There’s are some things that just need to be carried out to a high standard, and most agree that the arrangements for a loved one’s passing are definitely one of those things. Headstones with quality craftsmanship are one of the most important, and lasting, aspects of any funeral. It can be a great disappointment to family and friends to see a substandard or wrongly specified headstone used as a marker for such an important person in their life. Chipped stone, wording errors, dimension mistakes, or stone with discrepancies are just some of the potential problems which can leave mourners feeling embittered with their memorial provider. Unfortunately there are companies who will attempt to pass on their supplier’s shortcoming to the customer. The financial commitment required by stonemasons can mean that, occasionally, stone suppliers or craftsmen may offer substandard materials or work. And occasionally, the decision to let a project go ahead is based on financial pressures as opposed to ethics or professionalism.
This situation is not common, and most stone masons take too much pride in their work to allow such poor practice. However, it does happen and with a little pre-planning and checking this can be wholly avoided.
How to Ensure the Headstone is Correct
- No matter how confident you are in the provider, a detailed written quote must be received before a commitment is made. This should include; dimensions, agreed stone and finish, wording, time scale for completion, and price. Once a provider knows there is a written agreement between two parties he will be more willing to follow the specifications than risk a breach of contract.
- Before the raw stone is cut ask to have a viewing. This can be done quite easily with a photo or video sent phone to phone. There is no reason for a stonemason to deny a customer the right to see the piece of stone which will be used in the final product. If there is a reluctance it could suggest a poor quality stone is being used.
- Ask to be sent the wording plan before the stone is inscribed. This will give you a chance to spot any discrepancies in the text and give the opportunity for a change in layout if something seems unsuitable.
- Before the stone is erected ask to see the final product once more. Again this can be done via email or phone. And again, there is no reason a stonemason should be reluctant to allow this. Most providers should be eager to show their craftsmanship. Excuses regarding busy schedules or downed Wi-Fi connections should not be accepted.
If, after all due diligence, there is still a problem, customers should defer payment until that problem is rectified. Most legitimate business owners are reluctant to enter into a civil dispute, especially if there is documentation which stated they simply did not fulfil their contractual obligations. No matter what obstacles a memorial provider encounters, if a contract has been made there is an obligation to make good on their intentions.