It’s rum up north

Charles Cowling

A couple of months ago I was tipped off that the oft-disgraced Richard Sage was alive, well and practising in Burnley, Lancashire in the guise of J Kendal at this address:

40 Briercliffe Road, Burnley BB10 1XB

I followed this up and discovered it to be so.

Don’t know who Richard Sage is? Google him.

At the same time, I was looking into the activities of Nationwide Funerals. I posted a piece on the blog drawing attention to the similarity of their offer to that of Richard Sage’s other operation, Direct Funeral Services,  and the perils generally of being an internet undertaker in the wake of Sage. I wrote and asked for Nationwide’s comments. I received a very cross email saying, among other things:

‘you will understand our dissapointment in your post and the damaging non substantiated comments about a Mr Sage who we have researched since your posting. We are disgusted that this name is even on the same page as our company.’

I took the blog post down in a spirit of friendly dialogue while I tried to find out more about a company which can do you a funeral for £970 plus disbursements. I was disappointed in my attempts to get Nationwide to talk to me. I got this:

‘I apologies for your dissapointment, however please understand a new company dealing with many customers needs to concentrate on its services it is providing and cannot prioritise trade and bloggers enquiries. Your request should be actioned when we have the time.’

I rang and rang, then let it go. I posted a warning on my website.

I had been told by a person claiming to have been employed by Mr Sage that the owner of Nationwide, Aidan Cabrera Moreno, was living at Mr Sage’s address. (This same person, who alleged that he had been a victim of Mr Sage, also told me he reckons Mr Moreno to be a nice guy.) Today I received another tip-off from someone who has been investigating Nationwide Funerals at Companies House. It was the missing link. It turns out that Nationwide Funerals is registered at this address:

40 Briercliffe Road, Burnley, BB10 1XB

Funeral directors who read this blog will be wondering who the funeral director is in the handsome video on the Nationwide website. You can find him here.

What are the industry’s trade bodies, NAFD and SAIF doing about this, I wonder. I shall write and ask them.

I am aware of no malpractice on the part of Nationwide Funerals who have now expanded to the London area.

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Ashley Walne
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Ashley Walne

SUE DENT:
I have had the same problem with you with his cheques bouncing and he needs to be locked up and the key thrown away, but his bank accounts in spain has so much money in it. so i don’t understand why he doesn’t transfer money instead of conning people, he is a sick twisted man.

Sue Dent
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Sue Dent

Mr Richard Sage is a fraudster and con man…….. he rented a flat from me and his cheques for rent bounced everywhere, well everywhere except to my bank account, at that time he told me was director of operations for a private airambulance company….. correct all lies the guy is a complete Walter Mitty.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Thank you, Charles, and I’m sure Mr Slater is not the only one glad of some intelligence!

ashley
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ashley

KINGFISHER! I am a former employee of the one and only Mr Sage. Trust me Mr. Kendal is not real at all its a name Sage put together so he won’t be caught by anyone who has seen him or heard of him, the reason why when you phoned direct funeral services and kendals fuenral services you spoke to helen twice is because they are both operated in a call centre in basingstoke where direct funeral services are held. i know his partner aiden also runs a cheap web based funeral services called nationwide funeral services.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Nadir: ” Our national chain of funeral directors have 50 years’ experience”… is that 50 years between them, or each? Do they not deal with FDs of 40, or 60, years’ experience? They employ actors pretending to be staff. There is an evident connection with Richard Sage, though you’d have to read this blog to be aware of that. But it’s just something about the vibe of the whole production that stinks. I was once contacted by another man, of the same initials as Mr Sage incidentally, to give a quote for a funeral through email, so of course I… Read more »

Nadir
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Nadir

Whilst almost agreeing with Jonathan hook line and sinker, I find myself playing the devil’s advocate.

Why is it a scam? What actually makes you (and me) think that it’s a scam?

I think that it’s open to many errors, but why a scam?

V. best Rgds

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Actually, in the cooler light of Saturday morning, it occurs to me that Messrs Kendal and Sage et al, or whoever they are/claim to be, wouldn’t be putting all this effort and money into a venture from which they expected no return other than to provide the likes of us with the entertainment of an atrociously badly created website for a Friday evening; and that, worse still, vulnerable people who are less sceptical about what, to you and me, is a scam more transparent than a prostitute’s nightdress, may be getting burned in their innocence. I can’t help feeling we… Read more »

Kingfisher
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Yes Jonathan, I admit to raising an eyebrow at the “Obtaining all vital statistics…” in the list of provisions of a Basic Simple Funeral.

I tryd to reed thru the rest of the rightings but didnt get passed the 1st paragrath cos it didnt make any sence.

Oh this is too much like hard work on a Friday evening.

Liam
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Liam

There is so much I could say about this latest example of your `Inspector Morse` like talents Charles. Suffice to say that if you are not knighted for such efforts, then there truly is no justice!

A sincere and humbled “WELL DONE!!!” from me will probably have to do for the time being.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

I look forward with trepidation to having the time to follow all this information…

Meen why’ll mister, King Fisher, its wirth reeding it orl just four you’r coments abote, the gramer and speling your a man arftear my own hart howe cood aniwun trusst sutch a ilitarate webbsight youd have too bea a fowl?

Nadir
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Nadir

So, IF Mr Sage does business by either contracting out funeral arrangements, or by passing over the funeral for a commission, then it means that other funeral directors are part of Mr Sage’s business model.

Are these other funeral directors members of NAFD or SAIF I wonder?

Could it be argued that they are as culpable as their “Main Contractor” if the S*** hits the fan?

I dare say that the NAFD and SAIF will tread very carefully on this one!

Philip Evans
Guest

Nationwide Funeral Services are in fact based at serviced offices in London trading under the two names Nationwide Funeral Services and London Funeral Directors. •London Funerals Low cost funerals for London & Greater London area – they give families an affordable alternative to the high cost of funerals throughout the London region. Location: St John Street Postcode: EC1V 4PY MAP Telephone: 0844 811 6093 URL: http://www.londonfuneralservice.co.uk This is the same company as Nationwide (same website links) and as we have heard is also connected to J Kendall in Burnley. The ofices at EC1V in London are serviced offices which have… Read more »

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[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charles Cowling, Charles Cowling. Charles Cowling said: I don't like digging dirt, I'd rather sing praise. But these guys deserve it: http://bit.ly/fTEhkW […]

Charles Cowling
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Poor Helen!

Nice work, Mr Kingfisher.

I shall publish the NAFD and SAIF responses if and when.

Kingfisher
Guest

This post is worth reading just for the speling and grammer in the quotes. Priceless. Having a little time on my hands, I phoned Direct Funeral Services. Helen answered. I hung up. I phoned Nationwide Funeral Services. Helen answered. I sprung a story about having lost someone and asked how their service worked. Helen wanted all sorts of details, none of which I was willing to give her. She then offered to put me through to a Funeral Director. Seconds later she came back and said “all the Funeral Directors” were out, either at a service or arranging funerals. Wouldn’t… Read more »