I had need of organising a funeral a few years ago and discovered there is quite a bit of badge engineering involved. Some of the big players have more than one brand name.
Depending on which phone number you call you will get a different brand. You talk to the same staff who operate out of the same premises but they offer you a superficially different product for quite a different price. I only had one farewell to organise so I couldn’t order both and check if you got more or better service for the higher price. The cheapo product I took was just fine, I suspect that I could have paid a whole lot more for basically the same thing, whether it was with the same vendor or another.
A bit like weddings in a way, the price just goes up and up, with a wedding you tell them it’s a birthday party but not with a funeral. There was a lot of not so subtle attempts at upselling. Why would you pay thousands more for a coffin that is (supposedly) going to end up in the furnace?
On another occasion I went to a family funeral at one of the big city crematoriums organised by a cousin. There were multiple chapels radiating out from the chimney. It was a non denominational Christian service (my mob couldn’t agree on anything) and we were greeted at the door by this bloke in a white frock and a big smile, he pumped every hand solicitously. He had never met the departed in life nor any of the living beforehand.
The eulogy was as generic as the astrological predictions in New Idea. When he pressed one button the music went up or down, another and the lights went up or down and just before the end he hit the Enter key and the little curtains opened and the coffin rolled away into the back. I think the poor man really was trying to give some comfort but he had no chance. It was so industrial.
You see he had a speech impediment. I can’t say this any other way, and I hope nobody is offended, but this is the absolute truth. He soldiered on and did his best and covered quite few slips with his big warm smile but there was one phrase he had to employ repeatedly that triggered his disability each time