Earlier this year, we warned our readers to beware of Heritage Cremation Services, an organization posing as a local cremation provider. The company falsely advertises being local to wherever you may be, while their registered business location is actually in Colorado. The organization essentially acts as a middle man between consumers and actual cremation providers, without disclosing this critical detail. And their services have been reported as being anything but dependable.
We followed a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS story in April about the company being fined and ordered to cease and desist in several states over the past few years. Heritage Cremation Providers was declining to comment on multiple complaints, as well as the investigation itself. Though their reputation took another hit, the company was not shut down completely at that time.
According to CBS4, the remains of one person were recently misallocated, and another body was reportedly held for ransom until payment was made. In addition to operating under various unethical processes, it was determined that there is not even a physical location in Colorado. It is merely a virtual office, with no employees, no equipment or any type of business assets at the registered address.
Last month, a larger action was finally taken. On June 6, the Colorado Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration suspended the registration of Heritage Crematory Services, stating that the organization “is guilty of multiple deliberate and willful violations of the Mortuary Science Code.”
Beware in NH
Though the provider was supposedly based in Colorado, New Hampshire families have seen advertising that portrays them as a local cremation provider, and have contacted the company for services. Heritage has contacted the Cremation Society of NH (CSNH) several times over the years, and we have refused to work with them.
There was one instance where Heritage told a local nursing home that CSNH would be the firm in NH that was handling the cremation services, even though we had firmly said no. Several hours later, when no one had picked up the deceased at the nursing home, the nursing home supervisor called us and asked why we were not there. We explained that we don’t work for Heritage, and that they are not a cremation firm. We further explained that they had called us to work with them, and that we had told them we were not interested, and that they needed to find another firm to work with.
Once the nursing supervisor realized that they were a scam, she explained it to the family, and we ended up servicing the family directly through CSNH. Several other funeral homes in New Hampshire have also reported having similar experiences with the organization.
When searching for cremation services, don’t neglect to do your due diligence. Always be sure to confirm their location, and to visit the facility before agreeing to anything. For more information, you can also read our post detailing five ways to make sure you’re choosing a reputable funeral home or a more recent post on navigating the cremation process. We work hard to make sure that you have the best experience possible, and you have all the information you need to make the right decision for your family.