Our response to ‘Serious concerns in the funeral sector’ identified by CMA
Key points from the report:
- Today, people generally spend between £3,000 and £5,000 organising a funeral, and the price of the essential elements has increased by more than two-thirds in the last 10 years, almost 3 times the rate of inflation. Organising a funeral would now cost those on the lowest incomes nearly 40% of their annual outgoings, more than they spend on food, clothing and energy combined.
- Customers could save over £1,000 by looking at a range of choices in their local area. However, people organising a funeral are usually distressed and often not in a position to do this – making it easier for some funeral directors to charge higher prices. Prices are also often not available online, making it difficult to compare options.
- While some smaller funeral directors have sought to keep their prices low, other providers – the larger chains in particular – have implemented policies of consistently high year-on-year price increases. A number of these have now introduced lower cost funeral options, but this doesn’t go far enough to make up for years of above inflation price hikes. The CMA’s evidence also indicates most people who organise a funeral remain extremely vulnerable to exploitation and future rises in charges.
- Cremations account for 77% of funerals, yet there are limited choices for most people in their local area and fees charged by crematoria have increased by 84% on average in the past 10 years, more than 3 times the rate of inflation.
In response to this we would like to make sure that everyone knows that we have always and will always do our best to keep costs down. While the average cost of a standard funeral service is now £4,271 our full funeral service rarely costs more than around £3000 at today’s prices. This includes the fact that despite the average cost the cremation fee (paid to the crematorium) is £737 in the UK, locally the cost is £945, a figure which is set by the crematorium operator, not the funeral director. We are always more than happy to discuss flexibility with costs, as with everything else we do we will do our best to accommodate our clients. If you think someone else has offered you a better figure for the service will we try and match that wherever possible.
We would always encourage people to do their own research, however we are confident that we will not only provide the best price in our area but also the best service due to our size and flexibility as a small independent firm. Unlike some of our more long established competitors, we have our prices available for viewing online. We prefer you to be able to think about prices before get you in to see a funeral director, thus avoiding you being a situation where it is hard to say no before you have the full facts and figures. This also avoids any possible manipulation that the funeral trades are so often being accused of nowadays.
We didn’t inherit our firm and we don’t work for shareholders of a corporation. We are building it from scratch on the basis of offering an excellent, flexible and professional service to our community at a reasonable price.
We strongly encourage you to contact us with questions or if you want more information about anything no matter what the situation. We are always willing to help.
Mike & Kate