Dear Mr Tinning,
It’s almost a fortnight since I wrote to you on 27 June. You haven’t replied. I’m disappointed, of course. I’m not wholly surprised, though. You’ve had a lot on your plate in the aftermath of Undercover Undertaker — and now you’ve got an Early Day Motion in Parliament to contend with. The reputation of Funeralcare is in tatters. What a distressing thing to happen in the middle of the United Nations International Year of the Co-operatives.
Well, it was all bound to come out some time. I hope you see that, now.
I am determined to look on the bright side. I like to believe that you are preoccupied with a full review of the way you operate so that you can relaunch Funeralcare with the core values of co-operation reinstalled, together with a renewed sense of mission both to the bereaved and to those who serve them. It must be reassuring to you to know that you employ some really good, caring people. They deserve better of their management.
So I simply want to repeat my offer: when you have faith-restoring messages that you need to get out to the public, please let us know so that we can do our bit to publicise them. The raison d’être of the Good Funeral Guide is, let me remind you, to direct funeral shoppers to the best people in funeral service. Our core purpose is to sing praises, not to shower blame.
It’s not just the audience of the Good Funeral Guide I want you to reach out to. Before you write to me, please would you write to Sharon McCoy in Runcorn. She has written to you, too, and she, likewise, has not had a reply. She endured a thoroughly unsatisfactory funeral arranged by Co-operative Funeralcare. Of its many unsatisfactory elements, the most distressing was the loss of her mother’s jewellery when it was transferred to another branch. She needs a better and more plausible explanation than the one she has been given, Mr Tinning. Above all, she deserves an apology. When you address this matter, you might look into your complaints procedure, too. When Sharon rang your Client Relations department she was to all intents and purposes stonewalled.
I very much look forward to hearing from you.
With all best wishes,