It’s never easy, telling someone that what they thought, what they believed, is false. In a situation such as purchasing a headstone for someone you loved, the last thing any consumer wants to hear is “You can’t do that.”
But sometimes, that unhappy job falls on the shoulders of the memorialist who is trying to help you create the last gift you can give. Unfortunately, there are so many cemeteries, each managed in different ways, that it is a daily occurrence for us to have to tell a customer that they can’t have the monument they wanted, or that they have to pay far more than they anticipated, because of restrictions or requirements.
These rules are beyond our control, and yet we have to abide by them, and often we are the ones who have to disappoint a customer. There are ways in which we can help: we try to find a happy alternative, we try to educate our customer so they better understand why they can’t do as they wish.
And that is the bottom line: education.
You don’t have to be an expert on purchasing a memorial you just have to be willing to ask questions, to take advice and to learn. Our job, as memorialists, is to help you. There are those who just want to sell you something, but by and large, the majority of people in this business do want an educated public; because it makes our job easier and gives our customers peace of mind when they leave our office.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, to request that something be repeated if it was unclear. You have the right to shop anywhere, but conduct a little research first; make sure the company you are buying from is a reputable and established business, ask to see samples of their work. There is more than just the cost of the monument to consider: most cemeteries have fees and any good dealer will either know that information or will make it their business to find out.
Make notes, because it will take time to properly craft a beautiful and well-made memorial, and there may be things you forget or questions that occur to you during the process. We will be here for you, and all we ask is that you help us help you.
Schlitzberger and Daughters Monument Co., Inc.