The NSW Government is putting unscrupulous funeral home operators looking to take advantage of grieving families on notice with a series of Fair Trading blitzes to commence across the sector.
Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson said that following reforms introduced by the NSW Government, funeral homes are now required to disclose prices publicly to consumers or face a significant fine.
“The death of a loved one is already painful enough and the last thing we want is for that pain to be exploited for financial gain,” Mr Anderson said.
“Our new reforms require funeral homes to clearly display itemised costs of certain goods and services on their website and at their business premises.
“By law, funeral homes must clearly display pricing on websites and in store, including the lowest cost options for the burial or cremation of a body.
“A recent IPART inquiry has identified not all operators are complying with these new rules. My message to those who aren’t complying is to expect to be caught out by our inspectors.”
Mr Anderson said the rules have been designed to give consumers in need of funeral services peace of mind that they are not being overcharged by opportunist funeral homes.
“A large portion of the industry is doing the right thing, but for those who aren’t, this is not an area that we take lightly and Fair Trading will come down on you,” Mr Anderson said.
In addition to greater cost transparency, the reforms also include disclosure requirements regarding transport, the ownership of mortuary and crematorium services and strict processes around pre-paid funerals.
Since September Fair Trading has communicated with more than 500 stakeholders in the industry, informing them of new standards and requirements. If funeral directors fail to comply with the information standard requirements, they may have to pay a fine of $550 for an individual or $1100 for a corporation. If prosecuted under the Fair Trading Act 1987, the maximum penalty is $5,500.
For more information, please visit Fair Trading Funeral Facts.