Thousands of victims of collapsed funeral plans await answers

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Thousands of victims of collapsed funeral plans await answers

Thousands of victims who bought pre-paid funeral plans from companies that folded after rules were tightened last year are still waiting to hear about the fate of their money. In recent searches, Crusader has received indications that there are still some customers who are experiencing uncertainty, leading to misguidedly high expectations about what they will get back. The Financial Conduct Authority introduced regulations for pre-paid plans last summer, a crackdown that gives consumers better value and greater protection. Some 20 companies either collapsed or withdrew from the market as a result. ++ If you have been affected by this issue or feel you have been a victim of injustice, contact consumer champion Maisha Frost on maisha.frost@express.co.uk ++

John Wallace was among 19,000 customers of Pride Planning and took out an agreement that cost him £3,395. Although Pride went into administration, now FCA authorised provider Dignity Funerals stepped into the programme with a transfer rescue for customers so they got a plan that 'as far as possible matched their previous one'. He chose to keep it that way because he still had cover amid the chaos. However, some months later, he found out that his chosen funeral director had been changed to one 25 miles away. This was too distant and impersonal for John, so he decided to cancel.

But having waited six months and hearing nothing about his Pride payment, Crusader said, I'm getting really fed up with the time it's taking and when I will get my money back. But, as well as venting justifiable frustration that is shared by others, what he said rang alarm bells. After checking it was as we feared, John was under the impression that he would be fully refunded, something that is very far from certain. Before the FSA's clean up, customers were sometimes subjected to pushy sales practices and Manoeuvred into buying opaque plans that masked complicated financial structures and poorly managed investments. Pride's plan money is held in an independent trust, whose trustees are in charge of determining what, if any, is left for holders. It also includes those who carried on opting in with Dignity and those who didn't.

John and other Pride Planning customers will be entitled to any remaining funds we receive from their trust fund. This is likely to be significantly less than they paid in, said a Dignity spokeswoman. information sent to clients also emphasised the position. So far, Dignity has not received any money and no timescales have been forthcoming. This is something people deserve, and Crusader supports their demand for officials to get on. The door is still open, however, for John should he have second thoughts about his opt-out. Dignity said its cut-off date is February 7, 2023. No late request is accepted by us, so we do not accept any late requests.