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White Lady, Simplicity Funerals owner accused of price-gouging

Business

Funeral giant InvoCare has been accused of charging fees for no service and gouging hundreds of dollars from bereaved Australian families.

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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” late fee of $352 by default to its bills.

“The invoices clearly show InvoCare funeral homes incorporating the late fee into the total figure of all invoices,” consumer advocate CHOICE said.

“If families pay before or on the due date, the fee is supposed to be deducted.”

CHOICE said its investigators also found the charge appeared on bills as an “administration fee” when it’s clearly not.

“This practice is absolutely disgraceful,” CHOICE Director of Campaigns Erin Turner said in a statement 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 now 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 $40 million for the half-year ended June 30.

-AAP

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