Coop Funerals Dispatches – Screw The Punters.
Coop funerals will be suffering a downturn in sales after the Channel 4 Dispatches programme on their “care” of the deceased .
One of the problems with large impersonal organisations like Coop Funeral care is that the drive to keep costs down and profits up. In the case of the Coop there were an awful lot of issues of concern:
1) Sales pressure from Coop Funerals management to avoid selling basic inexpensive funerals, which is against the industry code. Amazingly, a managers permnsision seems to be needed to sell one, which is calculated to make the mourner feel very small indeed.
2) The same applies to cheap coffins – try to avoid the punter even seeing that they are available.
3) Same applies to “hygienic treatment” which is pushed as an essential, when it usually isn’t unless the body needs to be preserved for some reason.
4) Bodies were not stored at the Chapel of Rest, but many miles away in an industrial unit in racks, just as a supermarket would store products for distribution. They often were not even covered over. The “hub” system can be efficient of well staffed and organised, but it seemed to be neither in this case.
One of the principal problems with the Coop Funerals system is that bodies are often stored 3o miles away from the “Chapel of Rest” relatives assume they are in. They are then transported back from the industrial unit (or hub) to the Chapel of Rest if the family want to see them.
The pressure on Coop Funerals workers in the factory hubs is intense. This can lead to mix ups with bodies. It did, in the film, lead to one funeral being delayed after the wrong body was brought to the funeral. One wonders how often this happens without the mistakle being spotted.
Coop Funerals seemed to ignore the Code of Practice of the National Association of Funeral Directors of which they are a leading member. Not to mention letting down their own ethical reputation in the drive for efficiency and profit.
You would expect Coop Funerals to have much higher standards.
Coop Funerals staff seem to have “sell, sell, sell” as their mantra. Tyey are dealing with people at a very vulnerable time, and they seem to be training to tajke full advantage of their distress.
Buying a funeral is a distress purchase, and people are very vulnerable. That is why we so strongly support the sale of prepaid funeral plans: and NOT Coop Funeral Plans!