Fife Funeral Firm Welcomes New Legislation
A Fife funeral firm is welcoming stringent new legislation aimed at improving transparency within the sector.
Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) completed an in-depth investigation into the funerals sector after concerns were raised, nationally, over price transparency. Having issued a legal Order to funeral directors and crematorium operators, new CMA rules came into force on 16 September 2021.
Working in an industry which can be shrouded in mystery, Crosbie Matthew, who have been supporting local families for over 80 years, are welcoming the new legislation which requires both funeral directors and crematorium operators to be clearer, allowing customers to make better informed comparisons and choices.
All funeral directors will be required to display a Standardised Price List at their premises and on their website covering the headline price of a funeral, the price of the individual items comprising the funeral and the price of additional products and services. Details also need to be given in relation to any deposit requirements, payment options and late payment charges.
Long before the new legislation came into force, Crosbie Matthew created a ‘cost calculator’, providing families with an accurate estimate of their final bill. Available on the website, the calculator covers options and costs of everything from the venue, style of coffin, transport and flowers through to the order of service, death notice and memorial plaque.
Sheila Matthew, Managing Director believes the new legislation is overdue – “Like most services, funerals come with different options and costs. However, when buying something significant, most people want to research these options, know the price in advance, what’s included and when and how they pay.
“For too long, this hasn’t been easy for families. Many funeral directors were not being upfront or their pricing was vague and potentially misleading, adding to the turmoil and stress families were facing. Families sometimes made quick, uninformed decisions and received a real shock when it was time to settle their bill. Worse still, vulnerable people may end up paying more than they should.
“Because of this, we welcome the new legislation. We care about the families we support and are proud to be more transparent than the law requires – indeed, in our view, transparency is about more than costs. It’s about being approachable, welcoming and very much open to listening and answering any questions and queries a family might have. Sometimes families are nervous to ask questions about the process or the care of their loved one and providing support and reassurance is very central to how we operate.”
Crosbie Matthew has funeral homes in Dalgety Bay, Rosyth, Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes. Please visit www.crosbiematthew.co.uk.