There are an increasing number of start-up companies who offer discounted funeral services on the internet as well as those that have a 'shop front' but lack crucial on site facilities, their own dedicated vehicles and sufficient full-time staff with the relevant expertise needed to care for the deceased.
Unfortunately, anyone can rent a shop and call themselves a 'Funeral Director' as sadly the industry is not currently regulated. We would therefore urge you to check out the credentials of such businesses including whether they belong to a recognised funeral organisation such as SAIF (Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors) or the NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors.) These organisations insist that their members adopt a 'Code of Practice,' inspect premises on a regular basis and provide families with a means of redress should they be dissatisfied with the level of service provided.
You should also consider how long they have been in operation and ask to see their 'back room' facilities - not just the ones on show to the general public. Some companies lack a specialist mortuary of their own and operate with minimal staffing levels. We would question how this enables quality care to be provided and high standards to be maintained.
Such companies do not operate their own fleet of hearse and limousines, drivers and bearers and are reliant on other Funeral Directors making them available to them - regardless of the pictures that they may show on their websites. This could well have implications on the date and time that the funeral service can take place as well as the quality of the service that you receive overall.