As our city grows there are more and more cremation companies popping up in Austin. Some are virtual companies with no offices for you to visit, others are virtual companies with a storefront meant and entice you with home visits, while there are companies that claim they are ‘local’ and then take your loved one 80 miles away to cremated or even worse to a cremation facility that is owned by a third-party with no oversight by the funeral home you contacted. This can lead to a lot of confusion.
To further complicate things there are high priced funeral companies that own storefronts that offer a lower price than their flagship firm all in a guise to keep you as a customer without knowing you are still using the same company. Same ownership just under a different shingle. Why? because the industry wants you confused, almost as it is confusing for a seasoned professional like me to keep score on all of this. An example of this is your family contacts a flagship funeral home and you are quoted $3,000 for direct cremation, you get sticker-shock and you want to make other arrangements. The funeral director suggest you call another firm which happens to offer cremation at 50% the cost and you say great!, not knowing you could have the cremation done for even less, but you are not afforded the opportunity to make a few phone calls and shop around. The funeral director has saved a client and still added to his pocketbook. While $1,400 versus $3,000 sounds like quite a savings, your family could have spent as little as $650 for the same basic cremation.
So how do I know the firm I am using is local?
Simple, visit their office. Examine their facility licenses (HINT: there should be two licenses) hanging on the wall. Does the license say Funeral Establishment? Is there a Crematory license on the wall? Ask where? is their office located or where? the person you are talking to is located (HINT: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Hays County are not in the city of Austin)
How do I know where my loved one is cremated?
Check the Authorization for Cremation form you are signing. It will show the address for the crematory on the form. (HINT: If the address does not match the address of the funeral home you called, your loved one is cremated elsewhere)
How do I know the company I called is not a virtual or storefront?
If you cannot visit the funeral establishment you called, or the funeral/ cremation company has an ‘alternative’ location for you to meet, you are dealing with a virtual or storefront company that is operated in a distant city. Only a licensed funeral establishment can be the venue for a family to visit and a funeral director to conduct business legally in Texas.
What about cost?
Cost vary from firm to firm, there is a difference in cheap cremation and affordable cremation. Federal Law requires funeral homes to disclose prices to you on the phone or when you inquire in person. (HINT: Federal Law does not require funeral home to disclose prices on the internet, firms that are more progressive will not hide cost on their web-pages and will make all pricing available to you so you can make a more informed decision).
The TRUTH about Cremation Services in Austin:
Affordable Burial & Cremation is the ONLY local family owned cremation service with an on-site crematory in Travis County. We are native Austinites and we still live right here in Austin. We do not own or operate other high priced funeral establishments, We do not have investors or partners or shareholders. All cremations are performed at our Austin location by certified crematory operators. All of our prices for our services including caskets are available 24 hours a day at our website (www.centraltexascremation.com). We not only offer the most affordable cremation options in the city we also offer funeral and burial services, which no other low cost cremation provider can. Simply said We Are Austin True and Austin Proud!
We are also fully licensed by the Texas Funeral Service Commission and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. No other cremation firm compares to our family owned service.