Stockton funeral firm leads way with online pricing
A well-established Teesside family funeral firm has published the prices of its funerals online in a bid to help families planning to use its services.
In a move that is unusual in the funeral industry, Stockton-on-Tees based Crake and Mallon has included costings on its newly revamped website alongside details of all the services they provide.
The firm, which has been run by members of the Crake family since 1971, hopes that by leading the way in making pricing information available online, it will enable families to be able to easily compare costs as well as services when planning the funeral of a loved one.
Senior Partner Alison Crake said that it will allow people to access all the information they need at a very difficult time, in a way that suits them.
“Planning for a funeral adds to what is an incredibly stressful situation for families and it can be a significant expenditure that few plan ahead for. “We are always willing to discuss our services without obligation, either by telephone or in person. However, by making it easier to get details of pricing we are offering people the chance to view and assess information on costs that many find very difficult to discuss directly.
“We understand that many people have concerns about how they will meet these costs and any associated expenses so, alongside the pricing we have also introduced different ways to pay to help keep funerals affordable.”
Crake and Mallon is a member of the national independent trade association for the funeral industry, the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), which aims to have some form of pricing on display and easily accessible by all 4,000+ NAFD funeral home members by 2020.
The NAFD is also hoping that more visible pricing information will further help to disband many of the myths around the costs of a funeral, how much people need to spend and what it is spent on.
Alison Crake added: “We have served the Stockton and Teesside community for over 45 years and have supported generations of families who value the high quality and standard of the services we provide.
“We have never hidden our costs but traditionally it formed part of the discussions we had with individual families according to their needs and wishes.
“Times have changed, though, and we recognise that increasingly people will want go online to get the information they need and that includes pricing as well as the means of making it affordable.”
Following widespread publicity about the issue of transparency of funeral costs, NAFD and Cruse Bereavement Care undertook research in Spring 2016 with YouGov* to discover the reasons behind people’s choice of funeral director.
It found that members of the public who had arranged a funeral in the past five years chose the funeral director they worked with based primarily on previous experience, recommendation and personal choice.
When a representative sample of all UK adults* was asked what would be important to them in choosing a funeral director, cost was only the seventh most important consideration.
Alison Crake commented: “These findings certainly back up our experience with the families we support. We are working hard to make sure that the level of service we provide is accessible to all who chose to use us and to help reduce the concerns that many people have about how they are going to meet the cost of the funeral and any associated expenses.”
(*Funerals Matter 2016, undertaken in Spring 2016 by YouGov on behalf of the National Association of Funeral Directors and Cruse Bereavement Care)