New laws considered to protect grieving families from funeral rip-offs
The funeral industry could soon be required to provide further transparency to grieving families in an effort to eradicate price gouging.
Office of Fair Trading Queensland Commissioner Victoria Thomson told Scott Emerson while the industry is already regulated by the Australian Consumer Law and, in Queensland, a code of conduct, more can be done to help consumers.
“Funerals can often involve a significant expenditure but due to … the emotional state of people, the need to act quickly, … consumers are unlikely to be able to shop around,” Ms Thomson said.
In response, the Office of Fair Trading is considering measures to ensure a “provision of itemised, upfront pricing”.
“So consumers [can be] better informed about what is, as you say, optional and what are the things that are absolutely standard.
“We receive about 15 complaints annually from consumers in relation to funeral services.
“It may well be that we do have an underreporting of complaints to the Office of Fair Trading.”
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