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Funeral firms now have legal duty to present clear pricing

Funeral firms now have legal duty to present clear pricing
The new legal requirements follow an investigation into the sector by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Funeral firms must be upfront with grieving families about their prices from Thursday following an investigation into the sector by the competition watchdog.

Funeral directors are now legally required to display a standardised price list in their window at their premises and on their website as part of a package of changes led by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The list must include the headline price of a funeral, the price of the individual items comprising the funeral and the cost of certain additional products and services.

Arranging a funeral is a very difficult and often unfamiliar process, which can mean the price is the last thing on our minds. These changes will make it easier for grieving families to compare costs and choose the right service for their loved one

Martin Coleman

Crematorium operators must also provide specified price information to funeral directors and customers, displayed in the same places.

The CMA has published an information page to help customers understand their rights alongside a short video voiced by broadcaster Gloria Hunniford.

The watchdog gave the sector three months to take steps to make it easier for families to arrange a funeral that meets their needs and budget following an in-depth investigation.

The first of these were made law on June 17, when funeral directors were banned from incentivising certain institutions, such as hospitals or care homes, to refer customers to them.

CMA panel inquiry chairman Martin Coleman said: “Arranging a funeral is a very difficult and often unfamiliar process, which can mean the price is the last thing on our minds.

“These changes will make it easier for grieving families to compare costs and choose the right service for their loved one.

“We gave funeral directors and crematorium operators three months to implement these changes and this legal deadline must be honoured.

“We stand ready to take action, including naming providers, if they fail to follow the rules.

“The final cost of a funeral should never come as a surprise.”