Never knowingly upsold

Charles Cowling



It’s been very interesting getting out and about visiting new funeral directors who have applied to be accredited by the GFG. We spend several hours looking around, getting to know, asking questions. It’s quite different from a visit by a trade body, of course. We’re there to evaluate the consumer experience. We look out for stuff like coathooks on the back of the door of the ‘chapel of rest’. (We’ve yet to find any.)

If we like what we see and hear we review the funeral director on this website and give them a Recommended by the Good Funeral Guide sticker to wear on their window.

What’s especially struck us has been the individuality of the funeral directors we have visited. Each has a very distinct, often characterful, way of doing things.

Here’s an example. It’s from the contract which Richard Fearnley asks all his clients to sign.

Richard’s least expensive funeral is his Ruby funeral at £1397 including disbursements. Yes, really, £1397.

The contract begins:

I state that I have personally made the arrangements for the funeral of the above named deceased and now take full responsibility of all funeral expenses.

I have been informed about the ‘Ruby Plan’ available for for families with limited means/social security benefits, at a total cost of £1397 including the necessary disbursements for cremation.

My chosen plan is the ‘XXXX Plan and I have today received an estimate for £XXXX…

In this way, Richard’s clients can benchmark what they have chosen to spend against his lowest-cost funeral and remind themselves of the difference just before they sign.  

What a refreshing difference from upselling. 

4 thoughts on “Never knowingly upsold

  1. Charles Cowling
    Charles Cowling

    Actually, I have just checked with Dewsbury Moor, which operates the same restrictions as Huddersfield, also within the Kirklees district. They recommend a shroud and forbid any clothing containing any manmade fibres plus, of course, shoes. The reason cited is emissions, of course. But Dewsbury and Huddersfield are famously strict.

    Richard Fearnley sends all his clients home with a big binder full of information. He likes them to make their choices in their own time and in their own way. In particular, he likes them to choose their coffin in an unhurried way.

    Included in this binder is a letter from Dewsbury Moor spelling out precisely what’s allowed and what’s not – so they get the info from the horse’s mouth.

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling

    I was pleased to see it called ‘Ruby’ and not budget or basic … but when I look on the website – disappointed to see no mention of ‘Ruby’. I personally didn’t like the lilac colours – it reminded me of A.N Other FD….
    • Dressing the deceased in their own clothes for cremation is forbidden by the cremation authorities. This is due to all the poisons and dyes that are present within natural fibres.

    Is this true?

    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      Nick Gandon

      “Dressing the deceased in their own clothes for cremation is forbidden by the cremation authorities. This is due to all the poisons and dyes that are present within natural fibres.”

      Errr, I don’t think so

      Charles Cowling
      1. Charles Cowling
        Nick Gandon

        Shoes, bottles of Guiness and pacemakers – these I can understand, but this sounds a very restrictive requirement. To which crematorium does it refer I wonder?

        Charles Cowling

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