These Terms of Business have been prepared by the National Association of Funeral Directors, in consultation with the Office of Fair Trading. The wording is theirs not mine, so please forgive me if they cause you any distress as this is the last thing I wish to do.
We are a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors and subscribe to its current Code of Practice, a copy of which is available on request from the office. We aim to act in a professional manner and provide a courteous, sensitive and dignified service to you.
Get a cup of tea, or something else…
1 Estimates and Expenses
The estimate sets out the services we agree to supply. This estimate is an indication of the charges likely to be incurred on the basis of the information and details we know at the date of the estimate. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the estimate, the charges are liable to alteration particularly where third parties change their rates or charges.
We may not know the amount of third party charges in advance of the funeral; however we give you a best estimate of such charges in this estimate. The actual amount of the charges will be given in the more detailed “funeral confirmation”, which will be provided shortly, or detailed in the final account.
If you amend your instructions we may require your written confirmation of the changes. (We will not be silly about this, and we will provide the note for your signature) We may need to make an extra charge in accordance with our published price list.
We will add VAT to our charges where applicable, and at the rate applicable when we prepared the invoice.
2 Payment arrangements
Any client selecting the Standardised Price List option will be required to pay the full amount of the funeral prior to the funeral service.
IN ALL OTHER CASES
We will require an “On Account Payment” of at least £2000.00 at the time of making the arrangements.
The funeral account is due for payment within 30 days of the date printed on it, unless agreed by us in writing.
If you fail to pay us in full, by the due date, we may charge you interest:
At a rate of 4% above our bank’s Base Rate from time to time in force, calculated (on a daily basis) from the date of our account until payment.
Compounded on the first day of each month and before and after any judgement (unless a Court orders otherwise)
We may recover (under clause 3) the cost of legal action to make you pay.
You are to indemnify us in full and hold us harmless from all expenses and liabilities we may incur (directly or indirectly including financing costs and including legal cost on a full indemnity basis) following a breach by you of any of your obligations under these Terms of Business.
This means that you are liable to us for losses we incur because you do not comply with these Terms of Business. For example we may charge you an administration fee where we receive a cheque from you which is subsequently not honoured or if we write to remind you the account is overdue. If we instruct debt collection agents we may also recover from you the fees we incur. Further details regarding these fees are available on request. We may claim these losses from you at any time and, if we have to take legal action, we will ask the court to make you pay our legal costs.
4 Data Protection
Words shown in italics are defined in the Data Protection Act 1998 (The Act)
We respect the confidential nature of the information given to us and, where you provide us with personal data (data) we will ensure that the data is held securely, in confidence and processed for the purpose of carrying out our services. In order to provide our services we may need to pass such data to third parties and those third parties, who are performing some of the services for you, may contact you directly. Under the Act you have the right to know what data we are holding on you and you can, by applying to us in writing, receive copies of that data. It is extremely unlikely that we hold any information about you, other than that which you have previously told us.
5 Cooling-off period
The Cancellation of Consumer Contracts made in the Consumer’s Home or Place of Work Regulations 2008 may give you the right to terminate this agreement in the cooling-off period of fourteen days. If you wish the performance of the agreement to which this right applies to commence before the end of the cooling-off period, you must sign the authority in the form which will be handed to you. In the event that you exercise the right to cancel this contract during the cooling-off period, you may be required to pay a reasonable amount for goods and services already supplied.
This agreement may also be terminated before the services are delivered 1:- by us if you fail to honour your obligations under these Terms of Business and 2:- by you communicating to us in writing, terminating your instructions.
If we or you terminate your instructions you may, depending on the reason for termination, be asked to pay a reasonable amount based upon the work carried out up to the time your termination is received.
7 Standards of service.
The National Association of Funeral Directors’ code of practice requires that we provide a high quality of service in all aspects. If you have any questions or concerns about the service we provide to you, please raise them in the first instance with the designated senior person at Family Funeral Service. If that does not resolve the problem to your satisfaction the National Association of Funeral Directors through the Arbitration Scheme called Resolve provides a “free to the user” dispute resolution service, as an alternative to legal action. You can contact the Resolve at 618 Warwick Road, Solihull, West Midlands, B91 1AA.
All dates and times provided on the estimate cannot be guaranteed until final bookings are made and confirmed in writing to you in your “funeral confirmation”. Although we endeavour to provide a prompt and efficient service for you, there may be instances where, because of circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to fulfil our obligations to you on the date and time specified. Where this is the case we will contact you in advance, and advise you of alternative arrangements.
Your continuing instruction will amount to your continuing acceptance of these Terms of Business.
Your instructions will not create any right enforceable by the virtue of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties Act 1999) by any person not identified as our client.
If any of these terms are unenforceable as drafted:-
It will not affect the enforceability of any other of these Terms; and if it would be enforceable if amended, it will be treated as so amended.
Nothing in these Terms restricts or limits our liability for death or personal injury.
This agreement is subject to English Law. If you decide to commence legal action, you may do so, in any appropriate UK Court.
9 Complaints procedure
If the company receives a complaint from a client, the following procedure will be followed:
Complaints should be notified to the company in writing please. If a complaint is received verbally, the complainant will be asked to put this in writing. The details will be recorded on the company’s complaints procedure form.
1. In all cases of a complaint, staff will contact the company’s business manager, Kim Barton, to discuss the complaint first, then ….
2. A written acknowledgement will be sent out within five days, stating that an investigation into the complaint will be carried out and a full reply will be sent within 21 days of this written acknowledgement.
The person responsible for sending the written acknowledgement is as follows:
Family Funeral Service Bearsted Mrs K Lequelenec
Family Funeral Service Barming Mr R Moore
Family Funeral Service Headorn Mrs T Campbell
After full discussion and investigation into the complaint, a letter of response will be sent within 21 days of the written acknowledgement. Where this timescale cannot be met due to the nature of the complaint, or length of investigation time needed, the complainant will be informed of the delay in writing.
3. If the complaint is not resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction, the matter is to be passed to Michael Lawrence MD. A letter informing the complainant of this process will be sent. A further response will then be given within 14 days. The NAFD complaints resolution scheme RESOLVE will also be offered to the complainant.
4. If the complainant takes up the offer to utilise the RESOLVE service offered by NAFD, then we will submit to their investigation and resolution suggestions.
All information regarding the complaint will be handled confidentially and sensitively, informing only those who need to know and strictly following data protection requirements.
All correspondence will be kept with the funeral papers at the branch office, unless Michael Lawrence becomes involved in which case correspondence will be kept by Michael Lawrence if he becomes involved. A copy of this procedure will be fixed to any complaint letter and followed clearly.