'No excuse' not to publish costs says funeral director

James Mooney-Dutton of Wisbech Funeral Service

James Mooney-Dutton of Wisbech Funeral Service welcomes a new order by the Competition and Markets Authority to make funeral costs clearer. - Credit: Archant

A funeral director believes a new order to make prices clearer for customers will encourage more people to be “aware of what’s around them”. 

James Mooney-Dutton of Wisbech Funeral Service welcomed the order by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to help address concerns over the clarity of funeral costs. 

“We welcome the fact that as funeral directors, we have got to be transparent with our prices,” he said. 

The CMA order for funeral directors to display a standardised price list on their website and their premises was enforced on September 16 following an investigation. 

James, who runs the business with Laura Mooney-Dutton, said they have tried to be as clear as possible with potential customers since they moved into their Old Market premises earlier this year. 

“Our motto is we are personal, caring and affordable as we don’t believe an awful occasion should be something that should bankrupt you,” James said. 

“I hope it will make funeral directors aware of the importance of being cost-effective and will do something to make people aware of what’s around them.” 

As part of the order, prices that must be listed include the headline cost of the funeral and the cost of individual items which make up the funeral. 

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James believes there is “no excuse” for funeral directors not to publish their prices and hopes the order will stop families being overcharged. 

“They say at the moment of being with a funeral director, people listen to 25 per cent of what is being said but remember 8pc of that,” said James. 

“This shows that people are being taken advantage of and something that needs to happen.” 

Martin Coleman, chairman of the inquiry at the CMA, said it is ready to take action against firms that fail to comply with the rules. 

James, who ran a funeral home in north-west London before moving to Wisbech, admitted it has not been easy adapting to the new rules. 

But he hopes the order will give families more chance to assess their options before committing to a firm. 

“We would recommend families to look at a website and we can discuss their options,” James added. 

“We are supposed to comply with this and I hope funeral directors continue to do so in the future.”