A SMALL firm of funeral directors has welcomed an investigation into the lack of competition and transparency in the sector.

Owners of Go Simply Funerals, which arranges services at both Swindon crematoria, welcomed the launch of an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority last week that is expected to shake up the industry, where prices have continued to rise at three times the rate of inflation for more than a decade.

The CMA has suggested the price are not justified.

Angela Partner from Swindon, a co-founder of the Wiltshire-based company, told the Advertiser a lack of transparency as well as aggressive marketing techniques were rife amongst bigger firms.

“Most funeral directors want to up sell, the arrangers are mostly target-led, the same as any sales company,” said Angela.

“Most people will not check to see if there’s anyone who does it cheaper, most will go with their local company down the road because they’re under a lot of emotional pressure.

“The big firms know you won’t shop around for a crematorium, they know they’ve got you over a barrel and there’s no one regulating the prices; they’re often owned by a company that owns the funeral directors. So they stitch up the business from both ends.

“People find it distasteful to talk about price. It’s something we only talk about it when it happens and then we’re not in a position to make those sorts of decisions.

She said: “It’s also a business that’s built on tradition. It’s a industry which has been locked in the dark ages and for that reason its been untouched.”

The average price of a funeral is now £4,271 and the average cremation fee is £737. Funeral director prices have increased by 68 per cent and crematoria fees rose by 84 per cent over the last ten years. By comparison, inflation rose by around 25 per cent during the same time.

The CMA is welcoming views on the industry by January 4.