What to do first
Non religious services
Save a fortune
Before it happens
How to complain
A Humanist view
What to do?
Of mice & men
Are they qualified?
Does it matter?
Things we say
A funny thing
Value for money?
Do it yourself
A - Z
A surprising number of funeral
companies in the UK are now part of very much larger groups.
The apparently local family
funeral business can more often prove to be part of a huge corporation and all the
staff, employees of that firm.
Former family funeral businesses
still continue to trade under the established name, despite the founder's
own demise or the absorption of the firm into a conglomerate, with no
contrary indication. Harry Potter & Son will be revealed as part of
the Supafuneral Corp' and the last time a family member of the original
company was on the premises was during their own funeral.
Try asking for the name
above the door. Answers can range from "Oh, he's no longer with
us..." to "He's not available at the moment." The person is
all too often talking of a long deceased or departed owner of a former
family concern, but will strive to generate the impression that they are
still very much a part of the business.
Discrete company logos
displayed in small graphics at the bottom of business cards are usually
the only clue to the "new" owners.
A genuine family owned
establishment will state it quite clearly and not a little proudly, on all
their literature and advertising.
A sign to look for is the
membership logo of the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors
(SAIF). Their members do not belong
to any of the large groups and are, in general, much more flexible in
their ability to tailor their packages to the needs of the individual
The modern, large
companies, take great care to present a uniformity of service at all their
branches and will often retain a deal of "local" flavour in the
way they conduct their funerals.
Advantages that may be
found when dealing with these large groups will include a structured
disciplinary procedure within the company and their ability to draw upon
much greater resource than the smaller family run business. A small
company may arrive with mismatched vehicles (and staff) - something that should never
happen with their larger counterparts....
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