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TOPIC: Vaults, graveliners, and monopoly by Wilbert

Vaults, graveliners, and monopoly by Wilbert 17 Apr 2014 14:04 #943

I now believe no one will sell a vault to a consumer.

I am arranging my mother's burial. I arranged my son's several years ago, and my sister the year before that. The first burial surprised me with many decisions; I never heard of vaults in Wisconsin before that. But, I trusted the director and paid the 1000+ at his recommendation.

My mother did not want a funeral at all. Many of the necessary pieces I secured myself (at the surprise of the sellers, with one director hanging up on me).

Now, I can't find a vault, even a plastic one.

Factoid:

The local vault manufacturers said they will not sell to anyone but a funeral home or cemetery.
The manufacturers will not give a price list.
I am not having a funeral.
I am arranging the grave digging myself.
I arranged with a funeral home to do the transport and lowering.
I do not want to pay a funeral home to do nothing except call the vault company and take my check to pay them.
All the online people sell Wilbert only.
Cached copies of Web ads still show plastic vault manufacturers.
Wilbert bought them all out. I called and spoke to old distributors.
All vault companies now have Wilbert in their name. Wilbert cannot be ordered directly in any shape or manner.
Wilbert does not allow their wholesale prices to be displayed to anyone but a licensed funeral director.
When I talk to anyone about purchasing their vaults, they get scared and talk fast. Not a good sign.
All I really want is a graveliner, but they are not available anymore: only vaults.
The funeral home wants 1100.00 dollars for their cheapest model. That is outlandish!

What should I do?
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Vaults, graveliners, and monopoly by Wilbert 18 Apr 2014 10:41 #944

Hi Jane,

I share your frustration and point of view. I know exactly what you're talking about, and it's rampant. Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything you *can* do but order the vault through a funeral director. It's ridiculous, it's price-gouging, and it's very likely a horizontal price fixing agreement in violation of the law. But the chances of any regulatory body doing a thing about it are less than the proverbial snowball in hell. FCA filed a massive class action lawsuit for price fixing on caskets and after seven years, got nowhere.

I hate to have to say this, but it is the truth. I'm sorry you have to deal with it, Jane.

Josh Slocum
Executive Director
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