Two families complained that they were forced to pay, without explanation, additional fees, “COVID” up to$ 500 because their loved one had died of the virus.
The relatives of Micheline, Robert, have been particularly upset with the bill of$ 400 that was imposed following his death on 19 April. The wife of 76-year-old had already paid all of its prearranged funeral before you die, but, when his brother Robert went to a funeral company from Vaudreuil-Dorion, he had the surprise of having to pay a new invoice of$ 400. The reason for this? The safety equipment.
Robert objected to this charge and addressed to the Office of the protection of the consumer. “A contract is a contract,” said the man who eventually prevailed, and will not pay the$ 400 extra.
He therefore advised the people to be vigilant and to oppose this kind of costs. However, not all of them have had the strength to follow this advice, afflicted by the death of a loved one a victim of the COVID.
A question COVID
Luisa Ianniciello has seen his father die last week, and he was also asked to pay an additional fee of$ 500 because of the virus. “Immediately, the question was: “He died of what, your father?”” tells the lady, stating that this question has been asked by each of the few companies in the funeral that she has contacted.
“It was as if I was doing a favor to pick it up, because he had died of the COVID,” said Ianniciello. Distraught by the death of her father, she has not had the strength to challenge this amount and realized later, when he saw his bill, that such sum was requested. “It’s disgusting”, she says.
In response, the Corporation of the thanatologues first held to clarify that two companies, one in Montreal and the other in Vaudreuil-Dorion, are not part of their association.
“We are the only association funeral with a code of ethics and professional conduct. And, as of the date of the 27th of April, we have no complaint,” says the director Annie St-Pierre. According to her, however, the imposition of fees of this type is not impossible.
“We are the last link in the chain, in this crisis, but we have no recognition of the health-care system”, she advocates arguing the difficulty of obtaining safety equipment. However, these fees are to be “explained in detail”, adds Ms. St-Pierre.
The Office of consumer protection indicates that it is a situation that must be analyzed on a “case-by-case basis”, taking into account the new situation created by the crisis. “We hope, however, that no one exaggerates in the circumstances. The consumer should not be placed in front of the accomplished fact.”