My father just died a few weeks ago, and the funeral director said if we gave her the obituary, she would submit it. While I see now that the contract does say TBD on the line item for obit, i just glanced at it at the time and looked at the bottom line believing that was the cost. I had no idea, nor did anyone in my family, that an obit cost money. We all thought it was a public service (confused with death notice I’ve come to see). In fact, I only found out when a friend asked me “how much I’d been soaked” for the obit because he didn’t know either. I should probably add that my family was almost totally indifferent to having an obit in the paper (I actually didn’t want it) even if it was free.
The obit cost my friends $1000 in the Star Ledger (NJ) paper and, given the length of my fathers, I’m guessing mine will be more (going in same paper). My mother can hardly afford that. Most people I asked who had never dealt with a funeral home either assumed it was free or was $200 max. The funeral director made no mention that an obit cost money, let alone it was as expensive as it was at that newspaper. Given that it will increase the bill by almost 50%, I think she owed me a warning (maybe not legally, but ethically).
What do you think I and the funeral director should do in this case? Do you think I deserve some sort of discount for her error? Can I ask her to have me deal with the newspaper directly? I noticed the newspaper edited the obit for punctuation that arguably I could I have wanted as my brother wrote originally. Anyone know if I can at least get the newspaper to discount based on their editing without my consent? Thanks in advance.