Price comparison website for funeral services, Beyond, has announced it will become completely free for funeral directors to use.
Previously funeral directors had to pay 10% commission for every successful funeral that came through its site but now all of its services are free.
The company said that by providing the pro bono service, it hoped to encourage the remaining 800 Dignity, 1,000 Coop, 200 Funeral Partners and 2,000 independent funeral branches, who don’t currently show easily comparable pricing online, to take that “positive step”.
The company, which launched in 2015, allows consumers to compare funeral plans and prices, make a will, settle an estate, arrange a direct cremation and get funeral finance.
All funeral directors can now maintain a profile and pricing on Beyond at no cost and the company said it would not rank any price-transparent funeral director over another. All website and phone enquiries will go through to the funeral director and its other services for funeral directors such as online obituaries and financing remain free.
In a blog post announcing the news, co-founder and CEO Ian Strang, said: “Our mission is to overhaul a sector which has been left behind by digital progress, where the consumer has been disenfranchised of any power, choice or equity by market forces, and incumbent players desperate to maintain the status quo.
“We believe that showing easily comparable online pricing for funerals is crucial to making the market fair for consumers and we’re proud that in the last four years, we’ve helped over 40% of funeral directors do so, (some unwillingly) on our price comparison website (PCW). But 40% isn’t enough. Where we can, we give back. Our digital will service was free for over a year, resulting in thousands of low-income users making wills and leaving legacy gifts to charities.”