A Bromley woman has claimed Co-op Funeralcare “cheated” her out of a “proper goodbye to dad”.
Trouble at Beckenham Crematorium began when the bereaved woman, Rebecca Dennis, 30, was told by the funeral director that the service would only last 30 minutes despite the fact she had booked a 45 minute slot.
Dennis said she was in “absolute shock”, adding: “Rather than taking in the kind words, I was caught watching the time. I had to cut short what I wanted to say. I feel cheated out of a proper goodbye to dad.”
The funeral director said that a 45 minute slot included the time it took mourners to enter and leave the venue, leaving a 30 minute slot for the ceremony itself.
Before the service Dennis had asked the funeral director to arrange the handprints of her father which she said “meant everything” as she was holding his hand during his final moments and wanted to maintain the link.
Hours after her dad was cremated, Dennis learned that it hadn’t been done and upon contacting the funeral director, she said she was told they “didn’t know what happened but it wasn’t done”. The funeral director then offered Dennis fingerprints which she told them was not what the family had asked for.
On the day of the funeral the family requested a donation box to raise funds for the funeral cost. Co-op Funeralcare admitted to forgetting to bring the box, leaving Dennis to ask for the donations in person, something she described as “humiliating”.
Dennis said she had been let down in a “heartless and absolutely disgusting way”, adding that she was unable to grieve due to the stress caused by the incidents. She added: “No one should have to be there when their dad dies that way and nobody should be treated like this. It is not the service we wanted. If they were honest and said they were not able to do the handprints, we would have looked elsewhere.”
Co-op Funeralcare said that it had continued to “try and work with the family to reach a suitable outcome and instead offered a reduction in price for our funeral services, as we recognise that we could have communicated with Ms Dennis better during the funeral arrangements”.
A spokesman for Co-op Funeralcare said: “We are truly sorry for the upset caused to the Dennis family. At the Co-op, we do everything that we can to fulfil a family’s wishes, but for the Dennis family, we are disappointed that we have fallen short. We previously met with Ms Dennis face-to-face to apologise and address her concerns directly.
“We hope to continue to work with the family to find a suitable way to try to make amends.”