It goes without saying that the following is my opinion, and my opinion only.
Most cremation companies are above board. But there are unscrupulous “cremation societies” out there. I know. As a United States Coast Guard licensed captain, I have met them.
I met one who said he did business “New York Style.” That is code for “I want a kickback.” Sadly, last time I checked he was still employed by the “cremation society” named after planet Neptune. I refused to provide that manager a kickback, and my 10 year relationship with the Neptune Society was abruptly ended. In my opinion, I would think twice before doing business with these folks. At least until they get new management.
If this company would treat a seasoned, licensed captain in this manner, how do you think they will treat your loved ones in a time of need? The answer is obvious.
We have had many, many fine families from New York. But this guy is just a bad apple, not to be confused with the big apple.
The same parent company owns “The National Cremation Society.” We’ve had many complaints about them as well over the years.
These types take advantage of families in the time they are most vulnerable – when they have lost a loved one. Yet it is often hard to tell which ones are good, and which ones are bad. Many of them are owned by giant national corporations, who care only about profit. They answer to their shareholders and CEOs, and not you.
And even some smaller companies have had bad moments. But there are still funeral homes and cremation companies that care about the average family. Ask around. Talk to a family member or friend that’s had a positive experience with a cremation company. Just be careful before you sign up. Our experience has been that good local management is the key.
If you are looking for a funeral home or cremation society to handle arrangements for a family member, remember the basics. Approach it much as you would any other major consumer purchase. Avoid pushy, high pressure tactics. Free lunches aren’t free. Check your state’s regulatory board for any complaints. Check with friends and associates to see who they have used in the past. If you are still in doubt, contact us. We’ve dealt with the good ones and the bad ones.
If you are reserving a charter with a captain, make sure his boat has the capacity to take ALL of your family. We have had many, many complaints over the years from families who were split into two boats because the offending captain could only take part of the family, and had another boat to take the rest. Usually it was one of his relatives.
And I know of at least one captain who told a family he had the only boat that could take up to 20 passengers out for ash scatterings. I know because the family sent me a copy of his email making the bogus claim (they ended up using my services…one of our boats can take 100 passengers, and another can take 77).
This is totally unprofessional and inexcusable. So, be sure to do your homework. And don’t walk, run away from these cremation societies and captains who are more interested in profits than the service of having a Funeral at Sea for your loved one. Ask them if they can take your entire family. Ask them if they are receiving or giving a referral fee to a cremation society. Ask them if they put your interests above theirs. If they can’t answer those questions, keep looking. And if you still haven’t found a cremation company, call us.