Challenger Brand Exposes Dignity plc’s Extortionate Funeral Pricing 0

Challenger brand exposes Dignity plc’s extortionate funeral pricing

  • Dignity plc pledged in January 2017 to release their funeral prices online by January 2019 1 … a whole two years away.
  • In late 2017, a team of volunteers gathered price sheets from 764 of the 814 Dignity-owned funeral homes across the UK and provided them to Beyond – who provide a funeral comparison service.
  • Beyond have collated and released the data online 2. The findings are shocking – almost every Dignity branch is significantly more expensive than any other funeral provider.
  • The average cost of a Dignity-arranged ‘traditional’ funeral, with funeral director expenses, a hearse, one limousine and a wood veneer coffin, is £4,659 – that’s not including third party costs, like the cost of the burial or cremation.
  • This is more than double the average for an equivalent funeral arranged by the independent funeral directors on Beyond, £2,087.


Challenger brand Beyond have released Dignity plc’s funeral prices on their site ten months before the corporation pledged to do so as part of a continued effort to bring price transparency to the funeral industry.

Dignity plc (the UK’s second largest funeral chain) made a commitment in January 2017 to make their prices available online by January 2019 – giving themselves two years to act.

In a bid for greater funeral price transparency, Beyond arranged for a team of volunteers to gather prices from 764 Dignity-owned funeral homes over a 6 month period. Their co-founder James Dunn then teamed up with his mum Sharon to painstakingly enter every detail into their system over the Christmas break. Read more and see photos here.

And, as of 12th March 2018, they’re including all of them on their funeral director comparison tool – alongside the 1,000+ independents who have already chosen to be transparent with their pricing.

  • The most expensive branch was Jonathan Harvey in Glasgow, charging £5,300 for a funeral with a hearse, one limousine and a wood veneer coffin (again, excluding third party costs).
  • The least expensive location was W Williams & Son in the leafy Cheshire village of Tarvin, which came in at £2,195 for the same funeral.
  • That’s a difference of £3,105 between inner-city Glasgow and a Cheshire village.

Ian Strang, CEO and co-founder of Beyond says: “We don’t believe a company with Dignity’s resources should need two years to put prices online. So, we’ve done the work for them.”

Visitors to the Beyond website will now be able to see where Dignity branches are, what name the branch is using, and for the first time, they will be able to see online how much they charge compared to the independents in the same area.

James Dunn co-founder of Beyond says: “We believe everyone has a right to an affordable funeral. We also believe that before we can make that right a reality, there needs to be price transparency in the funeral industry.”


Notes for Editors

  1. (1) Dignity plc pledge to post prices online by 2020 –
  2. (2) Beyond Blog – We’re giving Dignity a helping hand
Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Beyond Announces £2m Investment and Re-brand to Drive its Disruption of Death Services 1

Beyond, the UK’s only price comparison website for funeral services, announced an investment round of £2m million, which took place in February. The company, which used to be known as Funeralbooker, will use this investment to drive customer acquisition for its growing portfolio of after life services, and today also announces the launch of its rebranded website.

The funding round was led by Talis Capital, a London-based venture capital firm, focused on early-stage technology companies. Beyond’s existing investors, including White Cloud Capital, also participated in the round.

Beyond began offering customers funeral director price comparison services and now partners with over 1,000 independent funeral directors in the UK, representing around 30% of independent directors. From there, the company expanded its service offering to include funeral financing, estate administration and funeral pre-plans. Most recently in March, the Company launched a new product that allows anyone in England or Wales to write a simple will, online, for free.

This round of funding for Beyond comes as the UK government announces an investigation into the funeral sector, following the publication of a short-sell report from Beyond on Dignity PLC, which is generally held responsible by commentators for wiping over 60% (£1bn) from Dignity’s Market Cap.

Ian Strang, Founder/CEO of Beyond said “The funeral market has long failed the consumer and we’re hard at work fixing it. If even 5% of people arranging a funeral or writing a will used our services, the annual saving would be over £1bn. This funding round will give us the ability to get our message out there to the public and change attitudes about shopping around for what is, after all, an inevitable purchase for us all.”

Vasile Foca, Managing Partner at Talis said “Beyond is a dynamic business with a truly unique proposition, which offers consumers transparency and choice in an often-opaque marketplace. With its innovative platform and inspiring leadership team, we believe that Beyond will continue to go from strength to strength, and we are delighted to partner with them as they embark on their next phase of growth.”

Ian Strang, added “It’s great to have an investor like Talis involved because of their deep expertise in the technology sector and experience of working with consumer-facing brands, as well as to enjoy the continued support of White Cloud” he added.”



Left in its Wake: Cost of Dying Rising Twice as Fast as Cost of Living 0

  • Burial costs up 20% nationwide in just three years
  • Cremation fees see 17.6% increase over same period
  • Prices of other goods have only risen 7.67% in that time

The spiralling cost of dying is rising twice as fast as the cost of living, funeral services comparison site Beyond reveals today, as funeral prices surge ahead of inflation.

While the cost of living has increased by a cumulative 7.67% since 2015, the average price of burials has risen by 19.9% – almost three times as much. The national average price of a burial plot is now an eye-watering £1,838.

Cost of dying soared in the last years

It is a similar story in the cremation market, where fees are up by 17.6% over the past three years. With cremations now accounting for close to 80% of all funerals in the UK, and with close to half a million deaths each year, this is big business. The average price for a cremation is now £784, with some crematoriums charging as much as £1,070.

How average funeral prices have continued to rise:

2015 2016 2017 2018 Total % increase
Crematoriums £667 £713 £751 £784 17.54%
Cemeteries £1,533 £1,631 £1,740 £1,838 19.90%


It has never been more expensive to die, with funerals commonly now reaching £5,000 or more once all additional costs such as cars, coffins and admin fees are included. Beyond’s research raises concerns that a lack of competition is driving prices higher.

Private funeral services firm Dignity run 19 of the 20 most expensive crematoriums in the country, with a direct correlation between an absence of competition and the ability to impose higher prices on grieving relatives with no other options.

Unsurprisingly, London is home to the UK’s most expensive cemeteries with land prices in the capital at a premium for both property and burials. However, it is Wales and the South West that have seen the sharpest hikes in the last 12 months, each with 12% increases for average burial prices in just a year.

James Dunn, co-founder of Beyond, comments:

“The numbers of people dying each year is fairly predictable to it’s staggering to see the cost of dying race ahead of the cost of living by such a margin.

“Funeral prices in this country are not something that we particularly enjoy talking about and that means awareness of the relative value presented by providers is low.

“Providers are going unchallenged and consumers are not being well-served by the market, which lacks a great deal of competition. The Government has to get a grip on this escalating costs.”