Private crematorium monopolies
"Half an hour before we were to leave for the funeral, the funeral director rang. He'd been recommended as being a lovely guy. But now he was extremely aggressive and said that the cremation we’d booked for after the funeral was cancelled. We’d managed to get past their $2,300 customer fee. The phone call was an attempt to extort money out of us.”
Since 70 percent of all bodies are cremated (rather than buried) it is no longer defensible for councils and government to rely on private crematoriums to provide this essential service.
Publicly-owned crematoriums need to be provided in all districts. In the meantime, private crematoriums should be required, on long term contract, to provide services at a standardised cost.
Council crematoriums and cemeteries should also be regularly audited to ensure they are catering equally to both funeral directors and the public and not misleading or pressuring people into buying coffins if they don't need them.