Beyond Customer Champion Award: A & A Doyle 0

funeralbooker customer champion

Here at Beyond, we think it’s important to recognise those funeral directors that provide outstanding service and who go above and beyond what is expected of them. So we’ve created the Beyond Customer Champion Award to do just that.


Beyond connects people with a funeral director every few minutes, which puts us in a unique position to recognise the dedicated and compassionate work being done by funeral directors who consistently go above and beyond to help bereaved people say goodbye to their loved ones. This is work which can make all the difference to a family struggling to cope with the loss of someone dear to them.


Each month, we’ll be digging into the reviews left by families of funeral directors whom they’ve engaged, and pick out an example of exceptional practice for our Customer Champion Award. These are reviews left by people who have actually used their services, who can speak to their approach and ensure that families considering their services in the future have real testimonials from real people.


So without greater ado…our inaugural Beyond Customer Champion is: A & A Doyle


A & A Doyle


Based on a recommendation by John Henry from Galashiels, we are delighted to recognise A & A Doyle for the incredible support that they offered John at a difficult time. With previous experience of the high cost of funerals in his local area, John decided to search the internet for more affordable funeral directors and got in touch with A & A Doyle through our platform. With the average cost of a funeral in the UK totalling £3,784, John was happy with the very reasonable £2,665 he was quoted by A & A Doyle, but even more pleased with the level of support, warmth and compassion that they offered him at every stage of the process. Although an affordable service in comparison with the reported average funeral cost in the UK, John said that the quality of service which he received was exceptional, and it didn’t feel as though corners were being cut, or as though he and his funeral requirements were being rushed through on ‘a conveyor belt.’


From his first meeting with Awdri and Allan at A & A Doyle, John found them to be understanding, helpful and able to explain the funeral and all its associated technicalities in both great detail and complete clarity, without ever feeling under pressure to make a quick decision or spend more money. For the recently bereaved, many of whom may find themselves vulnerable at such a distressing time, this is a fantastic quality to find in a funeral director and one which should be heartily commended. John also found them easy to reach by telephone whenever he had a query or required additional information, and was impressed by how quickly they responded to his initial enquiry through Beyond.


However, it was the attention to detail, care and dignity with which A & A Doyle conducted the funeral itself that really made the difference to John. The service offered family and friends a beautiful opportunity to pay their respects and all in attendance were given the time they needed to remember the deceased without ever feeling rushed. Throughout it all, A & A Doyle offered fantastic support and assistance to John, with Awdri Doyle there to give John a particularly beautiful hug at the service itself, one he described as ‘quite possibly the greatest hug I’ve ever received.’


We would like to thank John Henry for his review and also note that he would happily recommend A & A Doyle to anyone requiring funeral services in the Galashiels area. We would also like to congratulate A & A Doyle on the incredible service they provide and the understanding and support they are able to offer their customers.

View John’s review, and A & A Doyle’s Beyond profile here.

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Customer Champion Award: Dandelion Farewells 0

Dandelion Farewells

‘They weren’t just funeral directors – they were more like a family’.

Choosing the winner of our monthly Customer Champion Award is often a struggle. With so many dedicated independent funeral directors on our site, it’s often a case of painstakingly separating out the ‘great’ reviews from the ‘superb’. This month, there was absolutely no question who the winner would be. Congratulations to Dandelion Farewells!

Dandelion Farewells stood out a mile in our January reviews, with customer Viren Patel giving them ‘120 out of 100’ for the incredibly ‘professional, very family-orientated’ funeral they arranged for his mother, Sarlaben.

‘I don’t think anyone else could have provided me with what I wanted. I couldn’t have asked for any more … it was just amazing,’ Viren said, adding that ‘they were like a family to us’.

Who are Dandelion Farewells?

Judith Dandy founder of Dandelion FarewellsA relatively new independent funeral company based in Wisborough Green, West Sussex, Dandelion Farewells was founded by funeral director Judith Dandy in 2015, after a career in social work. Her team pride themselves on their open, flexible, community-based approach, where their clients are given full freedom to arrange a completely personal funeral for their loved one.

‘Our difference is that we start with a blank sheet of paper [when arranging a funeral],’ Judith explained when we caught up with her. ‘We ask what the resources are that the family needs, be that professional information or very practical resources, and then ask how can we empower them to be involved and really take the driving seat as they move forward and make arrangements’.

‘I explained to them exactly how I wanted it, and that’s the way they’ve done it’

Viren confirmed this. ‘I explained to them exactly how I wanted it, and that’s the way they’ve done it,’ he said, going on to praise the ‘superb’ way Judith and the Dandelion Farewells team helped him plan a funeral that faithfully followed his family’s cultural traditions: ‘Knowing them, I will recommend them to every Asian family’.

Cost transparency was also important to Viren, who found Dandelion Farewells when comparing quotes and reviews for independent funeral directors on the Beyond site. Seeing that they were a good fit for his budget, he was easily able to reach out, hearing back ‘straightaway’.A wicker coffin with coffin spray created by Dandelion Farewells

Once the funeral arrangements were underway, he was then impressed by the dedication the Dandelion Farewells team showed throughout the process: ‘They went the extra mile … Even at the end, [when] they were at our wake – we didn’t have to look for the funeral directors. When we needed them, I just had to look up, and they were there’.

This discreet, continuing presence – having the same people there to care for a family from the first conversation on – is one of Judith’s strongest-held values, and one of the reasons she feels independent funeral directors like Dandelion Farewells can provide a better service than the large corporate chains:

‘With my social work hat on, for me the biggest element that’s lacking [in corporate chains] is the lack of continuity of care for families, who are very emotionally vulnerable, very tired, they’re very susceptible to being persuaded to do certain things.

‘We say, “How can we help you do what you need to be done?”’

‘I will always be present on the day of the funeral if I’ve met the family (I’ve recently appointed another funeral director). We can just solely support families ourselves, as opposed to a family meeting lots and lots of different people, or strangers on the day of the funeral, which I don’t think can help anybody.

‘We also ask very different questions, which I think are far more open-ended questions.’

A funeral wake arranged by Dandelion FarewellsThe end goal is to have a very honest, open conversation with families, Judith explained. Because she has no interest (financial or otherwise) in encouraging them to choose certain services, families can feel free to ask for anything, and can trust her to act in their interests.

‘We say, “How can we help you do what you need to be done?” … We’re here to be guided by you, and we will give you the strength and confidence to do whatever it is that you need to do’.

It’s clear that this transparent, personal approach makes a real difference to families. ‘I couldn’t ask for any more. It was just amazing … they should have this award,’ Viren said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Want to find out more about Dandelion Farewells? You can find their Beyond profile, with services, quotes and reviews, here.

Beyond Customer Champion Award: James Funeral Service 0

James Funeral Service Funeral Directors in Harrow London

This month, after reading a particularly glowing report of their service, we are very pleased to announce that the Beyond Customer Champion Award for October is awarded to: James Funeral Service based in Harrow.

James Funeral Service Funeral Directors in Harrow LondonWe decided to speak with Mr Keith Keshwar in light of the kind words he left regarding his experience using James Funeral Service. After losing somebody close to him, Keith spent several days phoning around to different funeral directors in order to begin making arrangements. Dismayed to find that many of them were primarily interested in talking about money, Keith turned to Beyond to help find a reputable funeral director is his local area.

Initially concerned about his financial circumstances, Keith was worried that he would be stuck without a proper funeral for his loved one. However, after connecting with James through Beyond, he was immediately reassured from the very first contact:

‘I phoned around to a few people and he was far and away the best person I spoke to. When I first made contact with him on the phone, I was comforted by the way he spoke and how he dealt with my issues.’

Keith was not short on praise when we asked him about the service itself: ‘James was excellent and gave me the perfect service – I can’t fault it. He went beyond the call of my expectations, and I couldn’t ask for anything more than that really.

‘Everyone else was more interested in the money, but not James. What he said he would deliver is exactly what he did. He communicated with me throughout the whole process and made sure every little thing was attended to.’

When asked if the quote he received on Beyond was accurate, Keith had this to say: ‘What James advertised was exactly what I got; he was incredibly honest and truthful, and his service exceeded my expectations. He fully deserves all the praise he gets.’

If you would like to make contact with James Funeral Service, then please take a look at their funeral director profile here.