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A Rare Chance to Comment on the FTC’s Funeral Rule

We need your help! It’s been 21 years since the Federal Trade Commission has opened the Funeral Rule for public comments and now it is open again. The rule regulates funeral practices including requiring providers to disclose their detailed prices to consumers and allowing them to pick and choose only the services they want. That’s good as far as it goes but a lot has happened since 1999, especially with internet technology.

The National Funeral Consumers Alliance and our affiliate board and volunteers here in Greater Kansas City hope you will join us in requesting the following changes:

1. Should the Funeral Rule be amended to require funeral homes that have websites post their General Price Lists (GPLs) prominently online?

  • YES! This is not currently required and most funeral homes don’t do it. Right now they are only required to hand a paper copy to anyone who physically visits the funeral home and asks for it.
  • TELL THEM: Online prices will help consumers plan ahead and make their decisions without being pressured. This is the 21st century. We can find the answers to many questions on the internet, but not the prices of funeral homes that won’t post their GPLs online.
  • FCA-GKC surveys the prices of all funeral homes in our area every two years. Our volunteers spend a lot of time and miles collecting prices in person from providers who won’t mail their GPLs to us.

2. Should the Funeral Rule be amended to require that funeral homes include the actual cost of cremation within the advertised price for direct cremation?

  • YES! The current rule does not require this. Some include the fee in their stated cremation price. Others don’t, then add it as an extra charge of about $350.
  • TELL THEM: No hidden cremation fees – require listing of all costs!

3. Should the Funeral Rule be extended to cover cemeteries too?

  • YES! The current Rule does NOT. Cemeteries are not required by the Funeral Rule to have General Price Lists, to distribute them, or to allow consumers to pick item by item.
  • TELL THEM: Cemeteries should follow the same regulations as funeral homes!
  • FCA-GKC attempted a survey of cemetery prices in 2011 but only half cooperated. Our survey was woefully incomplete.

Your submission doesn’t have to be long, just a clear statement in your own words for the benefit of all of us consumers because we will all need funeral services sooner or later.

Deadline for Comments: April 14, 2020

How to submit: The best and easiest way to comment is by going to the following website below and typing your comments directly in the space provided.

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FTC-2020-0014-0001

If you want more information about the process, you can find it at the following website.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/02/14/2020-02803/funeral-industry-practices-rule#open-comment

 

Be succinct. Be practical. Be clear. Be heard.

Thank you for your invaluable help. We are the Funeral Consumers Alliance Federation. Our voices can help make this a reality. Share with others who might like to have their voice heard!