My grandmother, ******* ** ****, entered secured the services of Leaks & Sons funeral home to provide services for my uncle, her only son. We decided to use their services because it is conveniently located in the neighborhood that my family lived for many years and that location would accommodate guests who had limited means of transportation. The funeral home was to provide, among other services and preparations, a visitation/viewing of the body on the evening of January 9th, followed by funeral services, burial and repass on January 10th. The viewing, funeral and repass were to all be held at the location on 78th & Cottage Grove. The day before the funeral, my grandmother received a call from the funeral home requesting permission to move the repass to a local dining venue, ******* **** ****** in order to accommodate an error they made with reserving the space for two families. Rightfully upset by the call, my grandmother explicitly stated that she paid for the repass room at the funeral home on 78th street and that moving the location was neither acceptable or possible at such short notice. We presumed that was the end of the issue.
As the funeral neared it's end, however, ******* Leak, *** asked to make an announcement. Without any prior warning to my grandmother or our family, Mr. **** announced to everyone that the repass would not be held there at the 78th street location, but rather it was being moved to the 184th street location. He casually left the room without any direct communication to my grandmother or family.
Meanwhile, my aunt, who had already set up the food and table settings in the room, was being rudely rushed out and ordered to pack up. She was unaware that any changes had be made and that they were made without family consent. The staff was extremely confrontational and hostile.
Appalled, angered, upset don't begin to capture the sentiments we felt. There was absolutely no respect or regard for the loss of our loved one or that sacred time to grieve. When I attempted to speak to Mr. Leak about the situation, he was very rude and dismissive. He did not allow me to express our position and refused to listen, seeming annoyed that I was even making an effort to speak to him. He gave 3 different versions and untruths of the same story to explain why he did what he did in the manner that he did it. As I attempted to restore the situation to its original state, he essentially stated that the situation would remain unchanged and we should move on.
With inclement weather conditions, below zero temperatures and snow, Mr. Leak did not even care that many people lived in the neighborhood and did not have a means to make it more than 100 blocks to and from the new location. He did not offer additional vehicles to transport guests or make any concessions other than assistance transferring the food.
Due to the unexpected and disruptive nature of the change in venue, we were unable to celebrate the life of my uncle with all of our friends and family. Many people could not make it to that remote location. Many people did not know of the change and waited at the funeral home for hours without being notified by staff that the re-pass was relocated.
Though there is no monetary amount that can compensate for the emotional toll the incident caused for my family, funeral home did not provide the repass services/space as agreed upon and as such, should return those monies to my grandmother. They knew upon reserving the space there was a conflict, but proceeded anyway. This profit-maximizing tactic is insensitive and highly inappropriate, particularly when working with families mourning the death of a loved one. At the very least, the owe my grandmother the monies in the amount of the repass room as a courtesy.
Leaks & Sons did not provide the repass room as agreed upon and should refund my grandmother the cost of that room (approximately $400)
To Ms. **** I would first like to say that I consider it an honor and a privilege to have served your family and I do not take it likely that you had some concerns. Yes, my father when making arrangements with your grandmother did overlook the fact that one of our directors had set another repast at the same time. My Dad is getting a little older and I have instructed our staff to pay a little more attention to the details when he makes arrangements. Many of our families only want to see him when making arrangements and at times it can get a little overwhelming for him. Once again I apologize. I'm not sure if you were involved in making the initial arrangements for your uncle. However, I would like for you to know that according to the contract that your grandmother signed, my father, did not charge her for the repast. He from the very beginning offered it to her for free. Additionally, he offered another $213.09 off of the bill, did not charge the 5% insurance fee for using insurance and he paid $1295.00 of our funds to Mt. **** ******** for your uncles burial. And as of this date we have not yet received payment from the insurance company. This was all done before there was any knowledge of the double booking of the repast room. My father has a heart of gold and would never intentionally do something to cause any family more grief than they are already suffering. He unfortunately made a mistake. I am just leaving a funeral at a church. One of the church staff last night made a mistake with the lighting system which caused the lights to malfunction this morning. I literally used the flashlight from my I Phone to set the casket and flowers in church. When the family arrived, the church told them that there was a mistake made and they were rectifying the problem. A short while later during the wake the lights came on and it was a beautiful service. I say that to say we are all human and we all make mistakes and my father as I mentioned before went above and beyond with your grandmother well before any mistake was made. Upon hearing that the repast had been moved to our suburban chapel, I immediately got our staff prepared, and we were all standing at the door ready to do whatever it took to satisfy your family. I specifically remember going to********** and buying 3 bags of ice upon your request. I also offered to order anything that you needed from the Diner immediately next door to us at our expense. I constantly asked several members of your family including your grandmother was everything o k and did they need anything else. For 3 hours I witnessed over 100 people laughing and talking and having a great time in our repast room. So please know that we acknowledge our mistake. But also please know that both my father and I went above and beyond to satisfy your family from the very beginning when your grandmother called us to notify us of your uncles passing. Then I also want you to know how upset my father was with himself for his error. Your grandmother will receive a letter acknowledging that the insurance company has paid us. At this time I cannot say when that will be. However upon that time when they do pay, and your grandmother would still like a refund, we will be happy to offer her an additional $395.00 off of the funeral bill. Thank you again. Every family that we serve, we consider them a gift from God. Your family is no different.
******* ****, ***
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The details outlined by Mr. **** are inconsistent with what actually occurred. While we understand that his father is aging, the service and treatment we experienced is unacceptable. Further, we did not receive the room that was agreed upon when we secured services, therefore, we are willing to let the matter be brought to resolution by accepting the $395.00 refund for the room as offered by Mr. ****.
Final Business Response
So that Ms. **** feels comfortable, I will send her grandmother 395.00 even though we still have not been paid for our services as well as our funds that we advanced in order to assist her grandmother financially. Thank you all.
******* **** ***