The funeral giant InvoCare has been accused of charging fees for no service and gouging hundreds of dollars from bereaved Australian families.
The listed company, which operates the high-profile brands White Lady Funerals and Simplicity Funerals, has been challenged over its practice of adding an “unnecessary” $352 late fee to all its bills.
“The invoices clearly show InvoCare funeral homes incorporating the late fee into the total figure of all invoices,” the consumer group Choice said. “If families pay before or on the due date, the fee is supposed to be deducted.”
Choice said its investigators had also found that the charge appeared on bills as an “administration fee” when clearly it wasn’t one.
“This practice is absolutely disgraceful,” Choice’s director of campaigns, Erin Turner, said on Friday. “These fees are incredibly misleading and are akin to fees for no service and pay-on-time discounts.”
Turner accused InvoCare of “profiteering from grieving families” and called on the company to scrap the practice.
Choice has lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
InvoCare, which also operates a pet cremation business, posted a net profit of more than $40m for the half-year ended 30 June.
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