Help for Indigenous consumers to avoid a funeral R.I.P-off

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AboriginalConsumerSenior

Consumer Protection today launched a campaign to help prevent Indigenous consumers from signing up for funeral plans that can be expensive, complex and not suitable for their needs.

The “Avoid a funeral R.I.P-off” national campaign provides helpful advice for Indigenous Australians about their rights under the Australian Consumer Law, before buying a funeral plan or funeral cover.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said many Indigenous Australians are unaware of their rights and are often targeted by unscrupulous traders.

“Indigenous consumers are losing significant amounts of money on funeral products, where they have not understood the contract and the costs involved,” Ms Driscoll said.

“Some consumers have signed up for funeral insurance without realising that, if they can’t make all of the scheduled payments, then the policy may be cancelled and they lose all of the money they have already paid.

“Some Indigenous consumers are not be aware that they may be entitled to community or government bereavement payments to help pay for the cost of a funeral.”

A new video highlights the pros and cons of the various options available to pay for a funeral and helps consumers to make informed choices when purchasing funeral products and services.

Australia’s consumer protection agencies are taking proactive steps to educate Indigenous consumers on this issue and to improve the behaviour of traders.

“Compliance officers are on the lookout for promoters of funeral products who are not doing the right thing by their consumers and failing to comply with consumer law,” the Commissioner said.

“Avoid a funeral R.I.P-off” is a joint initiative of Australia’s Commonwealth, state and territory consumer protection agencies, through the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy Reference Group.

The “Avoid a funeral R.I.P-off” video is available for viewing on the Consumer Protection website at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/cp/funerals.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s “Paying for Funerals” booklet also has information for Indigenous consumers about different funeral products. It is available at: www.moneysmart.gov.au.

Consumers with funeral product concerns are encouraged to contact Consumer Protection by email consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

END OF RELEASE

Media contact (Consumer Protection)

Consumer Protection
Media release
27 Jul 2015

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