Dear Mr Tinning,
Woo, sorry! Caught you unawares? Thought we’d lost interest? No, we’re not going away. And not just us. There’s the GMB union, too. As you know, they’re disappointed in you for derecognising them in 2007. You can read their own campaign page here.
How on earth can a co-operative banish a trade union?
In the aftermath of the Dispatches Undercover Undertaker exposé you addressed your ‘colleagues’ and told them that you were going to seek the advice of the NAFD and find out if they could suggest any improvements in your levels of service. How’s that going? We don’t know of any statement from the NAFD about this. Come on, you must have some influence with those guys.
The word on the street is that you think it’s all going to blow over, the storm that followed that programme. Is that what you really think? Is that why you have kept so quiet?
Is that why you have never had the courtesy to reply to any of our letters to you?
If so, then, strategically, that you’re making a mistake. Consumer scrutiny of Funeralworld is going to intensify. As you know, ITV is making its own documentary about the industry. There’s another storm coming very soon. Okay, it may not be Funeralcare at the epicentre this time, but it’ll churn up memories. Worse still, the reputational damage to the entire industry may well be grave. When consumers start to see a pattern, they’re going to reckon all funeral directors are as bad as each other. There are nasty times a-coming – possibly very nasty times indeed.
There’s going to be renewed call for regulation, isn’t there? Which brings us back to the NAFD. What price their reassurances about the efficacy of self-regulation now?
Mr Tinning, do you begin to recognise the grave damage you have done to the many decent people who work in this industry? Including your own ‘colleagues’?
Good funeral directors are governed by values, not greed. You are the corporate player that lays claim to the values of the Rochdale Pioneers – the highest values there are. The other big players – Dignity, FSP, LM – play by the rules of capitalism. They’re not very good at it, and they’ll fail, but at least they do not pretend to be other than they are. Did you read the comments on this blog written by EX CO OP EMPLOYEE? Read them here and here. What do you say?
Mr Tinning, the governing purpose of the Good Funeral Guide is to sing praises, not dig dirt. It’s sad, weary work, belabouring your organisation. Around 40,000 people visit this site every month from all over the English-speaking world. They all wonder why on earth you do not reply to our letters.
It’s time you acknowledged your accountability and had your say.
With all best wishes,