Search

Archway firm apologises to bereaved family for mistakes with funeral

PUBLISHED: 10:46 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 24 June 2020

Christopher James Cane had bought a £3,350 funeral plan with Dignity. Picture: Submitted by Angie Cane/Google Maps

Christopher James Cane had bought a £3,350 funeral plan with Dignity. Picture: Submitted by Angie Cane/Google Maps

Archant

A funeral director has apologised to a bereaved family about a series of mistakes with their loved one’s final wishes.

Christopher James Cane  Picture: Submitted by Angie CaneChristopher James Cane Picture: Submitted by Angie Cane

Before Christopher James Cane passed away at 70 years old on January 8 last year, he had bought a £3,350 funeral plan with Dignity to be carried out by William Beckett Funeral Directors in Archway.

However, a series of errors led his family to lodge a complaint with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) more than a year later.

They said problems started when Danni, one of Christopher’s four children, delivered clothes for her father to be cremated in.

READ MORE: Tributes paid to Islington activist who was the ‘beating heart of community’

READ MORE: Hornsey Lane Estate says goodbye to much-loved youth worker lost to Covid-19

“The staff were thoughtless, handing me back our dad’s belt and simply saying ‘it won’t burn’, and then turning on her heel like it was nothing,” Danni said.

Christopher James Cane passed away at 70 years old on January 8 last year. Picture: Submitted by Angie CaneChristopher James Cane passed away at 70 years old on January 8 last year. Picture: Submitted by Angie Cane

Christopher was also placed in a coffin of the wrong wood, not prepared for the ceremony by shaving and repeatedly called Michael in meetings because of a clerical error.

You may also want to watch:

Danni added there were problems with the procession: “Then our dad was driven in a hearse for more than half a mile without family cars following and no one from the funeral directors seemed to notice.

“My sister had to get out of the family car and run to catch the hearse and they were already an hour late.”

Danni pointed out that part of the cost of the plan was for a specific funeral time slot, which he missed, and believes people did not see the procession because of the hold-up.

CEDR found Dignity had breached its contract in not properly preparing the deceased for viewing and supplying a different coffin, but not in respect of the other complaints.

Dignity has now refunded 50 per cent of the funeral plan cost, but Christopher’s family are not happy with the outcome.

His daughter Angie said: “You only die once. You only have one funeral and you want the funeral to be the best as it can be, and to have some dignity. There was no dignity in our dad’s funeral.”

A spokesperson for William Beckett said: “We are very sorry that some elements of the funeral for Mr Cane fell short of the normal high standards we set ourselves and that all our clients should expect.

“We offered to refund 50pc of the price paid for the funeral plan and independent arbitration found this to be an appropriate amount for the loss in value suffered by our client.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Islington Gazette