Finding the best food in town is easy thanks to Yelp, but finding the best funeral home is a more difficult task. As many social workers who deal with end of life issues can attest to, picking a funeral home isn’t easy. Social workers are required to provide families with a list of funeral homes. And, often times a social worker has to call each one to confirm the price and location. But all of that is changing with a simple idea.
Parting.com has made it phenomenally easier for anyone to go online and find a funeral home in their area. End of life issues are not easy to deal with along with the fees involved. Parting.com clears up both of these issues by providing a clear list of funeral homes with estimated costs.
Below is my brief interview with the creators of Parting.com:
What made you and your team start Parting?
Last year after Tyler’s grandmother passed away, he volunteered to help plan her funeral. He went online to try to find a funeral home, and that’s when he quickly realized that the information online to compare his options were extremely limited and hard to find. It took him 4-5 days to compare prices and choose a funeral home because he had to find and call each one to find out more information. With Parting, the process of finding and comparing funeral homes now takes 10 minutes. We started at Parting.com with the mission to make sure families don’t get taken advantage of during their difficult time by equipping them with the knowledge about their funeral home options before ever having to contact them.
Who can Parting most help?
Parting can help families who either have an immediate need for funeral services or are planning for the future.With Parting, families can find and compare funeral homes so they can confidently and quickly choose a funeral service provider. We provide families a list of funeral homes in their local area and allow them to comparison shop based on prices, photos, and reviews. We also have resources that can guide families through what service options are right for them. These decisions can seriously impact the families financially, and it’s important to us that they can prepare themselves in the comfort of their own home without any pressure from a funeral home.
As we started talking to social workers in hospitals and hospice, we realized that Parting is actually solving a serious problem social workers are facing. While the average person may have to deal with a death of a loved one only a few times in their life, a social worker is constantly helping families with these choices. We’ve found that almost all social workers in hospices and hospitals have been forced to create their own funeral home database in excel or word from anecdotal information or past funeral homes they’ve worked with. They are often asked questions about prices or services they don’t have the answer to, which makes their job a lot harder than it should be.
Parting is a completely free tool for social workers to utilize that will hopefully make their jobs a little bit easier. Social workers at hospitals like Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and hospices like Vitas Healthcare or Gentiva Hospice, pass out our pamphlets to their families when they are faced with funeral decisions. For a limited time, we are offering social workers the chance to order our pamphlets for free here: http://socialworker.parting.com/
How does the Parting rating system work? Our users come to our site and rate the funeral homes from a 1 to 5 star scale. We accumulate the ratings and create an average rating for each funeral home.
How much does Parting cost? Parting is absolutely free for anyone looking to compare funeral services in their area.
Can Funeral Homes pay for better ratings? No. Funeral homes cannot pay for better ratings or to delete unwanted reviews. They can also not pay to alter or hide their prices. The information on the page cannot be influenced by payment.
What do other sites charge and why are you free? Other sites often charge up to $40 for each search. We provide this information for free because we feel it should be provided to everyone so that they can make well-informed choices when choosing funeral services.
Do you feel like transparency will help bring prices down for this industry?
It wasn’t our intention, but shortly after we made the prices available, we were told by a funeral director that he had lowered his costs because he realized that he was charging more than other providers in his area. This is great news that some are taking the initiative to find what is a fair price to charge a family. We do caution though, that while price should be a major factor in choosing a funeral home, it should definitely not be the only one. We have seen such a huge difference in offerings from funeral homes with some being newly renovated or having huge chapels to accommodate large gatherings that it is completely understandable to be more expensive. Every family is going to have different needs and our goal is to connect each family with the right provider.
How have you tested your site so less tech savvy (older adults) have an easier time using it? We are constantly trying to simplify the process so that everyone can understand and use Parting. We have all had our parents and grandparents use the site so that we can make sure the can get the information they are searching for easily. It is Grandma-tested and Mother-approved!
If I were to use your site today how long do you think it would take me to find a funeral home?Walk me through the process step by step.
It takes less than 10 minutes.
1. First, you enter your zip code or city:
2. Once you get a list of funeral homes in your local area, you sort the funeral homes according to your preferences, whether its location, price or ratings. Then you click on a funeral home that you are interested in:
3. When you choose a funeral home, you can contact them call to make an appointment:
Do you offer any programs for families in need? Such as deals for certain funeral homes based on need, as many social workers deal with populations with very low-income.
The demand for more affordable options is apparent and we recognize that it is definitely an issue, and so as we expand, we are going to make sure that we give funeral homes the ability to advertise their packages which often times contain more affordable options for indigent families.
Parting.com takes a process that normally would take hours and simplify it to minutes. For social workers, it gives clients peace of mind and information they seek while saving hours on the phone.
Daniel Ortiz Reti is the Technology Staff Writer for Social Work Helper, he received his MSW from USC in May 2014. Using innovative ways of integrating technology and social work, Daniel wants to show you more efficient ways of delivering services to your clients. With experience working in the private sector, rural social work, hospital social work and outreach programs. If you want to know more about how you can implement the tracking and analysis of data, new software or technology literacy programs into your organization email him at: Daniel.Ortiz.Reti@gmail.com