The Good Funeral Guide Blog

39 comments on “Retaliation in first

  1. Sunday 1st July 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Yes, good point, Andrew. Local watchdogs.

  2. andrew plume

    Sunday 1st July 2012 at 1:28 pm

    thx Charles

    yes, they do not feature but to rectify that, here’s a further link for them;-

    http://www.peacefunerals.co.uk/

    the ‘Sheffield example’ in the form of a commentary is imo just the sort of site that’s needed for other UK Cities (aside from the GFG, of course)

    best

    andrew

  3. Saturday 30th June 2012 at 3:11 pm

    One reservation about that johnfairest website, Andrew: it more or less writes off Peace Funerals, one of the best funeral homes in the country.

  4. andrew plume

    Saturday 30th June 2012 at 12:36 pm

    and re the typo as above, there was no intention to refer to Sam as ‘Same’, apologies to you Sam

    andrew

  5. andrew plume

    Saturday 30th June 2012 at 12:30 pm

    ……and oh gosh, all of the great and good in Manchester are eager to see themselves on the web, oh yes – here’s Mr Same Kershaw with his take on events (or is it ‘a party political speech’):-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6au7-VgZTLI&feature=relmfu

    now I seem to recall that Sam has featured in this blog before…….mmmm, and also ‘something’ from memory too regarding the (greatly respected) Steel family of Winchester – it should be out there in ‘googleland’ somewhere, yes very certainly……………..

    thanks for appearing Sam

    and oh my he’s been very busy this year (in front of camera) – here he is again and this time with his colleague David Collingwood:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWVYQCqQick&feature=relmfu

    lovely, lovely stuff – so this is how part of the £51m is being spent

    andrew

  6. andrew plume

    Saturday 30th June 2012 at 11:37 am

    and on the further interests of transparency, I have for some time felt that this is a very decent informative site for the residents of Sheffield;-

    http://johnfairest.com/

    and very ironic indeed that it’s a f’care link that sends one straight to this page

    andrew

  7. andrew plume

    Saturday 30th June 2012 at 11:29 am

    Tamworth Co-op goes into print to distance itself:-

    Statement 26th June 2012

    “Dispatches – Undercover Undertaker”.
    Channel 4 Programme – 25th June 2012.

    In light of issues raised in the above programme, we wish to make it clear that Tamworth Co-operative Society is an entirely separate organisation and independent of the Co-operative Group, which is based in Manchester. Tamworth Co-operative does have two locations that utilise the Co-operative Funeralcare brand, but these are managed by ourselves, and are under our control. The above television programme relates to the operations of the Co-operative Group in Middlesex and Hampshire.

    Tamworth Co-operative Society is a Member of the National Association of Funeral Directors and operates to the highest standards. We are very proud of our long heritage of providing a high quality, professional and caring service to bereaved families. We are local, we are independent and we care.

    The Co-operative Group has issued statements regarding the programme and we would refer you to their own website at http://www.co-operative.coop. Please do not hesitate to contact the Society if you have any concerns regarding our Funeral operations”

    good for them

    andrew

  8. Omega

    Friday 29th June 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Filmed openly but ever so slightly illegal I think,naughty Carl!

  9. andrew plume

    Friday 29th June 2012 at 5:06 pm

    ok Jane, understood

    andrew

  10. Jane smith

    Friday 29th June 2012 at 10:36 am

    co op funerals are cowboys . Simple as that.

  11. Friday 29th June 2012 at 8:06 am

    Yawn. Carl Marlowe, body of Rajpal Mehat, decomposed beyond recognition, filmed openly, etc etc. see all of above. My comments vary, Simon’s the same.

  12. Ariadne

    Friday 29th June 2012 at 12:21 am

    Really? Enough.

  13. Simon Irons

    Thursday 28th June 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Searching YouTube to watch the programme again, I came across this video of independent funeral director recommended by this blog

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HLYu6K99aA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

    Now that is shocking !

  14. andrew plume

    Thursday 28th June 2012 at 8:14 am

    Dear Omega

    I’m not sure what you had in mind, please elaborate and I will respond

    yours

    andrew

  15. Omega

    Thursday 28th June 2012 at 12:21 am

    My apologies, the above comment was for Mr Plume.

  16. Omega

    Thursday 28th June 2012 at 12:17 am

    Mr XX
    What you mustn’t do is paint the consumer as some sort of simpleton that is unable to shop around until they find a price that they are satisfied with.
    In these tough economic times more of us “great public” have become financially savvy and choosing a funeral is no different.
    Give the public a little credit please,we’ll be the judge as to what is excessive.

  17. Omega

    Wednesday 27th June 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Maybe it was the photo on his website of two gentlemen with their hands in their pockets with one slouched against the hearse.
    Doesn’t look very professional to me and would put me off buying!

  18. Simon Irons

    Wednesday 27th June 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Mr Holmes
    I have just spent a few minutes adding your posts on the CH4 and related blogs…… all very negative ……

    If the big boys are as bad as you say, why were you so keen to sell your business to them when to offered to all and sundry a year or so back, am guessing that the fact no one wanted to buy your precious family business you then turn on them……. Can’t join them fight them….. You talk transparency as guess that because you are so very transparent !

  19. andrew plume

    Wednesday 27th June 2012 at 9:14 am

    Mr XX

    I entirely agree, there is very much a myth that f’care are in it to help people and that it’s all for the benefit of the community and so on – the great public would find it difficult to square that with their excessive prices, which are way way too high. To me it’s not their charge for ‘hygenics’ which at £75 is actually very reasonable, it’s the amount for ‘their professional services’ and the prices for the woodwork that grates, both being massively excessive

    yours

    andrew

  20. Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Very interesting points you make, GTS. Thank you for making them.

  21. Mr XX

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I suspect that Funeralcare is Britain’s largest for complex reasons.

    In an very profitable business the biggest more easily get bigger. The Co-op have access to low cost city funds for substantial investment.

    I also feel that their success is not unrelated to perception. The great uninformed masses believe the Co-op is not trying to make money from them. Somehow the reported profits appear to be a friendly accidental by-product of the service provided. What many of us believe is that Funeralcare is in reality a ruthlessly efficient business – just like many others.

    As an independent FD, perhaps I should re-create my firm as a charity or CIC? Given time, if successful, I might even get a fat bonus and earn more.

  22. Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Not for the first time I have to suspect that the co-op are better at managing their reputation than they are at other things…

  23. A.N.Employee

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Wow GTS,you are a breath of fresh air,thankyou.

  24. GTS

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Co-op should have stuck to their guns.

    Facts:-

    Co-op is a business, and is run like a business. That’s why they’re so successful and are the largest Funeral Provider in the UK.

    Co-op carry out vast amounts of Funerals. They need hub facilities to cope with the volume. – They wouldn’t be busy if they didn’t do a good and fair job.

    Co-op’s Mortuary and Cold Room Facilities are fitted to a much higher standard than many independent family businesses. Co-op reinvest vast amounts of their profit into improvements and staff training.

    If you compared the percentage of mistakes prorate to many independents, Co-op do a very good job, especially with the volume they conduct.

    Although embalming isn’t required, it is sometimes up to the discretion of the Funeral Director, with the obvious permission of the family. It’s called Hygienic Treatment for a reason. Firstly it makes the body more hygienic to touch, and secondly sounds much nicer than Embalming.

    You can’t complain about the price, and then expect for a company carrying out in excess of 100,000 funerals to provide every deceased with their own cold room and own viewing chapel of rest. If that was the case, Funerals would be more like £15,000, not £2,500.

    I am an Independent Funeral Director and although the Co-op are my competition, I believe they we’re unfairly treated in this program. The funeral business is all about the care of the bereaved. Bereavement is a mental state, and as long as the client is ensured their loved one is in safe hands and that they’re being looked after, that’s all that needs to be done.

  25. Simon Irons

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I think if you find private businesses owned by Funeralcare or indeed their other business Fairways without the said ownership details they should be exposed. In the same way if you are wrong you should come back and say so.

    I have checked ones close to me and they all have a notice on the front window with registered office details including naming Fairways and The CoOperative Group, true it’s not a huge sign but to be fair on them it is there and on some when looked through the window I could see a marble plaque with the same details on.

  26. Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 1:08 pm

    OK Andrew, but if an apology has the lawyers salivating, surely and expression of regret at what we saw would be something? After all, we did see it.

  27. andrew plume

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:36 am

    David Holmes said…

    “Please let me keep my job.”

    it’s looking pretty safe now David

    andrew

  28. andrew plume

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:35 am

    gloria mundi said…

    “In his clip intended for the public, I note that he does not start out with an apology, or an expression of regret, for anything we have seen that might distress us or cause us concern about FCare in general….”

    that’s because their Legal Department have already proofed his speech

    andrew

  29. andrew plume

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:33 am

    A Celeb said…

    “Yes Gloria – it’s an advert.
    Memories of a successful high street chain of jewellers are coming back to me. Ratner thought he was invincible too”

    an excellent comparison

    andrew

  30. andrew plume

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:32 am

    Lin said…

    “I note what Mr Tinning says about declaration of ownership on apparent ‘independent’ FDs premises, literature etc.
    Well, I have my doubts on at least three branches by my office – time to go out for a trip with my camera because I’m pretty certain his statement isn’t accurate!”

    oh yes, it will be there alright but not in ones normal ‘sight lines’ I would suggest

    and see my comment a few days ago re Adela Funeral Homes in Eastbourne

    andrew

  31. andrew plume

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:31 am

    Stephen

    yes, spot on with the businesses that you mentioned, I indirectly referred to them when I blogged under another heading on here last week

    there is a brazen disregard for the amount that f’care charge when compared to all of their shortcomings, for what the average punter pays they receive a very poor service, despite what Mr T may say

    if he is intending to retain his position and seek a full and complete clear up of this mess, I suggest that all persons shown on last night’s programme (apart from the undercover reporters) should be immediately sacked and this week, please?

    that should be extended to all who have been involved in poor standards and service highlighted in this blog during the past few years,please

    and just maybe part of the £51M profits should be invested into far far better staff training etc etc

    a cast iron confirmation regarding ths above from MrT will certainly go towards clearing up this shambles

    and fwiw, it’s way overdue that f’care came into print on this blog with something far more constructive than a message to staff etc etc

    andrew

  32. FD Puzzled

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:05 am

    Lin – I will do the same. I don’t think any of the Fairways Partnership premises mention their ownership either.

    Trannsparency my ar5e.

  33. FD Puzzled

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:03 am

    I love the way he says ‘you will be re-trained.’ Er, who does he imagine trained staff to hide simple funerals and cheap coffins? Too many employees and former employees know what their line managers told them to do to ensure a cover-up. Where did the men at the top think the vast profits and fat bonuses were coming from? If he really didn’t know how staff were trained, he will have to resign because he should have known.

  34. Lin

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 11:03 am

    I note what Mr Tinning says about declaration of ownership on apparent ‘independent’ FDs premises, literature etc.
    Well, I have my doubts on at least three branches by my office – time to go out for a trip with my camera because I’m pretty certain his statement isn’t accurate!
    Watch this space.

  35. A Celeb

    Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 9:12 am

    Yes Gloria – it’s an advert.
    Memories of a successful high street chain of jewellers are coming back to me. Ratner thought he was invincible too.

  36. Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 8:08 am

    My initial view on this was the statement at the very end of the employee clip. It asks staff to refer any queries or problems to their line managers. From what I saw in the programme, it is the line managers who are the ones pushing the selling and monitoring the financial performance of the staff. It is they who need dealing with.
    Having seen the impact of the Channel Four documentary on Harold’s Funeral Service in Salisbury fifteen years ago, if he thinks it is going to be a “difficult couple of days”, he is sorely mistaken. In the days, weeks and months after that programme, staff received death threats, and there was a need to bring in trained telephone consellors to answer phones. Harold’s became Sarum, which eventually closed. It never recovered from the impact of the programme.
    The thing I find quite astounding, is that he has agreed to put these two responses in place BEFORE he has seen the footage, and only in response to letters from Channel Four. This has to be a considerable error of judgement on his part, and as a result, rather than coming across as conciliatory, he sounds aggressive and unapologetic. He cannot change the fact the problem has occurred, so his response to that problem will be what makes or breaks his business. Being humble would be a good start. So far, it doesn’t look good.

  37. Tuesday 26th June 2012 at 6:51 am

    I’ve nothing but sympathy and support for FCare people on the ground who have done nothing culpable and now feel exposed. I’ve worked with some good ‘uns. As for Mr Tinnings – if he were a minister of state, would we not expect him to resign, or at least to blame a junior minister, who would then resign?

    In his clip intended for the public, I note that he does not start out with an apology, or an expression of regret, for anything we have seen that might distress us or cause us concern about FCare in general. It seems to me that he lands up trying to turn the clip into a cross between an assurance that this is very unusual, and actually, an advert. If that’s his business ethos, isn’t it time he did contemplate resignation?

  38. Jed

    Monday 25th June 2012 at 10:23 pm

    I had no idea that the company, for which I am Managing Director, was so ruthlessly setting these high performance targets and trying to make as much profit as it possibly can out of its faithful customers and members.

  39. Monday 25th June 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Please let me keep my job.

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