11 January, the head “Yandex.Forecast” Dmitry Geranin announced a new personal project — Umer. The application aims to help relatives of the newly deceased person to navigate the market of funeral services. Each user of the service, specifying the search key parameters given choice of the ritual of the agent and all the necessary funeral accessories such as coffin and wreaths. The application also helps to Orient in current prices and a wide range of funeral market.
At first glance the project looks very reasonable. This is evidenced by the enormous interest in the idea in the Internet community and the media. However, as with many beautiful ideas and innovations, the project in Russia can expect a number of insurmountable problems. About them and speech will go.
The price of each specific funeral always unique and depends on hundreds of included or not included in these items. And these items are always very agile. Among the main parameters — the place where the person died, the organization that will carry it to the morgue, will be buried or cremated, any coffin will choose what to do with the body (embalmed or not), is there a place in the cemetery, whether to buy or give for free, who digs the grave, how many people will come to the funeral. The number of points is almost infinite.
For this reason, the question, “How much is a funeral?” is as incorrect as “How much is the car?”. Always need to specify which car. Where. No single agent is never gonna tell you exactly how much it will cost the funeral, and will not give you a “fair” package of funeral. He always calls the price from the ceiling, focusing on his notion of solvency.
The price of each item and its presence in the final list of “burial” depends on relatives, and from a ritual agent. Umer kind of gives the answer to this question, suggesting you to choose the main points like the place of burial and type of coffin. But I have deep doubts that the family of the newly deceased person are ready to define and clearly understand all the necessary items for future funeral and immediately answer these questions.
Lets say we decided on the list of basic services. Urgently give us the price on them. And here emerges the second snag. For example, it appears that to the final price we need to add another for mortuary services, which by law is, in principle, free. You need to pay for the fact that the body was returned on time and in proper form.
But in the same morgue take 30 thousand, in another take 10 thousand. And the price is always floating, depending on local perceptions of mortuary workers. On the cemetery. In one cemetery, you can dig yourself, on the other it performed a hostile takeover and dig can only be a local company.
In one cemetery there are simply no roads, and there the hearse will not pass conventional or no luck cheap. And even the price for such a ritual product as “the coffin”, will float. Who produced it and what. You can check it out.
And if you bring not in that coffin you ordered, you will waive and will require replacement directly to the funeral. Not to mention the fact that the customers never know what all is included and should be included in the concept of “coffin”. For example, the interior (pillow, cover) included. What is the difference between coffins.
In fact, the concept of “the coffin” nothing should be, because the market of funeral services in Russia in any way is not regulated. Quite. In Russia there is no accounting nor statistics of who and where he is buried is unknown who takes the body from the morgue and where he carries. If you want the state to know where buried hypothetical Mr. Smith, then with high probability you will not be able to do.
The government does not know. And nobody knows. To ritual production and its quality there is no official requirements or Standards. The coffins produce thousands of companies and they all differ not only in size but also the basic quality of wood (if you do not use the pressboard).
Wood for coffins and often is stolen. Sanitary rules and requirements for the digging of graves was simplified back in 2011, and the vast majority of cemeteries are non-existent in the inventory and, therefore, they are not as legal objects. Supervisory authorities over the ritual area, de facto no. Who will validate and forward requirements for products and quality of services.
Who do you sue for the sale of nonexistent graves in the cemetery. A funeral company and not registered. And if they was, no statements are.
For example, in the region die 5 thousand people per year, and ritualistic hand over documents to the tax inspection conducted on the funeral for 300 people. Who rest buried. I doubt these companies will want to be legalized so through the app. Who directed this app.
Moscow. The market of ritual services in Moscow follows the path of monopolization by the Department of housing and landscaping. Government agencies, the aggregator will not need. Now in Moscow opened multifunctional center of receiving and processing orders in the field of funeral services.
Who will be the consumers rapidly shrinking market. In the developed countries — USA, Canada, UK — already have similar apps. They established that people were planning the funeral, choosing prices and offers from funeral homes, comparing the quality ritual supplies. Local funeral Director actively promote such services to as many people bought and thought about the funeral in advance.
With the help of these services (see here, here, or here) you can select the best price on the casket, rental of the hearse, paint pre-memorial ceremony. But the key word is planning services. I hope the difference between an aggregator for “sinks” (so at first glance looks Umer) and service planning is clear.
Worldwide there are strict regulations and requirements for funeral services and products, and there are oversight bodies. In Russia — no. We can only hope that Im wrong and technology will once again change our world. The market of ritual services has a lot of opportunities for the implementation of various business strategies.
Much more than it seems. In this market a huge number of participants. In the US, for example, coffins are best sold on Amazon and Walmart, not so long ago was created the first social media Agency called Disrupt for funeral homes. I hope that civilization will come to the Russian funeral market.