FOUR CORNERS takes a look behind the scenes of Australia's funeral industry
AFTER DEATH: BEHIND THE SCENES OF AUSTRALIA'S FUNERAL INDUSTRY
“I'm sometimes horrified by some of the things I come across in the funeral industry.” Funeral Director
With their soothing tones and soft-focus advertising, funeral directors promise to take care of our loved ones after they have died. But few of us know what really goes on behind the closed doors of funeral parlours around the country.
“Treating the person who's passed away with dignity is incredibly important. At times (I) shudder to think (what will happen) when I pass away, if nothing has changed.” Mortuary driver
On Monday Four Corners reveals the dubious tactics being used by some in the funeral industry, from price gouging and unethical conduct, to the questionable treatment of bodies.
“These people aren't meat. They can't just be shipped around because it's convenient.” Funeral director
Four Corners takes you behind the scenes of this billion-dollar industry where the problems can begin from the moment of death with an unseemly tug of war over who gets the contract to take a body.
“We many times, can turn up at a hospital and we'll find the body's not there... I'm aware of dozens and dozens of instances where the family haven't been aware that their loved one has been moved.” Mortuary driver
Dying is an expensive business but as this investigation reveals, what you pay for is not necessarily an indication of the service received.
“There was just so much stuff not right, and it didn't look anything like what she looked like.” Daughter
The program uncovers cases where families have been left out of pocket and deeply distressed.
“There was nothing I could do about it because once you pay, that's it. That's too bad. There's nowhere to complain to.” Step-father
The program investigates how operators are getting away with this behaviour in an industry that is virtually unregulated.
“If you're not going to treat loved ones with respect and care, you shouldn't be operating.” Funeral director
After Death, reported by Stephanie March, goes to air on Monday 23rd Sept at 8.30pm. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th at 1.00pm and Wednesday 25th at 11.20pm. It can also be seen on ABC NEWS channel on Saturday at 8.10pm AEST, ABC iview and at abc.net.au/4corners.