Why did we delete that blog post?

Charles 9 Comments

This morning we received an email which had been forwarded in error by Mr Potts, Customer Relations Manager at The Co-operative Funeralcare, to a bereaved family – not we hasten to add one of the families referred to in the message – who forwarded it to us.  On reading it, we immediately deleted the blog post describing the incident referred to out of respect for the wishes of the families concerned.  We have redacted those parts of the email which indicate the location of the incident and the date of the press story; and those which reveal contact details. 

We thought the email worth publishing for its own sake – because it isn’t often we get an insight into what goes on in the engine room.


From: Neil Walker (CLS-Exec) 
Sent: 11 February 2013 09:11
To: Anna Osborne (CLS-Probate Consultants); Sanjeev Chahal (TS) (CLS-Probate Operations)
Cc: Ziad Shukri (TS) (CLS-Legal Advisory); Karen Morgan (CLS-Wills); Jon Potts (Funeralcare); David Collingwood (Funeralcare)
Subject: Incident within Funeralcare



Funeralcare had an incident in the  XXXXXXX    part of the country a few weeks ago.  As you would expect Funeralcare dealt with the matter in a sensitive and appropriate way with the 2 families involved; to the extent that neither family wanted anything to appear in the press.  Unfortunately the press in the local area published a story relating to the matter xxxxxxxxxxxx

In the unlikely event that the probate advisory team get questioned on the matter by a client who has any concerns whatsoever, could you please could you ensure that the client is offered the opportunity to receive a phone call from Co-operative Funeralcare.  Please could you ask your team members to capture name and contact details of the client and pass them onto yourselves as team managers? 

Could I then ask that you pass the client details onto Jon Potts, Customer Relations Manager, Funeralcare.  Please ensure that you follow up any e-mail with a phone call to ensure that Jon or a member of the team has picked up the details?  Jon’s contact details are: 





  1. Charles

    It’s regrettable, isn’t it, that English seems to have died out in large swathes of working life, to be replaced by Coveryourbackish, Corporatarian and regrettably, (though I’m sure not in this case) Lai. But we should sympathise; the trouble with plain English is it encourages people to describe the world as it is, and people as they are. It makes accountability clearer and encourages moral discrimination and firm judgements. After a few years in a management job, I realised I’d forgotten most of my English and was using Memoese.

    I remember the morning I heard that they’d been an “incident” on First Great Western’s railway, which would result in delays. “Signal knackered again,” I thought….but seven people I think it was, had died in a terrible train crash, including someone I knew, liked and respected. I’ve not trusted the damned word since.

  2. Charles

    Yes, GM, ‘incident’ does seem economical with the gravity in this context. ‘Capture’ names is also corporatese for ‘take down’.

  3. Charles

    Charles’ decency in closing down the said post has to be appreciated as the right gesture

    It gives me minus pleasure to be blogging on here again re Funeralcare. David Collingwood, who I’m sure is reading this has gone into ‘visual print’ by saying to his troops, “…..trust in the system, believe in the system…” and also reinforcing the high qualities of their internal trading. That’s all fine, I’m sure

    All that I would wish to see for the clients of F’care is trouble free/seamless funerals and nil media publicity. Nothing more at all (even though the costs are way too high)

    David, this problem, isn’t sadly new in your organisation is it? This blog and the web speaks for itself. Problems are arising, clearly at your hubs. The picture that has emerged is one of the troops being understaffed and nil spare capacity for checking that this sort of thing should not occur. This does not happen with Dignity. On the face of it, their standards must be higher/and or they employ more people in their warehouses

    So, David let’s be constructive and employ more people at the hubs, please?


  4. Charles

    For those who are unaware, the reference to “CLS” is:-


    nothing wrong with the Coop opening up their own legal shops after all, they’re in just about everything else…………………………

    It’s mildly assuming that the Bristol (Legal) office isn’t that far removed from one of their Funeral warehouse hubs, albeit smarter

    Also if they wish to offer property and family/matrimonial services, then why not……..?

    But in setting up their own’ Probate Services Division’ and cross selling this at their Funeralcare shops, is to me, a blatant conflict of interest and it would have been better for them not to have entered this particular market. However, they tend to be completely oblivious to this

    I seem to recall that Mr Jon Potts has featured in this blog before………………….

    I am not intending to comment regarding the email


  5. Charles

    I would like to guess that the reason that the families wanted nothing to appear in the press was that they were heartbroken, appalled, embarrassed, writhing . . . .

  6. Charles

    I would like to guess that the reason that the families wanted nothing to appear in the press is because they have got caught up in the arbitration process and been sworn to secrecy.

    No press, no court, is what affords the bad companies the opportunity to keep behaving badly.

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