Co-op Funeralcare staff use 'tricks' to boost profits after lockdown

www.telegraph.co.uk
3 min read
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Staff were observed mocking corpses, remarking on their weight and making derogatory comments about miscarried foetuses and suicide victims
Staff at dozens of branches were told to "promote" the firm's £3,405 "traditional" funeral over its cheaper option. They were also told to make the basic funeral package less appealing by insisting these take place before 10.30am and within an 11-day time frame.

In one email, Russell Turnbull, a regional manager in charge of 39 south London branches, said: "We are still not quite back to where we were pre-Covid in terms of income per funeral, which is hurting our profitability still.

"This is largely caused by our mix of funerals… please can you promote the benefits of the Traditional funerals over Simple – doing this will cure the problem overnight."

Staff at one branch boasted of the "little tricks" and "salesy things" they could do to encourage customers to spend more – for example, by not giving them the option to buy flowers elsewhere, or by failing to tell them they had 28 days to pay the full cost of the funeral.

The revelations are likely to come to the attention of the Competition and Markets Authority, which has been investigating the industry to ensure "emotionally…
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