What Are the Warning Signs?

eziFunerals recommend that you look out for the warning signs and follow our key tips before selecting a funeral director in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and surrounding regions:

  • A funeral director does not show you an itemised price list before you discuss arrangements.
  • A funeral director tries to make you feel guilty for not purchasing the most expensive products and services.

Do’s

  • Do shop around for prices. Funeral costs can vary significantly for the same funeral in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and other regions.
  • Do ask who owns and operates the funeral home you are considering. Are they family owned and independent or are they owned by the big funeral chains? Research shows Independent Funeral Directors are cheaper and provide better value for money.
  • Do ask for an itemised cost. Funeral homes should provide price information over the phone if asked, and some post their price lists online.
  • Do be wary of package deals that promise a discount on products and services; they often more than make up the difference in fees and unnecessary items. A funeral home cannot force you to buy a package that includes items you don’t want.
  • Do get a written statement, before you pay, that shows exactly what you’re buying.
  • Do understand what you’re getting in a prepaid funeral contract. Does the plan cover all the services your family require?
  • Do check your state’s regulations for prepaid funerals. Know what will happen to the money you paid and whether you are protected if the funeral home folds.

Don’ts

  • Don’t assume the funeral home is independent. Often, the big funeral chains will operate under old family names because they know customers will be more inclined to trust them.
  • Don’t select a funeral director on funeral scam. The big funeral chains spend lots of money on expensive sales and marketing campaigns to get your business. You can end up paying more.
  • Don’t be rushed into decisions. If the body is at a hospital morgue or with a coroner, you should have a few days to make arrangements, and possibly a week or more.
  • Don’t be pressured into paying more than you want to spend.
  • Don’t tell a funeral director how much you’re prepared to spend.
  • Don’t buy an expensive coffin if your loved one is being cremated or you can’t afford it. Go for a less expensive alternative option.
  • Don’t be pressured into paying for embalming. Embalming is not needed unless you require it for religious or viewing purposes.

About eziFunerals

eziFunerals is a FREE consumer advocacy and funeral planning platform. We are an independent, Australian-owned and operated company. We are not a subsidiary of any other corporation. We are not part of any other funeral company.

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Peter Erceg is the Owner and Founder of eziFunerals. He has had a long history within the funeral industry, and is a published author of ‘What Kind Of Funeral: A self help guide to planning a meaningful funeral’. Prior to eziFunerals, Peter worked in the public sector and health industry for more than 30 years. The views and opinions expressed on posts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of eziFunerals and members.