Rules change on funeral pricing transparency

The Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) has brought in new rules ensuring that all UK funeral directors make their pricing information easily accessible for customers.

The CMA new rules require directors to display pricing information, alongside an additional options price list. In the windows of funeral homes, customers will now be able to find a ‘standardised price list’ that funeral firms must complete. This will show the cost of simple funeral services that they can provide, such as cremation only options and other more basic funerals.

Other products, packages and services available will be displayed in an additional options list.

Info displayed on posters and screens

Inside the funeral home, the information must be made available too, with posters or screens displaying the standardised price list along with further information relating to what local crematoriums charge and the payment terms the funeral home offers.

The funeral home must also include information about the company that owns the funeral home, and any gifts, sponsorship or donations of £250 or above to any connected organisations, such as care homes or hospices.

Online, funeral home websites need to include information on prices, local cremation fees and the payment terms, who owns the funeral home in question and any donations they make.

Inclusivity warning

Jon Levett, Chief Executive of the National Association of Funerals Directors (NAFD), welcomed the changes, saying that many funeral firms had published their prices online for some time now, but that the new system would make this consistent across all homes, supporting delivery of high standards of care for those who had been bereaved.

He did, however, sound a warning note about the complexity of the new rules, saying:

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.”

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