Fact checking required?

Fran Hall 9 Comments
Fran Hall

Apparently, according to an article in today’s Times, ‘funeral companies have been told to make fees transparent’.

No they haven’t.

Read the entire piece. It begins with this statement: ‘Funeral directors have been ordered to publish their full fees online after concerns about the soaring cost of services.’ 

No they haven’t.

Later in the piece is the more accurate statement – ‘the NAFD intends to consult with members on adding additional mandatory requirements to the code of practice’

So, they haven’t. And they haven’t.

Shoddy reporting Mr Byers.

(Thanks to Charles Cowling for spotting this)


  1. Fran Hall

    “The average cost of a funeral has gone up by 68 per cent over the past ten years to £4,271. Inflation over that period was 25 per cent”.

    Clearly the NAFD has been hard at work coming up with creative excuses for this. So far:

    1. There are too many funeral homes
    2. Relatives are seeking more elaborate funerals
    3. Directors are having to pay higher mortuary fees as the time between death and funerals grows longer
    4. Obesity is adding to costs – the average coffin width has grown from 50-56cm to 56-61cm in the past decade and funeral directors are having to use more pallbearers

    This is all a case of ‘the dog ate my homework’.

    The real reason for the excessive rise in funeral costs is very simple – excessive corporate greed at the expense of vulnerable bereaved people who have historically not asked questions or shopped around.

    1. Fran Hall

      Good work (again) Louise

      ……….and complete tosh from the NAFD

      the mandate ‘given’ to the CMA into the investigation of the UK Funeral Industry should have been far simpler – I suggest…….’CMA Report regarding prices charged by and the respective roles of Dignity Plc and Co-operative Funeralcare (and the inherent effects on ‘Funeral Poverty’)’



  2. Fran Hall

    Hi Fran

    I’m certainly hoping that there will be ‘a diktat’ from wherever that this should be the case (and arising from the full CMA Report)


  3. Fran Hall

    True, the funeral trade needs some grinding down at the top, but don’t hold your breath ‘coz it evidently won’t go down without a fight. So discombobulated are we by our dead ones, many of us approach undertakers as if we were entering an arranged marriage with an unlimited dowry. The substantial change will come when we give funerals forethought and arrive… well, not ready, you’re never ready for bereavement, but at least equipped to handle it competently. As long as we hand our precious grieving rituals away to the body specialists, with their complete monopoly on mortuary space and their perfectly valid vested interest in selling us a (often mediocre) ceremony to £ubricate the disposal process, we’ll keep paying over the odds. Someone’s got to fork out for this well-reharsed and expensive Dickensian costume drama — who else do we imagine that may be but us?

  4. Fran Hall

    The problem of rising funeral costs is quite simple…….greed. Greed by national chains (and some independents who covet the chains “business model”) who thought they could get away with it because in the initial foggy haze of someone dying, what do you do?
    You don’t shop around for prices. You don’t shop around to find someone you actually want looking after your person. You just pick up the phone or look online for information and largely go with the first company you call because you want to actually do something.

    Big companies (and some independents) have been able to take advantage of all of this for years. Cost and money only gets discussed right at the very end of making all of the arrangements.

    By not having prices online, someone has to pick up the phone or come into the office. After discussing everything in their office, they aren’t likely to walk back out having been bombarded with information for over an hour.

    The fact that the NAFD thinks these working practices are fine speaks volumes. Their two biggest members have the resources to put their prices online and quickly. Yet, they haven’t.
    The NAFD could insist that all of their members has their prices online within 6 months. Yet they haven’t.

    The NAFD are protecting the funeral director from public scrutiny. But why shouldn’t they be scrutinised?

    The NAFD claim to be the “voice of the profession” but if the profession is hiding something so simple as cost, then frankly, what else are they hiding?

    The NAFD claim to represent the “new breed of funeral directors” yet they seem to only serve their biggest members.

    Frankly, the NAFD are obsolete and they are defending and protecting those companies who pay the highest amount in membership fees.

    Ultimately, the NAFD, national chain companies and any funeral director who doesn’t have their prices online, have forgotten exactly what we are here for.
    Well, let me remind you.

    Funeral directors are here to serve the public. That’s it. The public who walk into our office is our boss. We are here to serve them. They tell us what they want and it is we who put those plans into action. We are here to be transparent and honest with the cost of the work we undertake on their behalf.

    I would suggest there are a number of people in this profession that would do well to remember that.

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