Consumer and Business Services (CBS) can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities and offers free help to sort out problems with things that you’ve bought or signed up for.
Avoid a funeral rip-off
Have you seen those ads on TV telling you how affordable a funeral plan can be? They say you can put money aside now to make it easier your family later.
Another way to pay for a funeral is to save for it. Or you could arrange a pre-paid funeral plan, funeral insurance or a funeral bond. The Avoid a funeral rip-off campaign helps Indigenous consumers decide which option to choose.
Avoid a funeral RIP off – video
Saving for a funeral
Set up a separate savings account, then you can add to it as often as you want.
This isn’t savings. If you stop paying the insurance, you lose your cover. And you might end up paying a lot more than the actual cover pays out.
This lets you pay for your funeral in advance through your funeral director. You can choose the type of funeral, and pay for it at today’s prices.
Bonds are invested and grow in value. Usually, the money can only be used for your funeral.
Tips to help you avoid a funeral rip off
- If someone comes to your door selling funeral cover you don’t have to sign up straight away. Ask for a copy of the brochure and tell them you’ll think about it.
- Check if you already have funeral cover – eg your superannuation or health insurance.
- Find out how much you need to pay and when, and how much it costs over time.
- Ask what happens if you stop paying, and the reasons the company can refuse to pay-out.
- Think carefully before you sign up your children. It could mean you end up paying a lot more than the cost of a funeral over time.
- Talk to someone you trust before you sign up, like someone in your community or a community worker.
Talk to a financial counsellor if you are having problems with a funeral product you’ve bought. They offer a free service to help you sort out money problems. Or call Consumer and Business Services on 131 882.
Avoid a funeral rip-off is a joint initiative of Australia’s Commonwealth, state and territory consumer protection agencies, through the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy Reference Group.
Deadly Dollars – Something for Nothing
(Tala Rikina – Kutjupa Kutjupa Wiyakitjangku)
A video in Pitjantjatjara for consumers on the APY Lands.
National Indigenous Consumer Protection Project
The National Indigenous Consumer Protection Project is a national education campaign to combat unfair trading and high-pressure sales practices in regional and remote Indigenous communities. The factsheets make up a reference kit about various trading practices. Indigenous consumers and community organisations are encouraged to report unfair trading practices via the National Indigenous Hotline 1300 303 143. The hotline operates between 8am and 7.30pm (SA time).
- Unfair trading – Your rights in Australia (PDF 230KB)
- Door-to-door sales – Your rights in Australia (PDF 375KB)
- Buying goods – Your rights in Australia (PDF 227KB)
- Mobile phones – Your rights in Australia (PDF 375KB)
Don’t Come Knocking – The Australian Consumer Law song has been produced by ABmusic to help make Aboriginal people aware of this consumer issue.
Out of Credit
A DVD has been produced by the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy working group, on behalf of Australia’s fair trading agencies, includingCBS. The DVD, Out of Credit, targets young Indigenous consumers about the perils associated with mobile phone contracts.
The film is a resource that can be used in association with other educational materials concerning financial literacy and consumer related topics. It stars Aboriginal people and demonstrates good and bad practices, as well as empowering people to better deal with pressure from salespeople and friends or relatives.
Click here to view the video.
South Australia’s Indigenous communities are scattered across the state, often in geographically isolated places, which means they have far fewer choices when it comes to shopping. This, along with other factors, can make them a lot more vulnerable when it comes to unscrupulous behaviour by opportunistic traders.
CBS is committed to ensuring that Indigenous people are empowered when it comes to their consumer rights and as part of this commitment the Minister for Consumer Affairs is signatory to the National Indigenous Consumer Strategy – Taking Action, Gaining Trust.
`The main NICS priorities for 2014-16 are:
- Trading practices (particularly door-to-door selling, misleading or deceptive conduct in promotions, debt collection and book-up)
- Housing (tenancy rights and responsibilities, preventing discrimination)
- Consumer awareness (right to complain, financial literacy)
- Contracts (understanding terms and conditions, and the implications of signing a contract)
For more information about NICS visit www.nics.org.au
- Aboriginal Family Support Services
- Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement
- Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
- Paper Tracker
- Iwantja Band perform for CBS
- Solving a problem with a business – consumer advice
- Talk about shopping – urban Indigenous version (PDF 1.3MB)
- Talk about shopping – APY Lands version (PDF 2.4MB)
- Media release – Indigenous Consumer Strategy to help disadvantaged (PDF 69KB)
- Door-to-door sales: A guide for consumers (PDF 167KB)
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have produced a series of short audio segments for Indigenous people called Money Talks. The series is about making good money decisions and is available on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.