With funeral costs more than doubling in only 10 years, funeral directors are under pressure from the public to be fair and open about what they charge. With so few funeral directors putting prices online and many not wanting to talk openly about money, it can be really difficult to compare costs and find a funeral within your budget.
Funeral directors lagging behind
Our Fair Funerals pledge tackles this problem by asking funeral directors to be fair and open about their prices. Across the UK, a third of the industry has signed up. But there still remains a large amount who are yet to highlight their commitment to customer transparency. This Dying Matters Awareness Week, the theme is 'what can you do?'. What we can all do is make it easier for people to have access to open, transparent prices and options through asking funeral directors to sign the Fair Funerals pledge.
This asks them to:
- Recognise that funerals can be expensive and that many of their clients would struggle with the cost
- Help people to find funerals that are within their means
- Be open about their most affordable options, including 3rd-party costs in initial conversations, within their price lists and on their websites
Priced out of a decent funeral
On a national level, funeral poverty is a pressing issue that affects 1 in 7 of us. With the average cost of a funeral now soaring to almost £4000, a decent send-off is out of reach for many, especially those already struggling with spiraling living costs or debt.
Having dignity in death is a basic human right, and yet in one of the world’s richest countries, people are being priced out of decent funerals.
Heather Kennedy, Fair Funerals campaigns manager, says:
“When we’re grieving, we don’t make savvy customers, so we really need funeral directors to be open and honest about prices. Too many funeral directors aren’t doing this. We want to see all funeral directors putting prices on their sites and talking openly about money and money concerns. By signing the Fair Funerals pledge and being open and upfront about prices, companies can really help people find a funeral they can afford."
The campaign is being supported by MP for South Shields Emma Lewell-Buck. Emma says:
Funeral directors are in a unique position as a confidante, service provider and guide to those dealing with grief. I would encourage any director who feels they can sign up to the Fair Funerals pledge to do so. Being pro-actively transparent about the costs and options available at the outset can only serve to positively enhance the reputation of the funeral director as well as making the whole experience of organising a funeral less stressful and worrying for families, especially those who have low incomes.
Ask your funeral director to sign!
This Dying Matters Awareness Week, we're asking people to take a proactive approach to making sure everyone can get the fair funeral they deserve. We’re encouraging people to ask their local funeral director to sign the pledge. Funeral directors are very interested in what their community think, so you could make a big difference.
Write to your local funeral directors asking them to sign the pledge. Ask other people in your community to do the same. Use our sample letter or write your own.
DOWNLOAD SAMPLE LETTER
CHECK OUR MAP TO SEE IF LOCAL BRANCHES HAVE SIGNED
Materials to help you take action
We have designed materials to help you take action. They include tips on:
- What you can do
- How to take action
- What you need to know
- Guidelines for talking to funeral directors
DOWNLOAD THE PACK OF MATERIALS
Tweet about the pledge
Use the hashtag #fairfunerals
Follow us at @endfuneralpov