The Dutch funeral sector is extremely vague about the costs of funerals, according to research by consumer association Consumentenbond.
The Consumentenbond asked 180 undertakers across the country about their basic rates for funerals and additional services such as printing cards, laying out the body, transport and renting crematoriums.
Some 90% of the companies refused to answer questions about their rates, citing lack of time or interest. Of the 180 firms contacted, 75 do not have any information about rates on their websites, the Consumentenbond found.
A survey among 1,700 Consumentenbond panel members confirms the lack of transparency. A quarter of the respondents said they were not told what the total costs of the funeral would be. In many cases costs were not discussed at all or only when explicitly requested. Unexpected costs, which only became apparent after the funeral, are not unusual either.
The consumer group studied the survey requests filled in by 20 funeral firms and the limited online information. It concluded that the basic fee for a funeral ranges from 2985 to €2,550, while flowers cost from €45 to €150. An oak coffin varied in price from €375 to €1,185.
Rates should be put online, the Consumentenbond said so people know where they are. ‘Consumers have enough to worry about when they have to arrange a funeral,’ Consumentenbond director Bart Combée said.
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