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Victoria funeral firm hit with fines by Consumer Protection B.C.

A Victoria-based funeral services provider has been fined $5,000 for failing to provide cancellation rights to customers.

CARE Funeral Services, which has offices in Victoria and Sidney, was inspected by Consumer Protection B.C. representatives in May 2013. The inspection revealed the company's pre-need contracts – which cover advance funeral arrangements – didn't provide customers with adequate cancellation policy rights, said Manjit Bains, vice-president of corporate relations at Consumer Protection B.C.

Two follow-up inspections uncovered two individual contracts still absent of a cancellation policy, a violation that carries a $2,500 fine for each omission, she said.

“We take non-compliance with our Orders very seriously,” Bains said. “The requirement for all funeral service providers to clearly communicate a consumer’s cancellation rights in a pre-need contract exists to protect consumers at a time when they may be making difficult end of life decisions.”

Consumer Protection B.C. maintains a website that lays out consumer rights for funeral services at funeralrightsbc.ca.

CARE Funeral Services did not return immediate return calls for comment.

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