‘It is scandalous that, well over a year after the CMA’s order came into force, so many companies are still abdicating their legal responsibility to bereaved customers.'
Quaker Social Action (QSA) has reported over 200 funeral directors to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for failing to clearly display their prices. The action follows new legal requirements for funeral firms, which include displaying prices online and in branches. The new Funerals Market Investigation Order was introduced in September 2021 by the CMA. Since September 2021, QSA’s ‘Down to Earth’ team, which works on funeral costs, has reported 240 funeral directors to the CMA for breaching the order.
Lindesay Mace, who leads QSA’s funeral poverty work, said: ‘It is scandalous that, well over a year after the CMA’s order came into force, so many companies are still abdicating their legal responsibility to bereaved customers. Those in the funeral industry who are not yet compliant with the order need to step up and quickly, and if they don’t, we trust the CMA will exercise its powers of enforcement. Arranging a funeral can be a distressing experience, even more so if you don’t have the funds. People should not have the added stress of feeling in the dark about prices and payment terms.’
During 2018-2021 the CMA conducted a full-scale investigation into the funeral industry after finding many families struggled to find clear prices and details of services online, and were unable to shop around.
QSA had helped to bring about the CMA’s investigation through its Fair Funerals campaign, and provided feedback and evidence throughout.
The average basic funeral in the UK costs £4,056, according to Sunlife, with seventeen per cent of customers struggling to pay for one. QSA said that, in the context of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, ‘many more bereaved families will be pushed into debt to cover funeral costs’.
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