ethics Association?

The Funeral Ethics Association is dedicated to promoting the highest ethical standards in the practice of funeral service. Many funeral directors belong to the Funeral Ethics Association and subscribe to the Code of Ethics which the Funeral Ethics Association has established.

The Funeral Ethics Association strives to promote, to educate and to advance ethical standards in funeral service.

The Funeral Ethics Association serves as a mediator – your ombudsman – in cases where consumers wish to present situations where they feel they have not been properly served.

Consumers may send their questions or matters of concern to the Funeral Ethics Association. The Association will review them, make the funeral director aware of the situation and seek a solution which is mutually agreeable to both the consumer and the funeral director.

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