Buying funerals can be expensive and confusing
The Fair Funerals campaign launched the pledge in June to tackle the fact that buying a funeral can be expensive and confusing. Clear, comparable pricing information is particularly important for bereaved people because the burden of grief can make us very vulnerable as consumers.
We tend not to like to shop around for the best price, and are often unaware there are huge differences in what funeral directors charge.
Lincolnshire Co-operative Funeral Services decided to sign their 18 funeral homes up to the pledge because they recognise many people can struggle with the substantial cost of a funeral. They are now the third Co-operative Society to sign the pledge after the Heart of England cooperative society and Scotmid.
Head of Lincolnshire Co-operative Funeral Services David Dernley says:
We are proud to have signed up to the pledge which is wholly compatible with our ethos of providing the very best levels of service at competitive prices.
We are transparent with our pricing and are pleased to offer a simple funeral option. Whilst a simple funeral option inevitably carries certain restrictions, it facilitates a dignified, respectful and more affordable funeral service which can still be personalised to reflect the lifestyle and preference of the deceased whilst servicing the needs of the family at what is a very difficult time.
As well as our simple funeral option, our typical funeral prices sit well below the national average and just under the local average. All our funeral directors, arrangers and managers are trained to discuss with the client their ability to meet the financial liabilities associated with the funeral they are arranging and, in cases of hardship, to provide the simple funeral option.
Fair Funerals Campaign Manager Heather Kennedy says:
When we're bereaved, we don’t make shrewd consumers and talking frankly about money is often the last thing we want to do. By speaking openly and transparently about what things cost, Lincolnshire Co-operative funeral services will really help bereaved consumers in their area. We hope this will lead the way for other co-operative funeral directors who have yet to sign the pledge.
The Fair Funerals campaign is calling on all Co-operative funeral directors to sign the pledge because of its compatibility with the cooperative values of openness and care for the community.
Impact of the pledge
Since the Fair Funerals pledge launched almost 10 per cent of the UK funeral industry have signed. They agree:
• To recognise that funerals can be expensive and many people struggle with the cost.
• To help people to find funerals that are within their means.
• To be open about their most affordable options, including third party costs:
- in initial conversations
- within their price lists
- on their website.
Lincolnshire Co-op is an independent Co-operative Society founded in 1861 and owned by some 250,000 members who reside within communities in Lincolnshire, North Nottinghamshire, Norfolk and East Yorkshire.
All profits are reinvested in the business, used to support community causes, issued to members as dividend and paid to staff in the form of a bonus.