Alex Gow Funerals sorts Gold Coast couple issue for refusing to pay bill for funeral plan bought by mother in 1948/ABC News story
According to an ABC News story back in November 2014 – Alex Gow Funerals sues Gold Coast couple for refusing to pay the bill for funeral plan bought by mother in 1948
You would think we had done something wrong but there was a lot left out of the story that could have shown the truth and just how far we went to help the family and completely honour our agreement? That is sensationalistic journalism at its best as the $50 prepaid funeral plan had nothing to do with the court judgement at all. Here is a simple outline of the events from Alex Gow Chairman Alistair Gow that shed some light on the REAL situation.
Gavin and Fiona Turner were happy with the outcome of the case.
- Mrs Beryl Turner took out a 25 pound [$50] funeral benefit in the 1940’s with very low monthly payments (Funeral Benefit is now called Funeral Insurance, the same way Medical Benefits is now called Medical Insurance).
- Alex Gow funerals were the nominated funeral director but the fund was regulated and administered by the Queensland Government.
- Mrs Turner completed her payments in 1980 and received a certificate entitling her to a funeral ‘without further payment’ (meaning no more monthly contributions) to the value of her bond at the time of death. Those terms are set by the Queensland Government not the funeral director.
- At the time of death, the Queensland Government determined that her benefit was worth $390 which could go towards a funeral of her family’s choice
- Mrs Turner’s son Gavin arranged a funeral for his mother with a value of $7,195 but as he was not happy with the amount of the benefit, he signed the contract ‘TBC Dollars’ [meaning the amount was to be confirmed] as he wished to further negotiate the benefit pay-out.
- The funeral went ahead and was a beautiful farewell for Mrs Turner and the family was totally happy with our services.
- Her son then refused to pay the account so Alex Gow took the matter to court. We were not suing them over the benefit as stated by the media, just the contract for the funeral.
- The Magistrate did not take into account the matter of the value of the benefit and said the case had to be settled based on the contract between the son and the funeral director, Alex Gow.
- The decision all came down to the contract and that Alex Gow had let the funeral proceed with the ‘TBC Dollars’ comment next to the signature. That was a commercial error on our behalf and we accepted the Magistrate’s decision and finalised our dealings with the Turner family amicably.
- The family’s pre-hearing interaction with the media focused on the value of the funeral benefit [which was totally out of our control] and the media decided that was more newsworthy than the whole story.
- Alex Gow is the only funeral director to confirm they will continue to honour all pre-paid funeral benefits and bonds to their matured value and families can be assured of that.
- When Alex Gow Funerals asked ABC News to remove their original story from Google or to publish a more accurate story of the real case, they refused, saying it wasn’t in their interest.
Any clients with questions relating to funeral bonds are invited to contact us on 07 3851 7800 or pop into their local office.
A more thorough legal opinion can be found here: http://www.alexgowfunerals.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Statement-from-Chairman-of-Directors.pdf