The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have taken action to help bereaved families understand their rights when it comes to funerals. You can visit their official information page of guidance for arranging a funeral.
We have also gathered the information you need to know before choosing a funeral director and the costs of a funeral in order to help grieving families understand their options when it comes to planning a funeral.
Funeral firms must be upfront about their prices and products
The CMA undertakes many in-depth market investigations into competition and consumer problems, including criminal proceedings against individuals who commit a cartel offence, and where there may be breach of UK law.
Following their exploration and analysis of the funeral sector, they have decided to take action and ensure that funeral firms and crematoriums have a legal duty to present crystal clear prices to families. This Standard Price List includes:
- a headline price for a funeral
- prices of individuals items included
- prices of additional optional products and services
This comes from the result of their analysis which found that there were considerable differences between funeral directors despite very similar services being offered. Additionally, the way that the services were being presented was confusing, misleading, and making it ultimately difficult for families to compare prices and find the right services for them.
After consulting with many funeral directors, crematorium operators, and other groups representing the funeral sector across the UK, the CMA declared written laws on the 17th of June for the first time. This included the prohibition of incentivising certain hospitals and care homes to refer customers. Funeral directors and crematorium operators were given 3 months to implement the changes, with warnings of consequence if they failed to adhere to the legal deadline.
Martin Coleman, CMA Panel Inquiry Chair, stated:
"The final cost of a funeral should never come as a surprise".
Here at Urns For Angels, we couldn't agree with a statement more.
This tremendous act from the CMA allows vulnerable families to be protected against the hidden costs of a funeral, after concerns were raised that not all funeral directors were treating their customers fairly. It is already an extremely difficult time for them and the pressure of comparing funeral prices and packages is no help. Often, individuals are looking for the simplest arrangement, perhaps by choosing a service that has been recommended.
The investigation showed that families rely heavily on the acts of their funeral directors to navigate them through the planning of a funeral process. This was shown to lead to monumental amounts of pressure to decide on the, what seems perfect, arrangement and the pressure to make these decisions quickly. Ultimately, the entire process is overwhelming and the final cost is probably going to be one of the most expensive purchases many people will make in their lifetime.More information on the CMA's examination can be found on the funerals market investigation web page. You can also access the response to the CMA's market report document.