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How is the Funeral Rule working for you?

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Many of us don’t have experience planning a funeral. When it’s time to make arrangements, we might ask friends and neighbors for information about local providers. Or ask family members to help shop and sort through the choices. Many of us do research online.

You may not realize it, but the FTC Funeral Rule is also here to help. The Rule gives people rights to important information, and lets them compare prices among funeral homes. Under the Rule, funeral providers must give you an itemized price list when you visit a funeral home to ask about funeral services, and let you see a casket price list before you see the caskets. And, you don’t need to visit a funeral provider to get information; the Rule says funeral homes must give you price information over the phone if you ask for it.

The FTC is reviewing the Funeral Rule to learn how it affects people who shop for funeral goods and services – and how it affects funeral providers, including small businesses. As part of the review, the FTC wants people to send comments to the public record until April 14, 2020. You can comment on the FTC’s general questions, like whether there is a continuing need for the Funeral Rule, and what benefits it gives to people, if any. Or, you can respond to specific questions, including:

  • Should funeral providers be required to post their itemized price lists online?
  • Would a standardized price list format make it easier for consumers to review and compare itemized price information from multiple funeral homes?
  • Should any of the Funeral Rule’s required disclosures be changed to improve clarity?

Learn more about shopping for funeral services. If you think a funeral provider violated the Funeral Rule, report it to the FTC.

If you want to comment on the Rule, please go to the public record. Comments you make on this blog don’t go to the official Rule review public record.

Tagged with: Funeral, shopping
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

I have had to put too many people in the ground, and using what the funeral rule has done to keep everything above board in the last few years has made it so much better to know what we are paying for. Before the rule, we never knew what the funeral homes were asking us to pay for or charging us for. I have many more family members that I may have to bury. The funeral rule allows me to know what I choose and how much I will be paying for it in the end. Thank you for this. In my opinion, this rule should stay.

You can add your comment to the public record until April 14, 2020.  Comments you put here on the blog aren't added to the Rule Review.

It would be nice if we could compare prices online.

You can add your comment to the public record until April 14, 2020.  Comments you put here on the blog aren't added to the Rule Review.

Agree.

I wish I knew this sooner I lost my sister 4 months ago it would have been very helpful

These rules have really helped us at a sad and stressful time. Further they have help us pre plan for our own funerals when the time comes taking away the feeling that we me be being conned Thank you

I will be looking into cremation services for my mother in hospice, and plan to do the whole thing online, as she is staying in a facility that is not near me. I plan to use a service close to her. If everything including price lists and descriptions of services were online it would make things easier for me.

I feel that every funeral establishment be it a traditional funeral or cremation should clearly outline on line the fees associated with the service.

You can add your comment to the public record until April 14, 2020.  Comments you put here on the blog aren't added to the Rule Review.

Yes, I believe the public deserves pricing information be made available upfront. It is difficult to make decisions during the loss of a loved one when emotions are at a peak and the task to make a decision is much more difficult than usual. Transparency in pricing would greatly assist families.

You can add your comment to the public record until April 14, 2020. Comments you put here on the blog aren't added to the Rule Review. 

All of these ideas are good and should be implemented. I had no idea they even existed. If it’s so important for consumers of funeral services to do this it’s even more important in the healthcare industry. Please also adopt these same rules for healthcare providers.

You can add your comment to the public record until April 14, 2020.  Comments you put here on the blog aren't added to the Rule Review. 

I have shared with people proactively. Wonderful idea.

Prices should be itemized more than they are. Yes, they should be on the internet. I agree with each funeral home using the same terms to represent what the service is and the cost of each thing.

Every funeral home, doctor, lawyer, plumber, dentist, and dog groomer should indeed have their standard rates and optional prices posted at their places of business and online -- just like every other legit business.

Make it so.

You can add your comment to the public record until April 14, 2020.  Comments you put here on the blog aren't added to the Rule Review.

A list of services provided and prices would be very helpful. On-line access also.

Excellent comment! I am in full agreement with you. Thanks for your comments!

Funeral cost should be made public on line. Cost of funerals have risen over my lifetime and I am concerned. My brother had to borrow from family to bury his wife.

Cemetery tried to charge us $600 for a vase to put flowers in. You cannot buy one from outside unless they ‘approve’ it. Price gouging the most vulnerable pure and simple. Fine cemetery or funeral home for price gouging.

The current Funeral Rule doesn't apply to cemeteries, unless they offer funeral goods & services, and are for-profit. One question in the Rule Review asks about broadening the Rule to apply to cemeteries. 

You can make a comment on the Public Record until April 14, 2020.  Comments you put here on the blog aren't added to the Rule Review.

While it would be helpful to be able to compare prices online, I don't think it would be fair business practice to mandate Funeral Homes post their prices. Perhaps a range of prices per service, i.e. casket, grave opening, could be displayed online, and then the consumer would be directed to call for pricing based on their specific preferences and needs.

Please make on line pricing they have been gouging People for to long, at there worst time not nice

It would be nice to have more detailed information on pricing for funeral, caskets, and urns and cost for cremation.

Would be nice if funeral homes had mandatory up front pricing.

Right now, under the Rule, funeral providers must give you an itemized price list when you visit a funeral home to ask about funeral services, and let you see a casket price list before you see the caskets.

And, you don’t need to visit a funeral provider to get information; the Rule says funeral homes must give you price information over the phone if you ask for it.

Outstanding information!!!!! Did not know the Funeral Rule existed Thanks for the postings. Very, Very informative.

While it would be helpful to be able to compare prices online, I don't think it would be fair business practice to mandate Funeral Homes post their prices. Perhaps a range of prices per service, i.e. casket, grave opening, could be displayed online, and then the consumer would be directed to call for pricing based on their specific preferences and needs.

Funeral arranging is so difficult. It is adding more trauma to the already grief stricken family. We are so vulnerable, some are guilt ridden and others just cannot make decisions when in mourning. Whether arrangements are made before or after death, neither is easier. I say all of that because standardized, published, itemized choices available online would make the horrendous job so much easier. Families can all be together and every line item known. Choices are easier to make. Pictures are clearly show comparisons. We can pick and buy a car online because of full disclosure. Why not order your funeral?

All the comparable information does no good when you live in an area that has one funeral home. Also added costs from one state to another are amazing. I paid $500.00 for a cremation. Four years my sister paid over $2,000. in another state. She also had to wait over to weeks for the cremains. Neither of us bought an urn. Is there really that much of a difference in the process and state charges from one state to another? Just an observation.

I did not know this site exsisted. I think its great and I hope it will stay. I believe funeral homes should put their price lists online so we can make more informed choices. Thank You

when my mother died the funeral home had an additional 1900.00 charge . This was for a prepaid funeral. They said it was to cover the extra cost of inflation. What is the point of a prepaid funeral if this happens?

Yes, to all three. This is a wonderful rule, in my opinion.

"Should funeral providers be required to post their itemized price lists online?
Would a standardized price list format make it easier for consumers to review and compare itemized price information from multiple funeral homes?
Should any of the Funeral Rule’s required disclosures be changed to improve clarity?"

If you would like your comment to be part of the public record, you must add it there. Click on the words public record to be redirected.

The blog comments you add here will not be added to the public record for the Rule Review.

Do funeral homes need to provide detail pricing for a cremation?

Under the Funeral Rule, you have the right to get a written, itemized price list when you visit a funeral home. That General Price List shows all the items and services the home offers, and the cost of each one. You can keep the list. 

If a funeral provider offers direct cremation, it must include an itemized price for that  - and other goods and services it offers - on the General Price List.  Read more about your rights under the Funeral Rule.

The Funeral Rule is sufficient without adding further bureaucracy. One can read & understand a published list of costs without it being "standardized" (or sanitized)

Would you please just put a Link here for people to click on that will take them where they need to be so their comments are recorded in the appropriate place? Thank you!

Click on "public record" if you would like to add a comment. You can add a comment until April 14, 2020. 

I haven't read through everything here that has been provided from this FTC email, but I must thank everyone involved in the organization of this information for us to read, learn and use for our own personal needs. I am just short of 80 years by one month; my husband is 82 and neither of us have searched for funeral information, I just received in the mail four days ago a "Funeral & Cremation Community Survey" sent to us by a local funeral director and I am just so glad I can read the FTC information before completing this survey which I intend to do and then return it to this same director because he/she is the one local funeral business that I have confidence in for my own needs. I have one comment for the FTC because I didn't notice any mention of burial opportunities available to US veterans and their spouses. Locally we have met with veteran representatives about the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Southwestern Pennsylvania opportunities and if the FTC is familiar with protocol for other national cemeteries for veterans, it would be a nice addition to this information that was made available. Again, thank you, FTC staff for what you do daily for the benefit of our citizens of these United States of America.

I have not had to apply the rule as of yet, but I'm positive me or my family will have to one day. I love knowing that the FTC has put into place protection for consumers at a time when impulsive decisions must be made, but knowing you will be given the exact pricing for services and goods wanted, in addition to allowing third party products to be used that may have better pricing and not allowing extra expenses if families chose this route is a great relief knowing there are laws to protect us. Excellent job by FTC you are appreciated.

This will help tremendously when that time comes. I plan to be cremated after organ donation and just knowing that my only child will not be burdened with my burial is peace of mind that as a consumer we are still protected. My Mom buried my Dad and even though she was covered by insurance he still had no burial stone included with the plot and neither did she. I was able to add a bronze plate to her plot but it cost me $1500 additional. I was living out of town and 15 years later after moving back home I discovered it. Unfortunately, my dads resting place was having financial trouble so he still does not have a tombstone for his grave site which is about $300 or more for his stone. Thank you so much. I can be resting assured that all will be well with my cremation and final resting place.

If you would like your comment to be part of the public record, you must add it there. Click on the words public record to be redirected.

The blog comments you add here will not be added to the public record for the Rule Review.

Buried my dad in 2017 and realized I couldn't order a casket from another business and have it delivered to the funeral home because the funeral home would charge me so much more. I felt forced to buy a casket from the funeral home because it was much cheaper and less hassle from the funeral home. I find this unfair, manipulative and unethical.

Right now, the Funeral Rule requires funeral homes to agree to use a casket you bought somewhere else, and doesn't allow them to charge you a fee for using it.

You can add a comment to the Public Record about what happened.  The FTC wants to know about peoples experiences with the Rule.

You can report a provider who violated to the Rule to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. 

ABSOLUTELY price lists should be made available online. Funeral service's price gouging has been a well known fact. Forcing them to publicly display costs online will encourage each funeral provider to employ more competitive pricing.
Going to a funeral home with a dead loved one and getting hit with a $10,000 bill is intolerable. And having to go to multiple funeral homes while you have a fallen one in a freezer somewhere is beyond reason. Barbaric. Access to current pricing online is the more merciful way to go.

Right now, under the Rule, funeral providers must give you an itemized price list when you visit a funeral home to ask about funeral services, and let you see a casket price list before you see the caskets.

And, you don’t need to go to multiple funeral providers to get information; the Rule says funeral homes must give you price information over the phone if you ask for it.

Funeral home are adding charges that people do not understand . When a close member of the family dies you have enough problems without trying to keep them from ripping you off. They need to post prices as they are over charging .

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