The Federal Trade Commission warned the operators of 39 funeral homes across the U.S. after allegedly finding the businesses provided inconsistent pricing information or failed to provide pricing at all.
The FTC claimed the funeral homes violated the Funeral Rule, which requires those businesses to provide customers with pricing information when requested over the phone. The warnings came after the FTC called over 250 locations to inquire about their pricing.
In 38 of the calls, "funeral homes either refused to answer questions about pricing at all or provided inconsistent pricing for identical services." In one call, a funeral home "promised to send a General Price List, which is required to include important disclosures and itemized services, but instead provided a list of package prices that did not meet the Funeral Rule requirements for a General Price List."
One of the funeral homes also falsely claimed that a local health code requires them to embalm remains if more than a certain number of people wanted to view the remains.
The full list of 39 funeral homes is available on the FTC's website.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends consumers ask these questions when inquiring about funeral services:
- What type of services do you offer?
- How much does the service cost and what’s included?
- Will there be other costs, like for transportation, death certificates or obituaries?
The FTC says if a funeral home cannot give a straightforward answer, the consumer should go to another funeral home.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance provides advice on its website for those needing funeral services. The group also recommends consumers shop around.
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