Have your say about funerals in Australia

As a result of CHOICE’s fearless investigation and advocacy, the ACCC is now investigating the funeral industry. But we still need your help!

The ACCC is currently looking into the funeral services sector to understand the extent of consumer harm and to make recommendations to improve the sector. They have released this 15 minute survey to learn about your experiences of arranging a funeral. The survey can be completed anonymously and you can skip as many questions as you’d like.

CHOICE’s 4-part investigative series into the funeral industry and Shonky Award for InvoCare for failing to disclose its prices across the country, revealed a host of problems within the sector and demonstrated how people organising funerals are taken advantage of in the process.

CHOICE has already had so many wins to improve consumer protections at a difficult time in their lives, including pricing transparency laws in NSW and InvoCare removing its dodgy ‘administration’ fee. Now, we’re hoping the ACCC will make some enduring and large-scale changes to the funeral industry through its review. With your voice, the ACCC can learn what exactly needs to change.

Thanks for all you do,



Yes, it can. Done, although I left my contact details (optional) if they are keen to follow up.

My ideal. Arrange all funerals before you pass away, and spend time to research the options. I’d suggest having a recipe or shopping list ready in advance, to email to one or more providers when the need arises, requesting an itemised quote in return as one strategy. Perhaps turning up in advance at each provider to get the list together is a sobering exercise free of the emotional and family time pressures. No ACCC help required, although the more regional or rural one is the fewer the options.


Just before my time comes, I wish the following; I shall be heading out to the desert, find a tree, dig a six foot hole, jump in and become human compost. ( I might need some help from a trusty pal ) I shall have the last laugh.Hopefully this will play a small part in deterring a funeral director from taking another world cruise. No decent person minds another making a decent profit but not an exorbitant one based on vulnerable peoples fears and insecurities about death and “loss” Any cardboard boxes for sale?


I phoned a funeral parlor to find out if they really burn the coffins. They said yes. It seems a terrible waste of money. They said they had to because of health reasons. But I have heard that some take the body out of the coffin after it goes through the little door.

How do we know and surely if they can spray to get rid of virus etc why can’t they do the same so that people don’t have to pay for a brand new coffin.

There are some human composting ‘funeral’ companies popping up. Not as free as digging your own hole but probably more legal where it is available. According to one web site, that option is only possible in Australia on religious or cultural grounds.


elsewhere, evolution

and for those wanting cheap and simple, direct cremation is widely available (at least in metro areas) for $1,500~2,000 as advertised by many funeral companies while the ‘funeral directors association’ touts double that.


When the day comes I want to see my coffin been burned and someone can send me the pic in the iCloud

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@PhilT Yes I have read about these. Handy to know. I shall put in my “bucket” (excuse the pun) list. I also heard or read that after mattresses, funeral services are one of the most “ripped off” services/items in the world.


DON’t LOOSE SIGHT of the TOPIC here!

It’s about the opportunity to make your views known directly to the ACCC through the linked survey.

Whether it will make a difference?
Having our say on the survey is a sure way to ensure the thousands of funeral businesses around the country ARE NOT the only ones the ACCC gets to hear from.

To consider:
While some of us might be happy to have a plan B or plan C, reality is many older Australian’s expect a traditional arrangement, one that also meets their beliefs. Hopefully they get what they expect, without misrepresentation and without paying a premium.


'To help us with this work, we are interested to hear about your experience in arranging a funeral.

Ticking the ‘I have an opinion or comment option’ is as short a survey as it gets, a reasonable experience since the survey is up front about asking for personal experiences, and some of us just have opinions. Seems they want [even questionable, unmoderated] evidence based answers not purely anecdotal commentary.


Hopefully they are not expecting any personal experiences of deceased consumers but who would know with the ACCC.

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Yes, there are range of options for the type of response provided in the survey. I’ve arranged a funeral, or I have a general comments or concerns. The others are inviting those who work in the industry to provide responses.

I responded following the 15 minutes of targeted questions and feedback as someone who has firsthand experience of arranging a funeral. The more detailed ACCC survey option is anon, but does provide for contributors to append documents, EG invoices, quotes or other in support of a particular response. Voluntary to add your contact details.

As this topic grows, we move further away from the OP. It is the most relevant.

I’ve arranged two funerals in the previous ten years. For the next most likely we are attempting to sort it out ahead of time. That lesson comes from being dropped into the deep end previously, with little forewarning. I left my comments based on his this experience in the survey.

There will always be the unexpected, less so the older or less able one becomes. The nominal odds are worth considering, if one wishes to minimise the burden on those left to sort it all out for you.



Filling out the form reminded me of how disreputable and unethical I find the funeral industry as a whole. I’m sure that there are still reputable and caring small businesses out there, but they are becoming hard to find as more and more small businesses get swallowed up buy the large (overseas) corporations.

When someone dies and you have to arrange their funeral, it shouldn’t feel like you need to finance and build the Taj Hahal in the wet season.

If you know what you want, it should be easy to find businesses that provide that just those service you want, and get competitive quotes that cover just what you want.


I like the idea of this environmental friendly option. Less waste in land etc. Smart thinking


So, when you’re born then it’s all for free.
When you die they want to rip you off for the last time and for as much as possible.
I will donate my body to science and then it’s all for free.
I couldn’t care less what’s happening with my body after I die. They could even put it on display.
Funeral companies are vultures in our society.

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Doubtless medical science will take great care of your needs.

For a large proportion of the Australian population what happens to them after death is very important. It is also of great importance, sometimes greater value what happens to meet the needs of those still living.

Traditions, religious followings, and personal attachments are all values many hold dear.

The vultures may circle. In some rites they may even be real.

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I don’t think the deceased would be concerned about health reasons…

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I don’t think air burial is legal in Oz.


A petition on change.org calling for regulation of the funeral industry.


I’m wondering if I can go from the hospital morgue to home, have my body wrapped in a shroud and straight to the cemetery behind my house. I don’t want a funeral home involved.