Commissioner's blog: A post-mortem on the high cost of dying

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Losing a loved-one is a distressing experience, so the last thing vulnerable friends and relatives need at this time is to be confused over the cost of organising a funeral.  

Unfortunately we’ve been made aware that some unscrupulous funeral service operators have used high-pressure marketing tactics to sell packages that don’t reveal the true cost of individual items, some of which could be considered optional extras.

Investigations by the ACCC and CHOICE into misleading practices relating to ‘bundled packages’, pricing and contracts, revealed friends and relatives of the deceased often did not understand all of the costs involved and paid much more than they were initially led to believe.  

Not being able to access pricing information upfront makes it difficult for consumers already grappling with grief to be able to compare prices on funerals or work-out if they are being overcharged.

That’s why new regulations are being proposed that would require funeral companies to publicly display upfront price information that is clear and transparent, so that those organising the funeral don’t need to meet with a representative to obtain this information.

It is believed this next step in the current reform of funeral industry pricing practices would make it easier for consumers to make an informed choice about which funeral provider to use.

Consumer Protection is now seeking feedback on a draft code of practice for funeral pricing via its website, where consumers and industry are invited to have their say and share their experiences via a short survey or formal submission by Thursday 21 April 2022.

This current funeral pricing consultation follows the introduction last year of a mandatory Prepaid Funerals Code of Practice that requires all goods and services to be detailed in the contract, prices to be fixed at the time of signing and a 30-day cooling off period. The Code also requires payments to prepaid funeral funds be managed within secure investments under the name of the client until they are required.

Patricia Blake
Patricia Blake, by CP Media

Trish Blake

Executive Director for Consumer Protection


Consumer Protection
Media release
14 Apr 2022

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