Firm scraps scheme after being accused of ‘hearse chasing’ by Falkirk widower

The man said: I know what they did is not illegal but it is certainly very wrong
The man said: I know what they did is not illegal but it is certainly very wrong

Bitter complaints from a grieving Falkirk widower have persuaded a local investments firm to ditch a cold 
calling mailshot scheme.

The man, who has asked not to be named, received an unsolicited letter from Select Investment Managers shortly after the death of his wife.

It referred to her by name, and offered to identify any investments she may have owned, for example insurances, for a fee of £100.

The letter is said to have been an attempt to bring practical aid to a bereaved person at a time when people are typically confused and upset – and is said by the firm to have been couched in the most sympathetic terms possible.

However, the widower who received it says he wants to register his deep disgust, both at the concept and the way it was delivered.

He accused the firm of being “hearse chasers”, and argued that for anyone suffering deep grief to receive such a letter must be deeply distressing.

“I was horrified to read this letter”, he said.

“They were offering what anyone could do for themselves, and had found out all my details.

“I know what they did is not illegal, but it is certainly very wrong.”

Select manager Derek Crooks said the mail approach was a new one and that just five letters had been sent out,

“We have successfully 
retrieved a lot of money for people, and this was a new way of reaching others we might be able to help,” he said.

“The information – names, 
addresses – is in the public domain, but we do not want to cause anyone distress and so we will not be using this method again.

“We will have to look at other ways of telling people about our service that do not risk causing upset – which was never our intention.”