Lovingly Managed responds to its critics and doubters

Charles 18 Comments

When I wrote this post I guessed what the responses were likely to be. The funeral industry does not like to be interloped. Catherine Corless of Lovingly Managed has posted the following comment and, for fear that you might miss it, I am re-posting it here:

Well, we do seem to have ruffled a few feathers although, having said that, it was encouraging to see some positivity filtering through the fog of suspicion and cynicism. We did wonder about replying, as we don’t want to appear defensive – we’ve got nothing to be defensive about  – but in the end, in case people are reading this and getting what we consider to be the wrong impression of us and our business, we felt we would address the points you have all raised.

In response to Rupert Callender

In our funeral package ‘much’ of what we do is not, in fact, done by the funeral director – they don’t register the death, many don’t arrange the venue and catering for any post-funeral hospitality, they don’t ring relatives and friends to inform them of the death or write thank you cards for flowers and donations. (By the way, this isn’t an accusation against funeral directors, just a statement of fact.  The point is, we pick up where the funeral director’s service generally ends).  So yes, ‘some’ elements of our funeral package may be undertaken by the funeral director, or may not be, but ‘much’ is not. When my father died, the funeral director did indeed organise the flowers but I don’t recall them offering to arrange the design and printing of the Order of Service. This is why we have given people a choice in this respect, as we anticipate that flowers will be the remit of most funeral directors whereas the Order of Service is less likely to be. And if the funeral director takes care of both, then, as we state, very clearly, people can request alternative services as part of their package or just ask for them to be removed and we will reduce our price accordingly. The last thing we want to do is create additional costs for the bereaved.

Having said that, if people want additional help that isn’t available from their funeral director, but is provided by us, and they are happy to pay for that extra help, why shouldn’t it be available to them? When you set up your business in 2000, as you state on your web site, what you wanted was ‘to offer an ecological alternative to traditional funerals’. Good for you. You wanted to give people choice. So do we. And you know, somewhere back in the mists of time, when some bright spark decided to relieve people of the task of having to bury their own by offering to do it for them for a fee, I wonder if he was accused of being surplus to requirements and creating an unnecessary expense for the bereaved. After all, up to that point, people must have managed perfectly well without the services of a funeral director. But obviously people wanted this service and were prepared to pay for it because look where we are today.

I take issue with the brick-bat that we are ‘advertising’ for franchisees on our web site; I must have missed the ‘Buy A Franchise NOW!!!” banner in bold, black type on a luminous yellow background. Yes, we have a ‘Franchise opportunities’ tab on our home page which, if people are interested, they can access.  Most commercial organisations have a ‘Vacancies’ page on their web sites. We see our ‘Franchise opportunities’ page as no different to this.

You state on your web site that “we were moved to become funeral directors through our beliefs and experience of bereavement and its aftermath”.  All of us at Lovingly Managed, although our business has gone in a different direction to yours, are in our business for exactly the same reasons as you are in yours.
It is not only the next of kin that can register the death. See http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Death/WhatToDoAfterADeath/DG_10029642
Finally, I’m pleased to hear that you like many of our other services aimed at the elderly so thank you for that.

In response to Jonathan

Below are two quotes which I’ve lifted from Rupert Callender’s web site:
“……thank you, you’re providing such a very special service to people – special because of the love you give to all you do and that love works its miracles.”

“The process of death has often paradoxically been linked with that of birth. I can see those links now. Just as you would want the best midwives and the best experience of giving birth at the start of life, so you would want the same at the end of life. The first welcomes and gently brings a child into the world, the second says goodbye and gently prepares a child for their moving on from this world. Both are acts of the greatest love.”

You may notice that the word ‘love’ crops up in both these testimonials. I guess it’s about knowing your market and giving your market what it wants. Market testing demonstrated that, from the several options presented, our target market overwhelmingly preferred the name Lovingly Managed which is why we selected it as our company name.

Thanks for your story about your son and his girlfriend. I had a really good laugh at that!

In response to Gloriamundi

1) Re. our name, see response to Jonathan.

2) Yes, we are pulling together many services that already exist, but that’s the point. We are also providing other services which don’t currently exist. The total sum of that is a one-stop-shop. At a time when people are already under pressure, they can make a single phone call and we can relieve them of as much or little of that pressure as they wish. And you may have known of situations where an FD organises the post-funeral hospitality and live music out of ‘kindness’, but how many situations? I can’t believe that it happens very often and why should it? In my experience, it’s not generally part of an FD’s core service offering and they’re not charities. They’re businesses. And what about all the people whose FDs don’t provide these services out of ‘kindness’? Are they supposed to be left swinging in the wind? Well, now they have options.

You also seem to have a very one dimensional view as to what people’s situations are when they or a family member dies which is far removed from the reality for many. You state that the services we provide “many – most – people can actually do for themselves, or their friends/family can or should.” What exactly is a dead person supposed to do for him or herself?; and regardless of the fact that many families could do what we do, many don’t want to and others really can’t, for any number of reasons, and it’s certainly not up to anyone else to say they ‘should’ do it if their preference is to pay someone else to do it.

Another thing you say is that “It’ll be a sad day when friends and family don’t offer this sort of support – I know there are people who die utterly alone, and there may be more in future – but it’s not that common, is it?”

You’re right.  The number of people dying absolutely alone is, at the moment, small but it is increasing.  However, I’m sorry to say that the ‘sad’ day of family and friends not offering this sort of support is already here and not necessarily because they don’t want to but often because they’re not able to, either because they live too far away, they’re old themselves or they may be too ill. As our population continues to age, families become increasingly dispersed and the number of people living alone continues to increase, more and more people are going to face this type of situation.

A few pertinent statistics:

Research by Dignity in Dying found that almost 25% of Welsh people live alone, the highest proportion in the UK.  recent report by WRVS, entitled Home Alone1, predicted that by 2021, the
Office of National Statistics:

Over the last 25 years the percentage of the population aged 65 and over increased from 15 per cent in 1984 to 16 per cent in 2009, an increase of 1.7 million people. By 2034, 23 per cent of the population is projected to be aged 65 and over. The fastest population increase has been in the number of those aged 85 and over, the “oldest old”. In 1984, there were around 660,000 people in the UK aged 85 and over. Since then the numbers have more than doubled reaching 1.4 million in 2009. By 2034 the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to be 2.5 times larger than in 2009, reaching 3.5 million and accounting for 5 per cent of the total population.

Older women are more likely than older men to live alone and the percentage increases with advancing age. In 2008 in Great Britain, 30 per cent of women aged 65 to 74 lived alone compared to 20 per cent of men in this age group; and for those aged 75 and over this increases to 63 per cent and 35 per cent respectively.

You make the point that ‘I think what we need are local networks of information and support, not a franchised national service.’ There are already many local networks of information and support, which are essentially franchised national services without the commercial element e.g. Age UK, Cruse, but none are offering what we are.  You also say that “The accompanying/supporting/house clearing stuff really should be done locally.” Well, it is being done locally across South Wales, by us, and if our business grows as we hope, then Lovingly Managed franchisees will be providing the service ‘locally’ across the UK.

I get the impression that your real objection to our business is the very fact that it’s a commercial business and not a charity.  Further evidence of this comes from you saying that we are “adding to the expense unnecessarily.” Unnecessary for who, exactly? Certainly not for the son/daughter living abroad who has to get back to their family and job and has no time to clear their parent’s home and get the house on the market and can’t afford to be flying back and forth. At the beginning of your comments you accuse us of making sweeping statements; I have to say the words pot, kettle and black come to mind. I mean, who are you to decide for everyone what is an unnecessary expense?

Finally, you say ‘But I’m not tutting.’  Really?  You could’ve fooled me!

In response to Death Matters

o be honest, I’m not sure what you were saying but I think the premise is that if people aren’t stressed out and struggling to cope then they don’t experience the correct degree of loss. Says who? If people want the experience made easier for them then that’s their choice. It’s not up to anyone else to dictate to them what help they should or shouldn’t receive in order to adhere to some arbitrary, subjective standard on what makes a bereavement ‘too easy’. Having said that, I totally disagree with your sentiment, anyway. To say that helping people deal with the practical aspects of death means their sense of loss is somehow minimised is, to my mind, offensive. It’s like saying if a woman has a baby with the aid of drugs then she doesn’t really experience the wonder of giving birth because she hasn’t suffered enough pain. As a woman who, during the course of a 39 hour labour ended up having every drug going, I can assure you that this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In response to Graveyard Bunny and Gloriamundi

How ‘delightfully’ commercially naïve of you not to realise that ‘elderly escort service’, far from being a blunder, was a totally calculated decision to drive web site traffic. After all, we are trying to raise awareness of our company and this was just one means to an end. Who’s to say that a man searching for an escort service doesn’t also have an elderly parent who he might want help with, either then or at some point in the future? And if he’s aware of our web site, he knows we exist and might just tell his friends about us.  Apparently our company has been mentioned on a forum on West Ham’s web site. Now how did that supporter find out about us, I wonder?

That’s it. If we’ve offended, apologies. It’s not personal but we weren’t about to let these comments pass without presenting our point of view.

BLOG OFF. This blog is going to take a few days’ holiday on its beloved island in da sun — so you can have a few days’ holiday from it. See you next Monday. Have a great week!


  1. Charles

    Well, thanks to Lovingly Managed for replying so fully and carefully.

    I’m not going to go through all their answers to the points I originally made because the whole thing can turn into a silly game of comments tennis – except this: I’m not deciding for others what is a necessary or an unneccessary expense – how could any one of us do that? – but one does get a bit tired of saying “in my opinion” every third sentence, in blogland. But the name still makes me cringe – which is just, as in all this, a personal opinion, no more….so you can calm down with your pots and kettles.

    Here’s another and final view: I think there’s a need for objective, up-to-date low-cost or free advice and information on how to proceed when someone dies, before FDs, Lovingly Managed, or people like me, get anywhere near the bereaved. A service not a business. NB Nothing wrong with business per se, OK?

    I’ve been asking people I talk to recently if they know that no-one has to have a funeral, in the legal or simply in the practical sense. So far, very few people realise that basic fact. Because we don’t like thinking about death whilst we’re living, and it’s a bit late past that point, we don’t look into it enough. Hence the enormous value of Charles’ book and website, and of a few other similar sources.

    Once a few decisions have been made, then, NB in my opinion, people are better prepared to approach FDs,priests, crems, Lovingly Managed, people liike me, because they will have had a chance to think broadly and deeply before they are involved in a sales pitch, however tasteful, sensitive, carefully-researched.

    But all that’s pie in the sky, as it were, because it would involve big changes in many people’s atttitudes to their own mortality. In, of course and as ever, my opinion.

  2. Charles

    I take your point about stressing that this is one’s opinion only, Gloria; but remember the old adage about opinions!! It makes the poor old imagination boggle to hear you talking so much about yours.

  3. Charles

    Isn’t debate on this blog built on opinions, well-informed or otherwise? Jonathan, you have been free enough with yours from time to time, and very interesting they have been too.
    I felt Lovingly Managed’s lengthy and careful response was well worth some comment. Don’t you?
    But I shall give your “poor old imagination” a rest from my opinions, I think – unless you visit my blog, in which case you’ve only yourself to blame, because there I reserve the right to further exhaust your imagination.

  4. Charles

    Gloriamundi, well on this occasion we absolutely agree with you! People should be talking about what they want to happen to them after their deaths, which is why one of our core services is offering people the opportunity to complete a comprehensive End of Life plan. (Yes, we charge for this service but a great deal of work has gone into putting it together, not to mention all of Denise’s legal expertise, and we offer a one-to-one consultation, either in person or on the phone which takes, on average 2-3 hours of our time.)

    This covers everything from people’s specific wishes about the care they receive when they are close to death, though EVERY detail of their funeral – not just the usual buried or cremated instructions – as well as all the information an executor will need to wrap up their estate efficiently and promptly rather than have this drag on for weeks while family search through papers or the solicitor does it at a costly hourly rate.

    But, as you say, this is an uphill struggle as getting people to take their own deaths seriously is difficult. The individual’s point of view seems to be that everyone else is going to die but they are immortal!

    There is already a wealth of information out there – Charles’ book, plus others, and we have included a huge amount of information on our website too – but, as you say, unless perhaps you are faced with a terminal illness then it’s something that people just don’t want to accept is ever going to happen to them. And in some cases it’s not the individual but their family members who adamantly oppose planning for death because they can’t deal with the prospect of losing a loved one. Very short-sighted.

    A comprehensive End of Life plan, prepared years in advance of the likely date of death and revised on an ongoing basis, much like a Will, means that when someone does die, the family know exactly what the deceased wanted and they have a sure basis on which to approach FDs, and and any other bereavement professionals that may have to be involved, depending on the deceased’s instructions, to achieve the send off the deceased wanted.

    You say that this this kind of approach to death is pie in the sky and we agree that, at this moment in time, people aren’t queuing out the door to complete one (maybe we should give away a couple of hours with an elderly escort as an incentive!) but we think the tide is turning, albeit slowly. One only has to look at the amount of TV advertising relating to funeral planning and financial planning for death to realise that a sea change is occurring and not before time.

  5. Charles

    Actually, there has been a source of free,independent advice, pre-illness/death, pre-funeral director, pre-celebrant, pre any other commercial organisation for nearly twenty years now: The Natural Death Centre.
    The amount of TV advertising relating to funeral planning is not a sign of a sea change in attitude, if only it was. It is about the cynical and deliberate commodification of death and the exploitation of the most vulnerable in our society through emotional blackmail, fear and guilt. A useful question to ask oneself as these ads offer us a bland, homogenised funeral disguised as a quirky individual one, or threaten us with the post mortem disapproval of our children for ‘burdening’ them with the cost of our funerals is, what would Bill Hicks do?

  6. Charles

    I believe there is a sea change occurring, albeit slowly. Certainly the results of a Mintel survey in 2007 revealed that as many as 70% of adults feel that people should plan their own funerals while over half (54%) believe people should pre-pay their own funerals. Now

  7. Charles

    Ooopps, pressed the submit comment button by accident. Well as I was saying…..

    I know we’re a long way from realising these numbers – what people say and do are very different things – but the numbers of people purchasing pre-paid funeral plans is increasing here as it is in the US and other European countries. I’m sure that the companies advertising on TV are reacting to what surveys like this reveal. I can’t recall seeing any advertising for pre-paid funeral plans prior to 2008. And I’m not saying I like what they’re selling, just that they wouldn’t be bothering if they felt it was a waste of time and money. So if the market is on the up, those of us who believe in offering people maximum choice need to be doing all we can to ensure people know what their options are to offer an alternative to the homogenised products of the big brands.

    I would dispute the accusation that the advertising is about the ‘exploitation of the most vulnerable in our society through emotional blackmail, fear and guilt.’ There’s probably a bit of that in there but these ads certainly piqued my interest and I’m not a vulnerable member of society and I certainly never felt emotionally blackmailed by the ads. They just made me think about the subject and want to explore my options; all my options. And far from being worried about the post mortem disapproval of my son for ‘burdening’ him with the cost of my funeral, I’m more interested in saving my estate money. I mean, my son is not going to have to pay for my funeral in any case, my estate is so if I can pre-pay and save a few thousand pounds for the estate which can then go to my nearest and dearest then I’m happy. So if these ads do generate discussion and research then that’s good for all of us.

    Lastly I would question the ‘independence’ of the Natural Death Centre for those people who actually want one of those bland, homogenised funerals. After all, their remit is to promote natural burial – an important job as we need organisations to be raising awareness of the alternatives on offer, but let’s not forget that even when faced with every possible choice, there will always be people who just want something safe, traditional and conservative and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  8. Charles

    Bit late to this gripping saga because I spend more time in the real green burial world than the blogosphere but I think that ‘Lovingly Managed’ is a superb idea! There is definitely a need for a one stop shop like this and I suspect it will be used by the reasonably well-off elderly who want to present their busy city-based children with a ‘Here’s what to do if ..’ package.

    I like the name too.

  9. Charles

    Melissa, with due respect, you have business interests with Lovingly Managed, or at least a close relationship according to their website. Nothing wrong with that, but it does need to be mentioned. And in the further interest of transparency, I must declare that I am a director trustee of the NDC, but surely that must be obvious, given my ability to piss off everyone in the room. Had to take a psychometric test to prove this ability before I was accepted by the board. Top of the class.

  10. Charles

    They invented a ‘one-stop-shop’ for food one day, and called it Tesco.

    Now look what’s happening. The day will come when we can’t buy real, nourishing food.

    Stop, Ms Coreless, before you ruin the grieving therapy that is a real funeral.

  11. Charles

    Jonathan, you do make me laugh. Oh for the day we’re as successful as Tesco! But seriously, if you think we’re trying to depose ‘real’ funerals you have totally misunderstood what our service is about. We are absolutely for ‘real’ funerals. If you look at what we’re trying to do, one of our main concerns in our End of Life plan is to help people design a funeral that really does celebrate their life. That’s why we’re very much on board with the whole idea of getting people to think about what they want far ahead of time so that the funeral does in fact reflect who they were in life, and to ensure they don’t end up with some generic service that could just as easily apply to their next-door neighbour, and that leaves mourners feeling short-changed because of its impersonal nature.

    I don’t know about food but I’m off now for a ‘nourishing’ glass of something red and fruity bought, incidentally, at Tesco!

    PS. To clarify, we don’t have business interests with Native Woodland but we are fans of James and his team and thoroughly support their aims.

  12. Charles

    Catherine, please don’t laugh at me.

    Admittedly I haven’t read your entire website yet – it’s full of interesting information, but I haven’t the stamina for all of it in one go. And I know that, like your son you mention, I’m only a man, but I do have some intuitive sense; and more than the information you argue in favour of so generously, it’s the overwhelming image of you driving a bulldozer through a graveyard that gives rise in me to reservations about your setup. I was merely trying to lie down in your path in an effort to slow some of your momentum, in the belief you aren’t really looking properly where you’re going. I was apparently right – ouch.

    My real problem with Lovingly Managed is that I can’t find it in me to believe in an advice service that doesn’t listen to advice. You commented at length on this blog, knowing it’s hosted by funeral world’s greatest provocateur and frequented by a few of its experienced revolutionaries. I don’t know how we look to you – you look very slick to me and I must be a fool to take you on like this! – but we possibly have some insight to offer. Why then do I get the feeling we’re being so defensively rebuffed?

    When you talk about “knowing your market and giving it what it wants”, or: “…those of us who believe in offering maximum choice…”, or that thing about people (I take the liberty of paraphrasing here) deciding they wanted professionals called funeral directors to do what they’d done for themselves previously, you make it sound as if the bereaved are consumers who make a calmly informed choice that the market (in this case you) obligingly follows.

    Firstly, as you know, that’s not how consumerism works – the world didn’t wake up one day and think: “Ooh, I just fancy a Curly Wurly”, and then Mr Cadbury philanthropically invented one for them – but more importantly, the so-called ‘bereaved’ are only incidentally consumers. They can’t help that, and neither can we.

    What actually happened was that our friend death became medicalized – thanks to the frantic efforts of the medics to kill it – then abhorred and made an enemy of, and then finally denied. The real objective of any ‘real’ funeral director, or celebrant, or anyone else helping relatives of those who have died is to hand back that relinquished power to deal with death to the community of grieving human beings to whom it rightfully belongs – we are merely the humble temporary custodians of that sacred duty during this current crisis of self-confidence, and to treat it as a business opportunity is to misuse the naïve confidence placed in us. But what really worries me about your site is the feeling that you claim to offer protection against some impending doom that must inevitably follow a death, and thereby foster that same sense of fear and foreboding that your business requires in order to succeed – oh yes it does, for all you talk of ‘peace of mind’ – precisely the reverse of handing back the power. And my comment about Tesco was a parallel, to draw your attention to the fact that we used to know food grows in the ground and not on supermarket shelves because we grew it there – now that we’re raising a generation that doesn’t even know milk comes from a cow, is it right to profit by selling it to them in a labelled bottle without telling the truth?

    The three of you started your business in response to your own grief, and I couldn’t respect that more in you. Perhaps, now I’ve fired a few back at you, we can call a truce – I hope I haven’t hurt a tender place in you in the process, I really do. Maybe “stop” was a bit harsh; but please, at least slow down to smell the roses.

  13. Charles

    Hi Jonathan,

    This is the last time I’m going to post on this blog but reading your response I just had to make one last comment as it’s clear that you are still not getting it.

    1) I can’t drive a bulldozer.
    2) We have a very clear vision of where we are going.
    3) We are not advisers, we are facilitators, helping people to get what THEY want, and perhaps the reason you feel you are being defensively rebuffed is that your comments seem to be made about a service and ethos which doesn’t reflect what we and our business are actually about and I am still trying to communicate that, apparently not very successfully.
    4) When I made the comment about giving consumers what they want that was in response to some very subjective comments about our company name. I just pointed out that some of Rupert Callender’s clients mentioned the love word in a very positive sense in a couple of excellent testimonials on his web site that he received from grateful clients. His clients obviously appreciated the sense of ‘love’ they got from his service and when we tested our company name out with a selection of what we believe will be our typical clients, Lovingly Managed was what resonated more than a number of others that we were also considering.
    5) I didn’t say that consumers decided they wanted funeral directors and hence funeral directors rushed to meet that need, I said that some canny soul recognised that perhaps people would welcome some help in burying their dead and so decided to try it out and, yes, he was proved right.
    6) At the moment, much like our mythical funeral director from times past, we believe that there is a need for a service like ours but like every untested new service, we have nothing to base this on other than our own personal experiences of what we would have liked when we experienced our own bereavements and the opinions of the many people who we meet and are positive about the concept. If I was getting paid for everytime someone has said to me “I could have done with your service when …” I’d be shopping at Waitrose and not Tesco.
    7) You say that ‘the real objective of any ‘real’ funeral director, or celebrant, or anyone else helping relatives of those who have died is to hand back that relinquished power to deal with death to the community of grieving human beings to whom it rightfully belongs.” Firstly, I would say that you seem to be confusing us with funeral directors, which we are not, and the occasional not very responsive funeral director who perhaps doesn’t really listen to what the family wants. I would say that our service is very much about placing the power right at the heart of where it should be – with the deceased. That’s exactly what our End of Life plan does, enables people, prior to death to decide for themselves exactly what they want to happen at the time of their death. Obviously, if there are no funeral instructions and we are working directly with a family to arrange a funeral, we work directly to their instructions. They call the shots, not us.
    8) Every bereavement professional who is being paid for their services is using bereavement as a business opportunity. That’s not to say that they’re not in it for all the right reasons, as we believe we are, but don’t try to make out that, just because we’re the newcomers and, for whatever reason, you don’t approve of our business, that we are ‘misusing the naive confidence placed in us’ while everyone else is somehow completely above the base motive of wanting to make a buck.
    9) Obviously it’s our web site so I’m biased but I don’t believe we ever claim to offer protection against impending ‘doom’ and I don’t think we paint a picture of ‘doom’ at all. We just acknowledge that death is an inescapable fact that can result in lots of uncertainty, usually results in lots of practical tasks that have to be dealt with and we offer HELP to those people who might want it, to mitigate these concerns, HELP that we felt we might have wanted had it been around when we experienced our own bereavements.
    10) Last third of your penultimate paragraph you completely lost me, I’m afraid.

    And that’s my last word on this particular blog. This insomniac is off to bed now.

  14. Charles

    Quote … “To clarify, we don’t have business interests with Native Woodland but we are fans of James and his team and thoroughly support their aims.”

    Thank you for that Catherine.

    I’m now even more impressed with Lovingly Managed having read their intelligent responses to the sometimes patronising and over-emotional criticism levelled at them.

  15. Charles

    Im not sure what all the fuss is about here. I’m a supporter of entrepeneurialism, particularly in these days of hardship.

    My analysis of the Lovingly Managed website does not, in my opinion, identify any immoral or unethical services.

    It would appear that on the contrary the company has done its marketing research and the response has provided them with a positive response that there is indeed a call for much of what they are offering (presumaeably they wouldnt have goen ahead had it have been a negative response).

    If the client can afford the service and wants more than what their lcoal FD is offering then why shouldnt there be a service that can provide what they need?

    lastly, in my opinion, such competition keeps us on our toes and it is up to us, the Independent Funeral Director to keep up with the times, change with the times and offer more value added services, to keep our clients from needing to approach any other servcie provider.

    But that is just my opinion and I do respect those that clearly disagree or disapprove.

    May I say that I have absolutle nothing to do with Lovingly Managed and have never had any communciation with them.

  16. Charles

    PLEASE know Philip, that we have NO intention whatsoever of stepping on any FD’s toes. We just want to plug the gap on the things that some FD’s don’t do, that’s all. WHY is it that FD’s feel threatened by us, we would LOVE to work WITH those FDs who think our services could dovetail with theirs. Why do you think you need to stop clients approaching any other service providers if you don’t provide it? Surely we can work together for our mutual benefit, not to mention that of the client’s, who is, after all the most important person here.

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