♪ [theme]>>David:This ismarketplace.Undercover inside Canada’sfuneral homes.>>The top level and the bottom level they start at $3,000.>>David:Can you trustthe people meantto help you the most?>>98% is mandatory.>>We’re still grieving. It’s only been a couple days.>>David:High-pressure sales.>>She doesn’t die in the next 90 days we still have to pay in full?>>Yeah.>>David:Hi costs.>>You could be looking at $12,500.>>David: marketplaceandthe Toronto Starinvestigate.Death Inc.What’s brought you here today.>>Well, I love Honest Ed’s. ♪ [super funky]>>David:We’re gathering to saygood-bye toHonest Ed’s.>>It is, in a way, about mourning, but I think it’s also about celebration.>>David:A celebration of life,but not for a person,it’s for amuch-loved bargain store.>>This weekend, for me, is a farewell.>>David:Where decades ofcheap deals and free Christmasturkeys are coming to an end.>>It’s nostalgic, I wanted to see what was going on, all the changes that would be coming to this neighbourhood.>>David:It seems like agood place to testhow much people think aboutlosing something or someone.>>I want to throw a question at you out of left field here.>>Okay.>>David:A question youmight find…awkward.What if you died today? Who would look after everything that needs to be done with a funeral.>>If we died?>>Yeah.>>Okay, that’s kind of morbid. Interesting. I get it.>>It’s pretty scary, yeah.>>What do you want?>>Not too much. I want a celebration.>>My goodness.>>It’s a weird one, I know it’s a weird one.>>I can’t even give you an answer.>>If you were to die today, who would look after your funeral?>>That’s a bizarre question.>>David: Yeah. Have you ever thought of it?>>No.>>Sort of. [ Laughter ]>>What’s your frame of mind when you’re walking into a funeral home? Are you susceptible of to being taken advantage of?>>Of course. You’re probably at the most susceptible point of your life.>>David: You’re about to find out what happens when sales trump sympathy.>>Let’s do this.>>Let’s do this.>>David:Our team is gettingready to headinside funeral homes.Just how up frontare staff whenwe need help the most?We’ll need a cover story.>>Well how about we have an auntie and we call her Alice.>>David:Aunt Alice isn’ta wealthy woman,she wants a simple service.>>There are I am. Okay, great. Okay.>>Should we do this, then?>>Yeah.>>David:Like many Canadians,Alice wants to be cremated.Come join us for the journey.Arbor Memorialis our funeralhome of choice.It’s the largest Canadianfuneral company,and it’s expanding.But it’s also one we’ve heardmany complaints about,from pressure to prepay fora funeral,to a lack of empathy,and preying on emotionsby overcharging.How bad can it be?We head into six locations.>>David:And tell the samestory at each one.>>David:In our time of need,willArborhelp usor add to the heart break?>>David:But simple isn’t whatthey have in mind.In the business of death, costscan add up quickly.>>David:What should you spendon a casket?>>David:What about embalming?It cost $500,but is it required?>>David:So manydecisions to make.>>David:Pre-planning directorslike these make a base salary,the rest is commission.So when it comes to planning asimple funeral,it’s not easy toknow what you really need.>>David:Lucky for us,Aunt Alice isn’t real.But I’m about to meet someonewhose loss is very real.So was the nightmare she facedat theArborlocationin Windsor.>>Hi, Judy.>>Hi.>>I’m David.>>Hi David, nice to meet you.>>Good to meet you.>>David:Judy Wood wrote tomarketplacewanting to shareher story asa warning to others.Did you feel going in there, that a funeral home and its staff, were a place you could trust?>>Very much. We just felt they understand and will try to assist you getting through this difficult time, and not take advantage.>>This is a business unlike any other.>>You’re so vulnerable. They have you. This was a fantastic one. We surprised her with a birthday.>>David:Judy’s sister, Diana,was only 56 whencancer killed her.Diana had paid over $4,000 forher own funeral, believing thatwould cover it, and lessen theburden on her family.It didn’t.Judy’s left to plan the rest.When you’re in the funeral home, how up front were they about all of those charges?>>They weren’t. They weren’t at all. They — the gentleman had a laptop, and there was a large screen, and as he asked us the different questions, that item went up on the list. It wasn’t until the very end that we saw what the cost would be for all of the things we selected.>>And what was that number?>>$10,000.>>And what did you think?>>Oh, we were shocked.>>This is how much you were told it would cost.Arbor recommends a package.>>Arranging and administration is $1755. What that includes, I’m not quite sure.>>David:Making senseof that packageseems next to impossible.>>That doesn’t include the cost of the vehicle.>>The transfer to the funeral home.>>That’s for –>>Doesn’t include the cost of actually getting to the funeral home. I don’t understand this.To reduce the price,Judy gets rid of some services,but it wasn’t easy.>>I didn’t want to seem like I was asking a lot of questions about money. It’s like, well, you pay what you have to pay, right? [ ♪♪ ]>>David:We’re at the samelocation Judyturned to for help.>>David:At first there’ssympathy, but she quickly getsdown to business.Like Judy, we’re offered apackage and told identifyingAunt Alice is company policy.>>David: This planner suggests embalming.>>David:But there is no lawrequiring embalmingand in a lot of cases, no need.>>David:We don’t want aviewing for our fictional aunt,so why all this?Well, it’s part of the packageshe’s recommending.>>David:Better closure?Arbor makes Judy identify hersister, which means extra costsfor things she never wanted.>>He’s very kind saying, you know, “Take your time, go in there.” It’s like, no, we’re not going to take our time. We’re only here to identify her. And yet she was laid out and presented as if she was going to be viewed.>>David: And you were paying for that.>>And we were paying for that.>>David: Even though that’s not something you wanted?>>That’s not what we wanted, and that’s not what she wanted.>>Did you want embalming?>>Not if it wasn’t needed.>>David: And what happened?>>She was embalmed.>>David: And why?>>Well, because she was going to be dressed and displayed.>>David: For you to identify –>>For us to identify her. We’re shaking our heads. Like why are we doing to this? Let’s just go with it, like he says to do that, let’s do that.>>But he’s the guy. How many times have you been through this before that?>>Never.>>So what happens?>>It was terrible. Somebody had dressed her and put make-up on her, and put her in her clothes again, and it didn’t look like her. It wasn’t — in my heart — it wasn’t her. But it was something we were forced to do. So that — we felt — I felt bitter.>>It wasn’t just that there was expense that –>>No.>>David:– you feel is unnecessary.>>No.>>David: It’s that your closure was re-opened.>>Yes. We had said our goodbyes in the hospital. We weren’t given any option. And that’s wrong.>>David:More than 250,000Canadians died last year,including Judy’s sister.In the business of death, thatamounts to a$1.6 billion industry.Big players like Arbor make themajority of the profits,and with our aging population,stand to make even more.[ ♪♪ ]>>David:I’m in Manitoba tomeet a guy who’sa know-all, and now a tell-all.>>Hi, Shane.>>David.>>David: Good to meet you.>>Nice to meet you.>>Thanks very much.>>David:Shane Neufeld hasworked in the businessfor 25 years.At times for the big guys,including Arbor.He knows the secretsof the sell.And doesn’t like what he hearsabout our Alice’s service.>>What she’s doing is increasing the value of that sale with that family.>>David: It was all about identification. It wasn’t about a viewing.>>Well they’re using identification as a means to an end. The end is to get the money for the embalming, because the embalming is expensive but doesn’t cost much.>>But most of us aren’t professionals at burying our loved ones.>>The consumer is at an extreme disadvantage. You can’t possibly come out on the ride side of that if you’re in front of people who are motivated to sell you things that you don’t need.>>David:We dig upArbor job postings.Some traits they value mostinclude : a sales mentality,people who are skilful atnegotiating and closing,who meet and exceedsales quota goals, and here’swhat that looks like in action.>>David:Remember, we only wanta simple service, a cremation,a small celebration,but they’re pushing packages.David:That same-day servicecosts almost $6400.>>David:98% mandatory, andthere’s no mention ofan À la carte option.>>I’d like to see that package, 98% seems like a very high number.>>David:It’s only when wepress that Arbor agrees to getrid of a few items,about $600 worth.>>David:The flower vehicle,for a simple service?We haven’t even talkedprice forthe actual cremation.Imagine if we werewracked with guilt and grief?So what’s really necessaryfor Aunt Alice.Shane takes a look, and saysmany items can go.Worse, he says,it seems Arbor’sdouble charging for staff.He figures the package could becut by almost $2,000.>>Well, in that case our hidden camera team is being lied to.>>I would say so. ♪ [theme]>>David: How much did the casket cost you?>>$895.>>So we managed to get the wholesale cost for that. Any idea how that is? $175. [ Sigh ]>>David:Closing the deal onyour marketplace.♪ [theme]>>David:The bigbusiness of dying.We’re undercover,six feet under,shopping for a simple funeral.>>David:Simple answers areproving hard to find.David:As sad as funerals are,they’re also a business.>>David:And the staff whohelp you plan areworking on commission.Money means a lot.>>David:This plannerencourages lockingin before losing out.>>David:And with hefty prices,you might easily be convinced.Our industry insider used to doit that way too, but guilt gotthe better of him.>>Shane, how are you?>>David:Now Shane Neufeldcalls himselfa “death care consultant.”>>I’ll take these three.>>David:He believes you shouldbe charged a flat fee.>>Shane:It’s about givingpeople the truth.>>David:And products at cost.>>And the rest of the industry, the big guys?>>Their role is to make as much money as they can. Which is fine, it’s not just something I want to do.>>David:And something he sayshe wouldn’t do, push a packagelike this: with transfervehicles, drivers…a funeral coach?>>David:But do they need tocharge almost $350for that vehicle?>>So we’re at the funeral home. Let’s go and see how far away the crematorium is.>>David:The drivetakes one minute.>>This is the crematorium right here>>Right behind the mausoleum. So we have driven…>>400 metres. That’s a dollar a metre.>>Poor auntie Alice.>>David:Another questionablecost, rental caskets, to viewAunt Alice, who remember,will be cremated.>>David: Sounds hopeful, but…>>David:We get our hands on awholesale price list.That casket cost Arbor $1,695.500 less, and they canuse it time and again.Seems like a sweet deal forthem, not a cost savingsfor us.>>David:We try saving money atanother location.>>I hope we can see what’s below that casket.It is tilted towards you.That makes it much moredesirable to purchase,and then you have this.Down below,underneath the other casket,that is strategically placed.>>David:But they don’twant us to have it.>>David:What’s the big deal?>>David:With more than $1,000on the line,they dig in their heels.>>Looked almost taken aback at the suggestion that — that she wants something simple and –>>That’s a way of making people feel minimized and feeling badly for wanting something simple. I mean, they’re being careful but they’re not being forth right.>>David:So much to watch outfor, and even with time on ourside, it’s not easy when thesell kicks in.>>David:This planner startsout wanting a depositof four grand.>>David:But really he’ll takeanything to close the deal andget the commission.>>David:He continues to push.>>She’s already answered the question, no I don’t think we want to do that right now.>>The idea is lock the business down now while they’re inside.>>Lock it in.>>David:Judy Wood’s sisterthought she’d locked it in,but Judy still had topick up the pieces.What would you say toArbor?>>You need to be more up front. People need for understand that people are hurting, they’re coming in here, relying on you, depending on you to not take advantage. And I think we were taken advantage of.>>David:So who’swatching out for us?Is there enough for you to follow up with Arbor?>>Oh, absolutely.>>David:This isyourmarketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>David:This isyourmarketplace.Our journey insidethe business of death,reveals a world of highpressure and high costs.>>David:Where the up-sell canadd to your grief.>>David:So who’s meantto protect us,theBereavement Authority of Ontariois one of the fewprovincial regulators.It investigates complaints,keeps tabs on the industry,but regulations don’t coverthe kind of hard sellwe’re seeing.>>Good to meet you.>>Good to meet you too.>>David:The registraris Carey Smith.>>This is 98%.>>98% is mandatory.>>David:He doesn’t like someof what he sees.>>You’re the consumer, you have the ability to pick and choose.>>But he’s saying to us that 98% of what’s on there, we got to take.>>There’s things on here that legislation certainly doesn’t make mandatory.>>Should you be told that you can buy things individually and not in a package?>>Yes, you should be.>>David:But with only threeinspectors for more than 600 funeral homes, tactics like this go unchecked.>>This is basically just anidentification container.>>David:We zero in on thathome that doesn’twant us buyinga cheaper casket.>>So they’re following a law but trying to dissuade as from using the less expensive options.>>They’re certainly trying to dissuade you from using it, I just don’t understand it.>>After we’ve seen all this video any concerns around preplanning salespeople?>>Well you showed me a bunch of examples that certainly are at a minimum disappointing and would cause me to have concerns, and that we’ll have to look into.>>We went to six locations, all six are fromArbor Funeral Homes,a big player in the industry.>>I would be surprised if that’s their corporate values and philosophy, they’re a professional provider.>>Is there enough for you to follow-up withArbor?>>Oh, absolutely.>>David: We do follow up with every salesperson we met, they all say call head office. But despite weeks of discussions withArbor Memorial,they say no to an on-camera interview. We’re not questioning their right to make money, but we do have questions about their sales practices, and their response comes in the form of a statement.>>Hi five. There we go.>>David:To avoid heart ache,shop around.Ask what’s not included,and talk about it.>>Have you told your kids exactly what you want?>>No.>>No.>>It almost seems macabre when you do it, but it should be done. [ ♪♪ ]