I first heard from Lisa Mullan when she wrote to me on 23 Feb 2013:
7th November 2012, 1245: Email from Plympton to Mr Chatfield requesting he inform them of plot status.
8th November 2012, 1231: Email from Mr Chatfield to Plympton stating the existence of a plot for my father and potential accommodation of a funeral any time after 18th November 2012. 1353: Email from Plympton to Mr Chatfield requesting a burial at 1245 on 20th November 2012. 18.16: Reply from Mr Chatfield to Plympton confirming time and place of burial.
9 November 2012, 0900: My mother pops into Plympton. It is suggested she look at both Crossways and a burial site at Yealmpton, Devon (hereafter known as Yealmpton) over the weekend and inform Plympton of her decision on the Monday. As far as she is aware, funeral arrangements are for 20th November 2012 but contact with Crossways has not yet been established.
10-11 November 2012: The family inform relatives and friends that the funeral would be held on 20th November 2012
12 November 2012, 1100: My mother speaks to Plympton to be told there is still no word from Crossways but the funeral could be postponed until they had. Various: Phone records show several phone calls to myself and my sister from my mother. Unfortunately no one was home to take them. Midday: My mother confirms with Plympton that the burial should be moved to Yealmpton and agrees to pay an extra £950 for the plot and grave digging. 1451: Email from Plympton to Mr Chatfield informing him of my mother’s decision and requesting a full refund of the £835 my father paid for the plot. 0900: Mr Chatfield paid £300 to a second airline and started returning to the UK two days premature of his original departure date due to an unforeseen baggage handlers strike with his original airline. 2100: Mr Chatfield discovered the email from Plympton cancelling the burial.
13 November 2012: Mr Chatfield spoke to Mr Parson to express his displeasure but promised to refund the plot money minus a 20% administration fee.
20 November 2012: My father’s funeral at Plympton and Burial in Yealmpton. The requested donations box was not present before or after the service in Plympton.
25 November 2012, 1552: Email from my sister, Caroline Fielden, to Rosie Inman-Cook at the Natural Death Centre to complain about Mr Chatfield’s conduct in not contacting Plympton to arrange the burial at Crossways that my father had requested and paid for.
27 November 2012, 1245: Email from Rosie Inman-Cook to my sister informing her that Mr Chatfield had indeed confirmed the burial, returning early due to the aforementioned strike to be present.
29 November 2012, 1941: My sister forwarded to email from Rosie Inman-Cook to Plympton and requested sight of emails from 7th and 8th November to confirm this. She never received a reply.
Early December 2012: I was informed of the above and agreed to take it further. I arranged to meet Mr Parson on a trip to Plympton that month. I also rang Mr Chatfield who immediately forwarded the pertinent emails from 7th and 8th November.
12 December 2102, 1230: Meeting with Mr Parson to explain entire incident. He claimed not to be aware of any of it and needed to speak to his staff. We arranged a further meeting for the following day. There were several points regarding anecdotal evidence that Plympton had been rather persuasive in steering my mother to use Yealmpton and not Crossways for the burial.
13 December 2012, 0900: Second meeting with Mr Parson. We discussed various anecdotal evidence. He did not, however, say he had discovered exactly why my mother had not been informed that Mr Chatfield had confirmed the time and date of the burial. This, in my mind was the sole reason for reconvening the meeting. Mr Parson agreed to reimburse the mileage money my father had paid for the hearse to drive to Crossways, offered to help me with full reimbursement from Crossways should they refuse and let me know via email exactly how the confusion had arisen.
End December 2012: A cheque for £112 was sent to my mother to reimburse mileage.
4 January 2013, 2207: Email from me to Mr Parson explaining my disappointment at not hearing from him regarding the confusion.
7 January 2013, 0813: Email from Mr Parson to me stating he thought we had sorted the problem and when he would be contactable by phone.
7-9 January 2103, various: Tried to contact Mr Parson by phone but to no avail.
9 January 2013, 2133: Email from me to Mr Parson requesting Plympton reimburse the 20% Crossways administration fee, issue a full apology to my mother and reimburse Mr Chatfield the £300 he was obliged to pay to return to the UK.
11 January 2013, 1020: Email from Mr Parson re-stating that Plympton were not at fault. Inclusion of the Funeral Arbitration Scheme Leaflet.
12 January 2013, 1943: Email to Mr Parson stating that I will be taking the matter further.
13 January 2013, 0900: Phone call to Co-op Funeral Care Customer services. Matter discussed with the member of staff who sent the mileage cheque to my mother. 1700: Contact from Mr Adrian Smart, Regional Manager overseeing Plympton. He promises to investigate the issue and phone back.
18 January 2013, 1713: Email from Mr Smart. Attached letter details incident as he has understood it and the Arbitration leaflet. An apology was made for contacting my mother so soon after my father’s death but not for withholding information from Crossways.
10 February 2013, 2114: Reply to Mr Smart detailing the reasons I believe my mother was misled by Co-op staff.
11 February 2013, 0944: Reply from Mr Smart stating he cannot respond at this particular time but I will hear from him in due course. I have never heard from him or anybody else from the Co-op again.
Today, 16 June 2013, I received the following from Lisa: