Josh Slocum, Executive Director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance in the USA, is a major hero to all who toil at the GFG-Batesville Tower. Here he is talking on the telly about funeral pricing and home funerals.
It’s interesting to note the similarities with the British funeral industry, in particular consumers’ disapproval of the marking up of coffins. We unquestioningly accept mark-ups in all other commercial transactions, so why do we find the marking up of coffins so objectionable? Does it say something about our unease with a for-profit business model of funeral directing? If so, what can we do about it?
Josh talks about the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule, the sort of document we badly need in the UK. It’s very well written. What a pity the Office of Fair Trading has never written a version for British funeral consumers — or funeral shoppers, as Josh terms them.
Josh talks, too, about the emotional and spiritual value of a home funeral as ‘personal, family event’, an alternative to turning your loved one over to strangers. In the US, the home funeral movement is growing. In Britain it has most regrettably stalled.