Is there a slimier way to make money than by pressuring grieving mothers/fathers/children and spouses? Arbor Memorial, in my experience with them, is an extreme example of what happens when human beings lose their sense of morals and ethics, in favour of money. I get it, I really do, they are in it for the buck however, that is no excuse for their methods and their operations.
There are plenty of alternatives out there – find one and stay away from Arbor Memorial.
They are a horrendous organization; taking advantage of people when they are, without doubt, most vulnerable. The pressure tactics on my Mom, following Dad’s passing, became evident when Mom passed and I dealt with another company, chosen by my mother, in advance, following her experience with Arbor.
The former tried to milk Mom for every cent; charging outlandish fees and pushing for unneeded items. When Mom was about to make an economical choice, the saleswoman looked at her, with what I assume was a practiced look of disapproval, I gather it was meant to imply that this was a less than appropriate choice for Dad’s memory. She ended up having to borrow money, just to bury her husband.
When Mom passed, we saw how this business SHOULD be run as opposed to Arbor’s business methods. The company my mother had chosen, for her final arrangements, following the needlessly painful lessons learned through our dealings with Arbor, were supportive, explained everything clearly and worked with us, during the entire process and also followed up, with such empathy and kindness that the pain was easier to bear. We were never, ever made to feel that our choices were “cheap”.
They asked what Mom would have wanted, and did their level best to ensure that this is what happened. They didn’t try to pressure us into anything.
Our unfortunate dealings with Arbor were not over though; they collect your name and use your information for sales calls.
My husband and I were approached, AT MOM’S GRAVESIDE, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE FUNERAL, to meet with a rep from Arbor to discuss our own plans. Gave us her freaking business card…at Mom’s graveside… No excuse for that kind of behaviour but that isn’t the end either…I received phone calls from Arbor in the months that followed Mom’s passing. Always the same, pre-pay your funeral arrangement, with the pushy sales tactics.
The final straw came, this year; I received a call from a particularly onerous individual, also from Arbor – at dinner time. He proceeded to try and sell me funeral arrangements, when his hard sell was, obviously, not working, he went full slime ball, calling up the memory of my parents as his hook. “Don’t you want to rest near your Mom and Dad?” And then his piece de resistance: “Don’t you want to save your children hardship of making arrangements?” adjusting his using a tone of voice to one, that I imagine, was supposed to instill guilt.
I wanted to go through my phone and punch the crap out of him.
If there was ever a question regarding my last arrangements – that bastard answered my question. NEVER, in a million years, will I permit Arbor as an entity for my funeral arrangements.
Of course, they are in it for the money; duh…it isn’t a charity business however, the way that Arbor and its representatives go about earning their cut is deplorable, inexcusable.
There are far more economical business entities out there and while Arbor may be trying to monopolize an inevitable need – it is in everyone’s best interest to avoid this company.
Oh sure, they are apologizing now because they have been outed for what they are…bloodsucking leeches, preying on people as they grieve, and their thought processes interrupted.
If you want to make your arrangements ahead of time? Do yourself and your family a favour – avoid Arbor at all costs. And if you use them? You best believe those costs will be unreasonably astronomical.