When Service Corp. International, the nation's largest funeral-home chain, bought its biggest competitor in 2006, it took a commanding stake in the Charlotte market and promised to provide quality services and reasonable prices.
But three years later, a new survey shows what consumer advocates at the time feared: Charlotte funeral prices have risen, making the city the most expensive in which to be buried or cremated. According to a June survey by Everest Funeral, a research company that works with consumers and life-insurance companies, average funerals in Charlotte cost $5,500, while cremations average $2,821.
The figure for funerals is $1,600 more than the South Atlantic average and $1,500 more than the national average, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.
Some local independent funeral directors blame the high prices on Service Corp., a Houston-based company that owns more than 1,300 funeral homes nationwide, including 60 percent of the homes in Charlotte.
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