New rules came into force in September this year, meaning that all UK funeral directors must make their pricing information easily accessible for customers.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) rules require directors to display the information, alongside an additional options price list.

In funeral home windows, customers can find a ‘Standardised Price List’ that all funeral firms must complete, which shows the cost of simple funeral services that they can provide. Other products, packages and services can be viewed in the additional options list.

Standardised price lists

Inside the funeral home, posters or screens must display the Standardised Price List along with details of what local crematoriums charge and the funeral home’s payment terms. The funeral home must also display information about which company owns the funeral home, and gifts, sponsorship or donations of £250 or above to any connected organisations, such as care homes or hospices.

Websites for funeral homes will have information on prices, local cremation fees and the payment terms, who owns the funeral homes and any donations they make.

On funeral home websites, there will be copies of price lists, local cremation fees and payment terms, as well as information about who owns the funeral home and any donations they make.

Inclusivity warning

Jon Levett, Chief Executive of the National Association of Funerals Directors (NAFD), welcomed the changes, but warned about how inclusive they were or otherwise for bereaved people.

He said: “Although many funeral firms have published prices online for a long time now, the new requirements which come in today makes sure that all funeral homes display information in a format, which brings greater consistency to the process of choosing a funeral director and supports the delivery of high standards of care for bereaved people.

“For a profession with such a high proportion of small businesses, largely unfamiliar with formal regulation, the CMA’s new rules can appear complex and so the NAFD has supported its members, over the summer, with a campaign of briefings, guidance documents and webinars – and has spoken to them to offer support, ensure they have all the information they need to comply and gather feedback on how the new rules work in practice. There are some real issues over how inclusive, flexible and clear the new requirements will be for bereaved people – and we have fed this back to the government, urging the CMA to refine the rules, to ensure they assist bereaved people in making informed choices, and promote healthy competition in the funeral sector.”

Many funeral abide by a Code of Practice and are inspected regularly by the NAFD, which advises bereaved people to speak to a couple of funeral directors before making a final decision so that they can choose someone who will support them in arranging the funeral they want.

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