CHOICE, an Australian consumer magazine, alleges in a report that Invocare charges late payment fees in advance.

The report says

"InvoCare, the operator of more than 250 funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoriums in Australia, says it sets the highest standards for "fair business practice". But there's a rift between what the company says and what it does.

Following a tip-off from an industry insider, we investigated the billing practices of the funeral giant and found one feature particularly perplexing. It's called an "administration fee" and costs $352 including GST.

The administration fee functions like a late fee, designed to prevent people paying later than three weeks after the funeral. If you don't want to pay the fee, you have to pay the full bill within three weeks. 

But there's an important catch: this late fee, masquerading as an administration fee, is applied upfront."

Jacinta Gale, InvoCare's PR manager, says the point of listing the late fee on invoices is "so all families are aware of the fee and also the balance payable if paid within 21 days".

But if you pay within three weeks, the onus is on you or your funeral director to subtract the administration fee from the total – and to pick up on an overpayment if it happens.

Full Report