The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Fill in the blank

Friday, 3 February 2012

 

 

Friday is competition day here at the GFG, and we’re giving a cigar to the first person correctly to fill in the blank. The story is recent, and comes from a regional newspaper.We”ll give you the rest of the story as soon as we have a winner. 

 

A GRIEVING family struggling to raise burial fees say they were advised by a funeral director: “Pool your resources and stick it on your credit card.”

Lillian Wilson, 88, died on January 13 and grandson, Andrzey said the family were not dealt with compassionately by funeral directors Moisters.

Andrzey said they used the firm as they had organised his father Ian’s funeral four years ago in a “sympathetic and professional manner.” But this time, he said the family were subjected to “aggressive pressure sales” at a time when they felt “vulnerable.”

Since Ian Wilson’s funeral, the family firm has been taken over by _____________________. 

Southport MP John Pugh said families must be kept informed when undertakers change hands.

He said: “The Co-op have a good reputation for funeral care but that being said, people should always be made clear who they are dealing with.

“At a time of crisis, families who have used the same undertakers over generations need to be told when things have changed.”

A spokesman from the funeral directors apologised to the family, added they pride themselves on “providing customer service of the highest possible quality.”

Andrzey said the family were “pressed from the outset” about fees.“There was no compassion for a grieving family,” he said.

“We were talking about how to pay the fees and the gentleman said to us; ‘why don’t you pool your resources and stick it on a credit card.’“

Andrzey, 29, who lives in Droitwich Spa in the Midlands said the family “sat around in shock” at the way they were treated.

As well as up front fees of £1,000, they must pay a “non-resident fee” because they don’t live locally.

But they were later told by another director that they did not need to pay as Mrs Wilson lived in Southport.

The spokesman from Moisters said: “A funeral director briefly discussed the funeral with a family member and the fees imposed by Sefton Council.

“These are £547 for re-opening a grave for a resident or £1,003 for a non-resident. We explained that we would have to take advice as to which fee applied because the owner of the plot (grandson Andrzey) lived out of the area.

“During the meeting we explained the requirement for a deposit payment to cover the cost of the council burial fees and other third party costs.

“If this could be met from the estate then we would not require the deposit but could directly invoice the bank or solicitor handling probate.”

The spokesman said the funeral director offered to meet the family again, but that they made alternative arrangements.

He added: “We pride ourselves on providing customer service of the highest quality and apologise if the family felt that they had not been treated in this manner.”

 

Find the story here

13 comments on “Fill in the blank

  1. Paul Asher

    Tuesday 17th April 2012 at 10:39 am

    It is quite alarming at the moment. There are more and more people expecting the state to pay for their funeral expenses. If a claim is not successful, then the funeral director has paid for the funeral. Some families just don’t want to pay and the only way to combat this is to ask for a hefty deposit. Think about how many retail businesses would give around £2500 credit for nothing. Families also want to pay £10 or £20 a month etc. for the remainder of the bill. This is not really acceptable to most independent funeral directors as it only takes 10 funerals or so and their cashflow is nil. Why don’t they start paying the £10 or £20 into a funeral plan now, it would save them a lot of hassle later. Either that or the DWP need to get their act together and process the claim before the funeral takes place.

  2. Simon irons

    Tuesday 7th February 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I must be missing something”………. This talk of up selling but the issue here seems to be about te local authority charges not upwelling of a funeral? It also references the family being advised to pool recourse and offers a credit card facility…..nmmmm have to say when my dad died, my brother did not pay for his funeral, nor did my sister, we pooled our resources as I am sure do most people. And what has this got to do with who owns the business, private or corporate everyone needs to be paid ? As I said at th beggining, I must be missing something …..

  3. andrew plume

    Monday 6th February 2012 at 6:55 pm

    ……….ah yes………more fine publicity for funeralcare and those that trade under their umbrella, I think not (sic)

    andrew

  4. Saturday 4th February 2012 at 10:04 am

    Didn’t know that about Lehman (RIP).

    It’s wrong and it’s a deception, simply, isn’t it? They know that people want ‘one of us’ not ‘one of them’ – so they pretend to be ‘one of us’. It’s a disgrace.

  5. Mr XX

    Saturday 4th February 2012 at 9:04 am

    Lehman Bros raised the money for the Dignity UK buyout. Another fine organisation indeed.

    Fairways are ruthless, but I believe the public perceive them as their local, family owned funeral director. I pass several regularly, you can’t tell them apart from genuine family owned businesses. IT’S WRONG! An apparent deception?

  6. Saturday 4th February 2012 at 7:49 am

    Ah, yes, of course, Sara. We have our own bastard offspring of SCI, also called Dignity, created by management buyout when SCI’s egregious vileness was exposed, and it called off its invasion.

    Jonathan, what a good point. Anyone who blathers this sort of rot is clearly not up to it.

  7. Jonathan

    Saturday 4th February 2012 at 7:26 am

    I’m proud to say that I can’t accuse myself of “providing customer service of the highest possible quality”; I certainly wouldn’t recommend anyone who could – would you?

  8. Friday 3rd February 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Here in the US that missing blank would undoubtedly be SCI under the guise of ‘Dignity’ – such an inappropriate word for such a bunch of money-grabbing scoundrels!!

  9. Friday 3rd February 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I think the picture is up the wrong way. Definitely one of 50 powerful ways to decrease sales.

    We all have to discuss money and it works for us to be totally upfront about it but in the immortal words of Fun Boy Three – T’aint what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

  10. Friday 3rd February 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Damn…missed the cigar!
    Southport! That’s where my parents live. I shall get my mother on the trail immediately!

  11. Friday 3rd February 2012 at 10:56 am

    Tesco.

  12. Friday 3rd February 2012 at 10:56 am

    Well, I think we’ll give you a hole in one there, Kathryn. Yes, it’s The Co-operative Group. Since Fairways is a wholly-owned subsidiary, I think we can offer you the cigar. Consider it on its way. Enjoy!

  13. Kathryn Edwards

    Friday 3rd February 2012 at 10:51 am

    Er, Co-op? Trading as Fairways Partnership Ltd.

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