John Taplin, Managing Director
Open Prepaid Funerals Limited
***AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, NOT INDEPENDENT FUNERAL DIRECTORS***
The testimonials that you read here are from Independent Funeral Directors and will be of most interest and relevance to other Indepenedent Funeral Directors throught the UK.
In always following our Open by name, open by nature mantra, we want to ensure that as a reader you are aware that these are genuine testimonials that relate to the benefits that independent funeral directors enjoy by offering Open Prepaid Funeral Plans and are not testimonials from other members of the public. This is because almost 100% of Open Funeral Plans are sold through Independent Funeral Directors and not through us. We don't sell funeral plans through any third party providers either.
We would always recommend that you purchase a plan from an independent funeral director over any other route. If you would rather approach us that's fine of course and we will work with a funeral director on your behalf but Independent Funeral Directors will always be able to give you a more personal service.
Also, if you are going to purchase a funeral plan always ensure that the plan provider is registered with the FPA (Funeral Planning Authority).
Chas Nethercott, Director
Nethercott Funeral Services, Independent Family Funeral Directors since 1911
We have only recently joined the “Open Family” and our first impression is that this is what funeral plans used to be like. Straightforward and simple but covering family’s needs. We are not faced with a myriad of other plans and schemes which can be overpowering and confusing both to funeral directors and our clients. The personal contact between funeral directors and families is very important to us and we feel that Open allows us to do this without interference from third party sellers and other such agents.
The warmth of John and his staff’s approach at Open is also a great asset to us as sellers. Nothing ever seems too much trouble and the support that we receive is first class. If we need any guidance, it is always forthcoming. John always understands both our requirements and those of our families and he is focused on doing what is right for the plan holder which matches our ethos as a company.
The financial aspects of the plan are very transparent and we know from the outset what the cost implications are. It is also very useful to be able to source the current value of any active plans at any time if needed.
Chas and Liz Nethercott
Jack O'Malley, Managing Director
O'Malley Family Funerals
‘I was initially very apprehensive about changing funeral plan companies, however after just one conversation with John and Amanda my anxieties quickly disappeared.
Open’s philosophy of not wanting to be the biggest but be the best aligns completely with the vision I have for my own business. I feel like a valuable partner and not just a cog in corporate machine which is very important as an independent company.
I would encourage any fellow Funeral Directors who may be considering a change but feel worried about the process being lengthy and complex to give Open a call, you’ll be surprised how quickly it can all be sorted.’
Paul Sillet, Partner
Silletts Funeral Service, Manchester
Open by name and Open by nature! How many other pre paid funeral plan companies can say the same? As a small family funeral directors in the North West of the country we have had growing concerns about the actions of a number of plan providers and their methods in dealing not only with the public but with funeral directors too. I would urge all funeral directors to arrange a conversation with Open at their earliest opportunity it really is a revelation.
Easy to deal with, honest in what they tell you, honour all their promises, no complex financial methods of paying different funeral directors different amounts depending how many plans you sell, strong enough to not have to lock you in to dealing with no one else if you so choose, your client will remain your client, you won’t discover them contacting your client after you sell a plan to try to sell them or their family and friends another directly (yes really that’s what others do), no third party sellers earning huge commissions competing against you in your areas being supported by the very pre paid company that you support, Open is owned and run by a funeral director just like you not financial wizards who will be long gone as we get older or the next generation are left with funeral plans not fit for purpose with large shortfalls leaving the good old mug of a funeral director to deal with it.
Open and honest just like most independent funeral directors. Engage with them it will be a great move. We can’t recommend highly enough.
Gary Neill, Managing Director
Daniel Robinson & Sons
Having been concerned for some time about Funeral Plans and the deductions Funeral Plan providers were taking from Plan holder’s money, we undertook a review of the whole market, after which we chose ‘Open’.
We chose Open because…
- 100% of the client’s Plan value goes into the Trust and stays there – there are no up-front deductions.
- Excellent investment returns – as 100% of the funds go into the Trust and stays there it’s a much better return for us when the plan matures, exceeding CPI comfortably.
- Open only sell through Funeral Directors, so you don’t end up competing against your Plan provider.
- A £195 admin fee.
- You can use your own tailor-made pricing.
- All brochures and literature are designed with you to incorporate your brand/product requirements.
- If you have any queries you are able to discuss them with the Managing Director, rather than a call centre agent.
- The ‘back office’ system is the best we have seen.
It’s our future, our Company’s future income, we feel this is hugely important.
We would encourage all Funeral Directors to find out what their Funeral Plan provider is doing…
1. How much are they charging your client?
2. How much money are they taking out of the Plan?
3. What commissions are being paid to third party sellers?
Why? Because what’s left is your future.
Pete O’Neill, Managing Director
John McLellan & Co Ltd, Fort William
We are delighted to recommend Open Funeral plans to Funeral Directors and families across the UK. Having held a senior position in the funeral planning profession myself, I have always felt that there needs to be a better way to deliver a funeral plan that performs for BOTH the funeral director and the families.
The families want a quality funeral service and that is over to the funeral director to deliver that element. Then the families look to their funeral director to give them support and peace of mind for the future with a quality funeral plan. For the funeral director there needs to good growth in the plan until it matures and I am pleased to say that the business model that Open Funeral plans provide supports this return on investment. Open Funeral plans have lower administration fees to the client upfront, and invest all the funds until the plan matures.
We at John McLellan & Co Ltd feel that this is the best funeral plan in the UK market today, and we are very pleased to recommend Open funeral plans to our families in the Highlands.
Simon Helliar-Moore, Director
Crescent Funeral Services
“We have chosen to start offering Open Prepaid Funeral Plans having heard from many respected Funeral Directors on the ease of use and fantastic options Open give to plan Holders and Funeral Directors alike.
The personal attention received from Open Prepaid Plans has been outstanding and the personalisation available along with the flexible nature of the plans for us and our clients has been greatly welcomed.”
Jo Williamson, Owner
Albany Funerals, Maidstone
As funeral directors, Open funeral plans are the only plans that we trust. We have had so many problems with other funeral plan providers over the years charging exorbitant admin fees, overselling the prices of funerals, not paying out the expected amount, providing unclear policies and generally making the whole process extremely complicated for customers. Open are exactly the opposite – in our experience they are ethical, transparent and clear for families to understand. Everyone we have dealt with has been extremely helpful and kind and the payments are prompt and with no nasty surprises for the customer. The admin fee is minimal too. I cannot state clearly enough that these plans really are different!
Mark Hancock, Proprietor
Special Send-Offs, Scarborough
I first used Open Prepaid Funerals simply because they were recommended by the Good Funeral Guide. I also used a couple of other plan providers at the same time. Over an 18 month period issues with the other providers gradually steered me towards using Open as my first choice and now I use them for all my pre-paid plans.
From my FD perspective they are very straightforward to deal with. They always respond to my calls and emails, help me out with any queries and their online FD Portal is easy and intuitive to use. Redeeming a plan is easy and quick.
From my Customers perspective they offer sensible admin fees, a good interest rate on the whole plan and no cancellation fees.
Christopher Gascoigne, Managing Director
S. Gascoigne & Sons Ltd, Birmingham
As a company we have always found 'Open Prepaid Funeral Plans' so easy to work with. The brochure and the application form are so easy to understand and are an absolute gem to work with! The Funeral Directors portal is our hidden tool, regularly updated and so user friendly and allows us to obtain instant information for our families. We work alongside 'Open Funeral Plans' perfectly as they are a no pressure selling company who we find very friendly and welcoming.
David Bastock, Managing Director
C. Bastock Ltd Funeral Directors, Solihull
In 2003 when the finance Act changed and funeral directors had to use a pre-paid planning company for funeral plans (a good thing by the way) we were not happy with any of the companies that were available. Together with a good friend of mine I decided that it could be done better, looking after the families and the funeral directors interests simultaneously. Turn prepaid planning into something that funeral directors wanted to promote rather than had to.
In my view Open has always been the best option for funeral directors and their families. The bespoke plans, flexible payment schedules, excellent growth on disbursements as well as the FD’s fees, bespoke literature, excellent online plan management and their approachable nature is second to none. I have no hesitation or reservation in recommending Open Prepaid Funerals Ltd to any funeral director, after all, I’ve committed all my plans to it for the last 17 years and will continue to do so.
David Bastock is a co-owner and founder of Open Prepaid funerals Limited. His day to day role is that of managaing Director of C. Bastock Funeral Directors in Solihull. You can learn more about David and his involvement in Open here and here.
James Showers, Owner
Family Tree Funeral Company, Stroud
I don’t know why it took so long for a simple, transparent, fair minded Funeral Planning company to appear in the UK. We fully support Open Prepaid and the Good Funeral Guide funeral planning ethos and model. Paperwork is easy, fees are fair, families see this and trust it - and trust us to work with such good eggs.
Toby Mynott, Director
Simple Kent Funerals Ltd
I’m a small independent funeral director offering a very personal service. I use Open because they are straightforward to deal with, their paperwork is easy to understand and complete, the money is held in a trust, the fees are transparent and I can access details of all plans set up for my clients through Open’s secure portal. I have been trading for 2 years and I’m noticing that my funeral plan enquiries are increasing. I’m pleased I chose to work with Open and I’m only too happy to recommend them.