Pure Cremations goal is to offer the very best value and to increase operational efficiency rather than raise prices. At the Prepaid Funeral Review, we are keen to see this sector expand, but it is crucial that family and friends are aware that a direct cremation plan is in place and they won’t have the normal service at which to say goodbye.
Pure Cremation, the UK’s first dedicated provider of direct cremation, is setting a benchmark for the funeral industry to follow, leading the way on fulfilling the wish list set out in the CMA report published today.
The report, which highlights the need for a shake-up of the funeral industry, not only demonstrates that Pure Cremation is comfortably ahead of the curve but is well placed in shaping the future of the wider industry.
The report from the government-led Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) follows a two-year investigation into the inconsistent and excessive pricing for funeral and cremation services nationally.
It was prompted by the increasing costs of funeral services which for more than a decade have outstripped inflation, disproportionately affecting the nation’s poorest members of society when they are at their most vulnerable and pushing many into debt.
The most important recommendation demands transparency from all funeral directors and crematoria on pricing and ownership, something Pure Cremation has displayed on its website and literature since it opened its doors in 2015.
Bryan Powell, founder and CEO said, “Every funeral provider serves vulnerable customers and so they have a higher duty of care than other businesses when it comes to clear price and service information.”
The company is proud to be a consumer champion – holding its prices for the last 3 years, in contrast to the strongly criticised above-inflation price rises in both funeral homes and crematoria.
Bryan Powell commented, “Our goal is to offer the very best value and to increase operational efficiency rather than raise prices. We continue to make significant investments in staff, equipment and technology to achieve this.”
The CMA report recognises the increasing popularity of direct cremation – a cremation-only funeral with no mourners, no service, no church, officiant, cars or flowers. Pure Cremation was established to specialise in delivering this cost-effective, alternative farewell without any compromise in care or dignity.
This puts the company in a strong position to bring a fresh perspective to the suggested inspection and registration scheme, intended to give consumers confidence in standards of professional care and root out poor practice.
Catherine Powell, Director of Customer Experience, said: “As the leading non-traditional funeral provider we can offer valuable insights into the true needs and expectations of 21st century families and so ensure any inspection scheme is fit for purpose.”
Today’s report also highlights the difficulties faced by the bereaved when arranging a funeral, often for the first time.
Stephen Pett, of the Prepaid Funeral Review added “One of the top benefits of prepaid funeral plans is that a lot of the arrangements are already taken care of, at a price fixed (often) many years before. A recent case showed that savings could be made only days before a death.”
The CMA is frustrated by the lack of meaningful local competition in this market, something that Pure Cremation’s presence is helping to address. With the same all-inclusive fee across the UK (including Northern Ireland), almost every family now has access to an affordable alternative to an expensive, traditional funeral.
And, thanks to their trade service, grieving families across England and Wales can even combine the services of a local funeral home with a low-cost, unattended cremation at Pure Cremation’s own facility in Hampshire.
The report rightly touches on the financial consequences of not discussing funeral wishes in advance. Pure Cremation was the first major break away from traditional funerals, and the company was the first to launch a dedicated direct cremation pre-paid plan. This is proving extremely popular with the growing number of people who want to ensure their families spend as little as possible on the practicalities by providing for those modest costs themselves.
Catherine said: “The recommendations from the CMA are already embedded in the Pure Cremation DNA and we will continue to bring innovation to this stagnant market for the benefit of all customers – whatever style of send-off they choose.”