The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Down and dirty?

Monday, 7 February 2011

One must be careful what one says. And before one says it, one must try and resist distraction.

I had intended to say a few words about Co-operative Funeralcare. Yes, again. Because they’re worth it. They are The Enemy. (Hello, Co-op lawyers, see if you can find anything actionable in what follows.)

But, as I say, I got distracted. First, my attention was wrenched to deplorable behaviour at the premises of Chittenden’s Funeral Service, Folkestone. Chittenden’s is owned by the Fairways Partnership. The Fairways Partnership is owned by Co-operative Funeralcare. Once upon a time the Chittenden name was a source of great good will, for which, doubtless, a great deal of good money exchanged hands. Why buy a good name only to bespatter it with shit, we must ask ourselves.

Six members of Chittendens were charged in Sept 2010 with all manner of misconduct. The usual sad stuff. Forgetting to take a baby to be buried. Driving a hearse at 130mph. Worse, I’ve heard. Enough. You can read about it here.

It makes it very difficult to keep topical tabs on these conglomerates when they trade under other people’s names.

In Wales, Rees Davies and Son were charged with the duty of taking Baby Gabriel into their care. They took the placenta instead, and a funeral was held, and a burial, and all the while Baby Gabriel was in a Moses basket in a fridge at the hospital. Rees Davies and Son are members of the Fairways Partnership, which disputed the conclusions in the hospital’s report into the matter. Read about it here.

Back to Funeralcare, proud owners of the Fairways Partnership. What do you think they thought of SAIF commissioning that price comparison survey in Feb 2010? Well, obviously they weren’t pleased. At the time, there were lawyers’ letters and talk of pressure being put on SAIF suppliers to consider their, er, best interests.

Once again the air is full of talk of this. How many SAIF suppliers have failed to renew their subscriptions?

I’m on to this, treading carefully. If there are any funeral directors out there, or suppliers, or anyone else who has personal experience of what’s going on, please contact me in strictest, guaranteed confidence and tell me more. Ring if you wish: 07946 714 063. Email:Charles@goodfunerguide.co.uk.

When will Funeralcare’s lawyers come for me? I often wonder. I have no money, so nothing to lose. And I have one great consolation. ‘If,’ says someone who has written to me, ‘they do come for you… they’ll probably pick up the wrong one!’

3 comments on “Down and dirty?

  1. P J

    Wednesday 28th May 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I’m confused. You say that a placenta was buried instead of a baby. I assume they were given the placenta by the hospital…so whose fault is this? I’m sure you know the procedure for removal of babies from hospitals. It is unlikely that the operatives in charge of collecting the baby would actually look on the baby. They have to take the word of the staff at the hospital.
    I know it’s easy to pick on a large organisation because you can quite easily collect data and any mistakes have national coverage. Independents however are far more difficult to police. You and I know there are very good independents out there but there are also some extremely bad ones.

    • Wednesday 28th May 2014 at 7:15 pm

      Agreed, PJ. Yes, you make a perfectly reasonable and proper point. Thank you for making it.

  2. Jonathan

    Tuesday 8th February 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Pick up the wrong one when they come for Charles? Does this mean none of us is saif from Satan’s Personal Undertaker?

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