Vast majority of over 50s find doorstep selling of pre-paid funeral plans ‘unacceptable’

10 October 2018

75% of over 50s say door-to-door funeral plan sales are ‘unacceptable’, 14% find the practice ‘intimidating’, and only 1% believe it to be ‘useful’.

Doorstep selling of funeral plans ‘unacceptable’

The results from an online poll have found that the practice of selling funeral plans door-to-door is considered ‘unacceptable’ by three quarters of over 50s. A further 14% said they thought it was ‘intimidating’.

The survey asked 1,000 people aged 50 or above how they felt about the practice of selling pre-paid funeral plans at the doorstep. While only 6% of those asked said they had been targeted by doorstep sales people, the vast majority (75%) were aware of this as a sales tactic and branded it ‘unacceptable’.

Just 6% said that they did not mind being approached by door-to-door funeral plan salespeople, with only 1% describing it as ‘useful’. More alarmingly, 14% of responses indicated that they found it to be an intimidating process.

Usually, funeral plans sold at the door are through third party sales agents operating on behalf of funeral planning firms. In July 2017, a report from Fairer Finance highlighted the growing issue of third party firms promising customers the services of a funeral directing firm without having a prior agreement in place with the funeral director. This has led to dissatisfaction for several families who have been unable to use the funeral directing firms intended by their loved ones.

While just 6% of people claimed to have been contacted by door-to-door funeral plan salespeople, email and telephone marketing of the product was found to be much more prevalent. In total, 36% of people said that they had received emails from funeral planning firms offering pre-paid plans. A further 18% had been contacted by telephone.

Marketing Manager, Emma Simpson, said: “It was not surprising to hear that so many people aged 50 and above are against door-to-door sales of pre-paid funeral plans. It’s a practice that has crept into the market and I think we are seeing a backlash against it because, as some respondents pointed out, it can be intimidating.

“Ecclesiastical Planning Services has never and will never employ sales agents to knock on doors to sell funeral plans, as we do not think it is fair to pressure people into buying a plan they may not want. We work with more than 900 funeral directors across the country and have always believed that the best way for someone to purchase a funeral plan is through their local funeral director.

“Our purple flower campaign highlights the need for people to choose a local funeral director that is backed by a trusted plan provider. This is the only way to ensure that their funeral will be carried out by the funeral director of their choice.”

Source: OnePoll Research of 1,000 men and women aged 50 and above on behalf of Ecclesiastical Planning Services, November 2017.