Company or individual details
- InvoCare Limited096 437 393
- InvoCare Australia Pty Limited060 060 031
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a section 87B undertaking from InvoCare Limited (ACN 096 437 393) and InvoCare Australia Pty Limited (ACN 060 060 031) for making representations to consumers that were likely to be false and misleading about the need to purchase memorials at InvoCare-owned cemeteries.
InvoCare Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary, InvoCare Australia Pty Limited (together InvoCare) operate 14 cemeteries and crematoria in Australia. In or around January 2011, InvoCare revised its standard consumer contract to require customers at its cemeteries to:
- purchase a memorial at the time of using a burial site; and
- purchase the memorial exclusively from InvoCare.
It is alleged that between about May 2011 and November 2013, InvoCare made false and misleading representations to four consumers who had pre-purchased burial sites prior to January 2011 that they were contractually required to purchase memorials from InvoCare. The alleged conduct occurred at two InvoCare cemeteries: Pinegrove Memorial Park and Castlebrook Memorial Park in NSW.
By engaging in the above conduct, the ACCC considers that InvoCare contravened sections 18 and 29(1)(l) of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
To address the ACCC’s concerns, InvoCare has provided the ACCC with a court enforceable undertaking that it will:
- not represent to any customer that they are subject to terms inconsistent with the terms of their contract;
- not require any customer who purchases a burial site to purchase a memorial, including those customers who hold existing contracts containing this condition and have not yet purchased a memorial;
- allow customers who do choose to have a memorial to source bronze plaques from a supplier of their choosing;
- make available the Chief Operating Officer of InvoCare Australia to handle complaints of conduct similar to the alleged conduct; and
- update its consumer law compliance program, with particular measures for risk assessment, complaints handling and staff training.
InvoCare Limited has also paid $102,000 in respect of an Infringement Notice issued under section 134A(1) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in relation to one alleged contravention of section 29(1)(l) of the ACL.