Buying into a package can be pricey

Package deals are all the rage these days. Whether it is furniture or travel or insurance, these are just some of the areas where customers are encouraged to buy more than they first intended.  The deals are sold on the basis of being good for the buyer whereas invariably they result in the seller walking away with higher profits.

This practice applies to funerals and permits undertakers – they like to call themselves funeral homes – to engage in upselling items like coffins and add-ons such as flowers, memory books and catering.

John Collett reports that “people who are grieving can fall prey to upselling and unscrupulous practices” in his story: ‘We bought an MDF coffin and painted it’: funerals can be dead cheap (SMH Money section, 20 February 2018).

Consumer group Choice produced a report in 2016 that questioned even whether many of us need the services of a funeral director.

Collett tells the story of “Gillian Maddigan who organised the funeral of her father … we bought an MDF coffin, painted and decorated it … It’s not for everyone, but there are people in families that are quite capable of doing it themselves,” she says.

The full story is at: https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/keeping-control-of-last-rites-20180214-h0w29j.html

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