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Funeral parlour responds

YOUR edition of November 25 carried a letter by a reader going by the pseudonym “Cheated by death” in which allegations were made against Vineyard Funeral Services.

f”>Please allow us to respond to the letter. It is true that the police are no longer ferrying the deceased from their homes to mortuaries neither do government hospital mortuaries accept bodies of people who die outside the hospital. If a person dies at Parirenyatwa hospital before having been admitted, the hospital mortuary does not accept that body and this has been the case for more than a year.

We do not know why the writer assumed that the body would be taken to Parirenyatwa for a post-mortem. We would like to advise that post-mortems are not conducted when the deceased is known to have been ill or when there is no foul play suspected. Because of the reasons stated above, the body of the deceased was never taken to Parirenyatwa hospital mortuary but was taken to our parlour.

The contract to remove the body was signed before the removal of the body between our undertaker and a Mr Bumhira (who is the husband of the deceased) on November 5. When we removed the deceased’s body, we retained her identity card because we had agreed with the husband to provide the funeral services.

We however later learnt the family had decided to process the burial services on their own and we duly surrendered the identity card to the husband.

The payments that were asked for were for the following services (including value added tax): transport, management fee, undertaker’s fee, shroud and mortuary fees for two days and this was properly invoiced.

The writer was asked to pay what was due for the services rendered and to suggest otherwise is not correct. It should be noted that the deceased was kept in the mortuary for two days therefore the charges were not projected as claimed but actual. The fees reflected on our invoice are not peculiar to us but apply across the funeral industry.

On the allegations of rudeness and arrogance by some of our staff, we would like to assert that customer care is at the heart of our operations and we do not condone any ill-treatment of clients at all. Our company takes these complaints seriously and we would like to thank the writer for bringing this up.

Customer complaints are the textbooks from which we learn and we would like to invite our valued customers to contact our head office directly for any complaints, clarifications or any additional information about our conditions of service. Our head office numbers are: (04) 750766; fax (04) 753072 or email: vineyard@mweb.co.zw

T Jingo,

Operations manager,

Vineyard Funeral Assurance &

Services (Pvt) Ltd.

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