BROADCASTER Gloria Hunniford is helping customers understand their rights around new rules for funeral prices and products.
Following its in-depth market investigation, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ordered the funerals sector to take steps to make it easier for families to arrange a funeral that meets their needs and budget.
All firms had three months to implement the changes and funeral directors are now legally required to display a standardised price list in their window at their premises and on their website.
And a short video voiced by Ms Hunniford (https://youtu.be/4PWu1Df4DU8) helps customers understand their rights, along with an information page.
The CMA’s market investigation identified a number of concerns, including that prices for similar services differed considerably between funeral directors and the way information was provided made it hard for families to compare prices and choose the right combination of services.
The CMA consulted with funeral directors, crematorium operators and groups representing people arranging funerals across the UK to implement a package of changes.
On June 17, 2021, the first of these were written into law, including banning funeral directors from incentivising certain institutions – such as hospitals or care homes – to refer customers to them.
And the standardised price list in at their premises and on their website must include the headline price of a funeral, the price of the individual items comprising the funeral, and the price of certain additional products and services.
Crematorium operators must also provide specified price information to funeral directors and customers, displayed in the same places.
Martin Coleman, CMA Panel Inquiry Chair, said: “Arranging a funeral is a very difficult and often unfamiliar process, which can mean the price is the last thing on our minds.
“These changes will make it easier for grieving families to compare costs and choose the right service for their loved one.
“We gave funeral directors and crematorium operators three months to implement these changes and this legal deadline must be honoured.
“We stand ready to take action – including naming providers – if they fail to follow the rules.”
More information can be found online on the funerals market investigation webpage:
This latest announcement is part of the CMA’s wider work to protect vulnerable consumers, which includes taking action against pharma firms over excessive prices and creating IVF guidance so patients understand their consumer rights.