Independent funeral directors across the UK have developed a new consumer advice website to help the public better understand the funeral process and avoid falling victim to rogue operators.
FuneralAdvice.org has been created by the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) and is in response to consumer research last year by the Competition and Markets Authority, which highlighted a lack of public awareness about options.
The aim of the site is to provide information about funerals in a non-promotional way which gives the public knowledge to make informed choices, in addition to signposting to aftercare and bereavement support groups.
Often a “distress purchase”, funerals are bought at a time when people are in an extreme emotional state and are ill-equipped to make decisions about spending significant amounts of money.
Terry Tennens, chief executive of SAIF, said: “There is lots of information online about funerals but none of it sits in a central space. We think this makes it difficult for people to understand the funeral market. The aim of FuneralAdvice.org is to act as an impartial hub with simple, non-promotional information as well as a signpost service to other organisations that might be of assistance.”
He added: “We hope that as a result of the information on FuneralAdvice.org, the public will gain a better understanding of the funeral process and that when the time comes they are fully prepared in terms of knowing what they want and what questions to ask of prospective funeral directors. This will ensure more people are able to secure a funeral that meets their needs, in terms of quality, style, elements and above all, cost.”
FuneralAdvice.org has been designed in a way which follows the funeral process, across five accessible sections:
- ‘Arranging a Funeral’ covers topics including what to do when someone dies, funeral choices, coffins, vehicles, direct cremations and DIY funerals.
- ‘Choosing a Funeral Director’ talks about shopping around, trade associations, care of the deceased and funeral plans.
- ‘The Day of the Funeral’ lets people know what to expect when a funeral happens.
- ‘After the Funeral’ talks about paying the funeral bill, complaints and family donations.
- ‘Further information’ includes links to other organisations dedicated to providing support to bereaved people, including emotional and financial.
FuneralAdvice.org will evolve over time as funeral trends change and new information becomes available. SAIF is happy to take approaches from third parties interested in collaborating on the site to include non-promotional information that will be of benefit to the public.