Ripping off the grieving is ‘part of the culture’
FORMER funeral home employees have spoken out about the ugly practices going on behind closed doors in Queensland's funeral industry following yesterday's coffin-swapping allegations against Hart Family Funerals.
A regional Queensland funeral home worker - who wished to remain anonymous - told The Courier-Mail it was "part of the culture" in the funeral industry to rip people off.
He said it was common practice at his workplace of five years to remove coffin handles before cremation and re-use them on a different coffin.
"(Handles) would cost families around $300 each and they would often be removed from the casket just before cremation to save money," he said. "If we had 400 funerals a year, that would happen 200 times. There's more to this story than being told. I wouldn't be surprised if it's happening all over the state."
The man claimed his funeral home held a police contract worth $70,000 a year and there had been rampant poor practice occurring.
"I'm sure it happens everywhere," he said. "It's shocking that it's gone on for this long. They're taking advantage of people at their most vulnerable time."
Author of funeral action plan guide The Bottom Drawer Book Lisa Herbert (pictured) said Queensland's funeral industry was "a confusing mess".
"Queensland doesn't have any standalone legislation governing burials and cemeteries and funerals," she said.
"There's a dozen acts that make mention here and there of things relating to funerals."