Archive for March, 2015

If StoneMor Partners manages their rest of their companies like they manage Sunrise Memorial Gardens in Muskegon, MI then I recommend all of their investors call their brokers immediately and dump their stock like a radioactive hot glowing boulder.  Since StoneMor took over the operation of Sunrise a few years back it has been a revolving door of inept employees “Managed By Fear”.

I have never seen people so afraid to make any decision, let alone the right one without calling their supervisor. I have never seen management so completely out of touch with an operation, seemingly incapable of training people to do a relatively simple job. Policies, procedures or prices change on a monthly basis. Nearly every family that we serve that has to deal with this company/cemetery comes back to us with terrible stories and complaints of pushy sales tactics, overpriced required merchandise purchases, expensive additional service charges for work that requires little time or effort and brown dried up grass overgrown with weeds. I cringe every time a family tells me they own property there.

The things that happened this week at Sunrise pushed me over the edge. Their treatment of families and the attitude of their staff was disgusting. I had a family tell me they were treated so rudely by a Sunrise staff person in the office that they wanted to punch her in the face. And another family was pressured into purchasing a vault, even though they had purchased one from the funeral home the day before. And when we thought we had that issue resolved they called me on the morning of the burial and told me they had already installed their vault so I was out of luck. Rather than fight the issue I did the right thing and had the vault company go back and pick up my vault. At the burial the family told me both employees were blaming each other for all the errors and confusion.

My complaints to the next level up got blown off by some cell phone carrying, car driving middle manager who gave a 5 minutes dissertation about how their mission is to work with families and funeral homes to provide the best care and services. What a bunch of crap. He and everyone at the place were just worried about meeting quota and how much commission they were going to get. He accused of us lying even though I can prove the time line of how things happened.(we met with the family on Sunday and they went to Sunrise on Monday)

We know some upper level folks that work for StoneMor and contacted them to see who we should talk to and got a few email addresses. Then we called the Michigan Cemetery Association to find out how we should handle our complaint and they said that no-one at StoneMor or the cemetery association would listen to funeral home complaints. It had to come from the family. But rather than put the family through any more grief I have decided to air my complaints here. I’m hoping this might get management’s attention a little sooner. And If anyone reading this has had challenges like this I invite you to comment below.

I want you all to know I’m not just some whiney pants funeral guy that lost a sale. I completely understand that this is business. I’ve been to sales seminars and understand the methods. And it’s all about getting to the customer first in many of these situations. But what’s going on here is borderline fraud and coercion. It’s stuff like this that puts death care in the headlines and gives everyone a black eye.

To paraphrase Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie Rainman ….”StoneMor Sucks”

I’m Dale Clock.  Thanks for Listening


Read Full Post »