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Some Funeral Homes Fail to Disclose Required Price Info

A federal investigation finds violations of a rule designed to protect consumers

Coffin with floral arrangement

Robert Hoetink/Getty Images

Funeral homes are required to provide an itemized price list to consumers.

An undercover investigation has found that some funeral homes in several states have violated federal rules by failing to provide consumers with an itemized price list.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigators went to 134 funeral homes in 11 states in 2017 and found that 29 had failed to disclose the required pricing information.

The rule says funeral homes must provide the itemized list at the start of in-person talks about funeral arrangements, a casket price list before consumers view any caskets, and an outer-burial container price list before they view grave liners or vaults. The rule also prohibits homes from requiring consumers to buy any item as a condition of obtaining other goods or services. The rule is designed to allow consumers to compare prices and buy only what they need.

First-time violators can enter a training program run by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) designed to increase compliance. All the homes found in violation have entered the program, the FTC reported. 

Civil penalties can be as high as $40,654 per violation. Funeral homes that take the training program make a voluntary payment to the U.S. Treasury in place of a civil penalty and pay annual administrative fees to the NFDA.

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