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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.”
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