27 September 2023

Comments invited on funeral prices

Start the conversation

Consumer Protection has sought community comment on a new code of practice covering the pricing of funerals and the sometimes high-pressure marketing techniques used in the industry at a time when consumers are not at their best.

Executive Director for Consumer Protection, Trish Blake said losing a loved one was a distressing experience, so the last thing vulnerable friends and relatives needed was 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 include what could be considered optional extras,” Ms Blake said.

“Investigations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and CHOICE into misleading practices 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,” she said.

Ms Blake said not being able to access pricing information upfront made it difficult for consumers already grappling with grief to be able to compare prices on funerals or work out if they were 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,” she said.

“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 seeking feedback on a draft code of practice for funeral pricing via an online survey, with the deadline for comments this Friday (22 April).

The four-page Draft Funeral Pricing Code can be accessed at this PS News link and information on how to have a say at this link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.