Why, Randy, I’m surprised at you:) Are you the same Randy Garner, here in Vermont, that participated in a Vermont Public Radio show with me? You’re right that many funeral homes have increased their service fees to make up for the lost profit on caskets. People have to look at the bottom line – including all service and merchandise costs – to make an informed decision. But you’re wrong about retailers “stealing profits” from funeral homes. Where did you get the idea that funeral directors are entitled – by what or whom, the law or God? – to all the profits from funeral consumers? Just like any other business, funeral homes have to sink or swim on the merits of the service they provide at the price they charge. If consumers don’t find sufficient value for the money, they’re perfectly entitled to redirect their dollars elsewhere. Don’t blame the woes of high-overhead, “traditional” funeral homes on anything but the conventional industry’s refusal to get with the times. If you have something the customer wants, then sell it at an appropriate price. If the customer is balking at paying high prices to support the overhead of under-used, unnecessarily fancy mortuaries, down-size your operation or merge with your competition. Accusing competition – or price-sensitive families – of “stealing profits” is beneath you. You know better.