IT was down a leafy corridor between the colonial-style balustrades of a commercial centre that the Olive Press found Compare Funerals offices.
Just a stone’s throw from billionaire’s row in Sotogrande.
We were treated to a hearty welcome by directors and brothers-by-marriage Ben and Jack and a dainty one by Head of Sales Andalucia Ruth – a rose between two thorns, as Jack quipped.
Having brought their best practices and signature Direct Cremation plan over from the UK in 2020, Ben and Jack immediately set about simplifying matters for people whose loved one has passed away in Spain.
With funerals usually happening within 48 hours in Spain and so much daunting paperwork to be completed, guiding grieving customers through these procedures was a primary motivation for the trio.
Ben, who has lived his entire life in Spain, learned how difficult and traumatic the process can be first hand when his father passed away without a funeral plan and the final bill ended up costing €15,000.
Although for Ruth, it was when one funeral director declared that he was ‘too knackered’ to do a hymn as he had already done seven funerals that morning, and the mourners were shuffled out.
“These poor people paid for a service that they never got,” she declared.
But despite having provided almost one thousand funeral plans over the past three years without even a single complaint, the team occasionally finds their business harassed by teams of coordinated social media trolls.
One Facebook post from Ruth triggered a torrent of unmerited abuse that, while not harming the business, hurt emotionally.
“It was horrendous,” she said. “It was my post, and it all kicks off. What have I done?”
For a registered Spanish company that holds its clients’ funds in a trust signed off by a third party, it was galling to have their name dragged through the online mud by anonymous trolls.
But it’s made up for when the team receives stirling support from even just a handful of their happy and grateful customers.
“Put your knives away and trust me,” wrote one who knew the value of Compare Funeral’s work.
“You will never receive a better and more respectful service for you and your beloved departed,”.
“And customers having your back like that,” says Jack, “is one of the joys of the job.”
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