While other providers of goods and services dance to the tune of their clients, buyers of funerals tend to be tuneless. If undertakers miss out on this vital, bracing discipline of the market, the demanding, pernickety client, it is none of their fault. If they give the impression that they know best, it’s because they usually do.
Yes, of course they look at your postcode and work out what they reckon you can afford. Of course they’ll sell you anything they think you can pay for. At the same time, they’ll try and talk you out of buying anything they think you can’t afford because they need you to be able to pay them.
There’s a widespread public feeling that it is wrong to make money from the bereaved. A great many undertakers would agree. The last thing most people want to buy is a funeral.
It depends on how you look at it. If you think of a funeral as an invidious necessity, it’s going to be too expensive whatever its price.
But if you think of a funeral as a precious gift to the person who has died, you will find that much of the merchandise and most of the service is charged at a fair commercial rate.