In mid-2019 CHOICE began an extensive investigation into the consumer experience of arranging funerals. Our work found that the funeral industry is rife with poor practices that leave grieving people vulnerable and perhaps worse off. Unclear pricing, misinformation, fees for no service and a highly concentrated market where the true ownership of funeral providers is obfuscated are just some of the poor practices we uncovered.
This led to CHOICE requesting an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) market study into the funeral industry to shine a spotlight on the industry's shady practices. We're also calling on all states and territories to introduce rules requiring funeral providers to display the cost of funeral goods and services – a common practice in most other industries – so that consumers can easily access basic pricing information when they're at their most vulnerable.
Download submissions and public complaints (PDF)
- Submission to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review of funeral competition in NSW (162kb)
- Submission to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review of the costs and pricing of interment in NSW (128kb)
- Complaint to the ACCC about unconscionable conduct in the funeral industry (178kb)
- Submission to NSW Department of Customer Service on the proposed funeral information standard (200kb)
- "It felt so unfinished" – Funerals during COVID-19 (April 2020)
- "Disgraceful" – Funeral giant InvoCare taking advantage of grieving, vulnerable families (November 2019)
- Funeral plans exploit anxiety around high funeral costs (October 2019)
- NSW acts on exploitative funerals; other states urged to act (August 2019)
- CHOICE exposes hidden funeral costs (August 2019)
- Coronavirus restrictions are changing funeral rituals
- Funerals investigation part 1: Do you need a funeral director?
- Funerals investigation part 2: How much do funerals cost?
- Funerals investigation part 3: Should you get a prepaid funeral?
- Funerals investigation part 4: The future of funerals
- New funeral cost disclosure regulations announced for NSW
- Funeral giant InvoCare invoices for late payment fees – before you're late
- InvoCare plans backdown on misleading late payment fees
- What to do when someone dies
- DIY will kit review