Archway firm apologises to bereaved family for mistakes with funeral
PUBLISHED: 10:46 24 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 24 June 2020
A funeral director has apologised to a bereaved family about a series of mistakes with their loved one’s final wishes.
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.
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“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 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.
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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.”
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