Some funeral directors need to be more transparent over pricing, says Which?

·2 min read

Some funeral directors need to be more transparent about their pricing up front, according to Which?

Vulnerable customers could be put at risk of paying inflated prices, the consumer group warned.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has previously said that it is keeping a close eye on the sector.

The CMA is consulting on the details of new requirements, which it is proposing will come into effect in September 2021.

The watchdog said in December 2020 that pricing information should be provided in advance of a customer committing to purchase a service, so that people know what they will be charged.

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Which? said its research in February into 112 funeral directors found about a quarter (29) of them did not include pricing on their websites.

Of those that did show their prices, information was often not presented in a consistent way, potentially making it difficult for people to understand how their money was being spent.

Which? said about 40 funeral directors showed package costs with a description of what is included but provided no cost breakdown. It said only 18 showed itemised price lists.

It said even those signed up to the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) were not always transparent with their costs. Of the NAFD members Which? analysed, a third (11) did not disclose their pricing online, Which? said.

An NAFD statement said: “We are reviewing the CMA’s draft order in respect of online pricing to make sure we align our online member directory capabilities to the order.

“We are likely to introduce enforcement on those provisions of our new code in September, at the same time as the CMA’s requirements become law.”

Jenny Ross, editor of Which? Money, said: “Organising a funeral is already a stressful time for families – that stress shouldn’t be compounded by the fear of paying inflated prices.”

She added: “To avoid more vulnerable people paying more than they should, funeral directors must do the right thing and be up front about the cost of their services.”

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