WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Feb. 15 that its investigators working undercover in nine states found failures to disclose pricing information to consumers in 31 of 133 funeral homes visited between 2015 and 2016. The FTC’s Funeral Rule mandates that prices must be clearly disclosed in funeral homes.
The Funeral Rule was created in 1984 and enacted to give consumers important rights regarding funeral home services. Funeral homes must provide itemized general price lists to consumers at the start of in-person discussions about funeral arrangements.
Additionally, funeral homes must provide a list of casket prices before showing consumers the caskets, and an outer burial container price list before showing consumers grave liners and vaults. Finally, funeral homes cannot force consumers to buy one particular item in order to receiver other items.
The FTC has inspected more than 3,000 funeral homes since 1996 and has alleged violations at 530 homes.
The FTC noted that it works to educate consumers in English and Spanish about their rights under the Funeral Rule. It also gives training and guidance to funeral home companies to help them better comply with the rule.