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Co-op first to sign enhanced pledge

Co-op Funeralcare has become the first funeral firm to sign up to an enhanced Fair Funerals pledge to improve the way funeral directors’ prices are displayed online.

The campaign’s research of 300 funeral firms found that 93% did not display their prices on their websites.

It believes that the funeral industry needs to be open and transparent about prices, declaring: “This lack of openness makes it difficult for people without much money to shop around and find a funeral within their budget.”

This updated Fair Funerals pledge asks that funeral directors help people to find funerals within their budget by displaying the full price of affordable options online, including third party costs.

The first version of the pledge was launched in June 2015 and attracted 560 signatories - around 15% of the funeral industry. Today’s announcement means that the total number of funeral directors signed up to tackle funeral poverty now accounts for just over a third of the industry (more than 1,500 funeral homes nationwide.)

"A lack of openness makes it difficult for people without much money to shop around"

The Fair Funerals campaign was set up by anti-poverty charity Quaker Social Action to tackle the root causes of funeral poverty. The charity also runs the Down to Earth project which provides direct support to people on low incomes struggling with funeral costs.

Heather Kennedy, Fair Funerals campaign manager, said: “When we’re grieving, talking about money is often the last thing we want to do, and calling around different funeral directors to compare costs can seem really daunting. So it’s absolutely essential that funeral directors put prices on their websites. Unfortunately most funeral directors don’t do this.

"Even though most funeral directors don’t put their prices online, this is starting to change. A lot of companies are recognising the value to grieving people of online price transparency and are getting ahead of the curve. If people notice their local funeral director doesn’t have prices on their website, we encourage them to ask why.”

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