Don’t Die (or Arrange To Die) This Year
Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that investigators working undercover found significant consumer rights’ violations in nearly 1/3 of all funeral homes inspected.
This is what the FTC’s undercover inspections revealed:
In Chicago, Illinois, one of 12 funeral homes inspected had significant violations; In Metro Washington, D.C., including parts of Maryland and Virginia, 19 of 59 funeral homes inspected had significant violations; In Cincinnati, Ohio, three significant violations were found among 19 funeral homes inspected; In Missoula, Helena, Bozeman and Townsend, Montana, three of 12 funeral homes inspected had significant violations; In El Paso, Texas, six of 12 funeral homes inspected had significant violations; In New Orleans and New Iberia, Louisiana, five of 22 funeral homes inspected had significant violations; and In Nassau County, New York, seven of 14 funeral homes inspected had significant violations. In Chattanooga, Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee, six of 25 funeral homes inspected had significant violations
The Funeral Consumer’s Alliance (“FCA”) publishes lots of good information on their site. The FCA even has a list of ten questions you can ask a funeral to determine if they are ethical and complying the Funeral Rule.
It is important to note, that the FTC’s investigation focused on misconduct related only to pricing and disclosures. The FTC does not regulate issues regarding cremation, embalming, theft, or fraud. Those areas are all left to the states. So, there are lots of violations that are not included in the FTC’s report. The FTC’s numbers seem to indicate that more funeral homes than ever are not following the rules. (See 2008 Report, 2007 Report , 2006 Report)