Complying With the Funeral Rules
The Federal Trade Commission established the Funeral Rule in 1984. This rule was revised in 1994 because of the many complaints from the consumer that the industry i.e. cemeteries, mortuaries and retailers of services and goods was not “clear as what the rule meant.” The Funeral Rule requires you to give the consumers accurate, itemized price information and various other disclosures about funeral goods and services. For more information on funeral rules in Orange County and Los Angeles Ca, contact American Headstones at (949) 228-7055.
In addition, the Rule prohibits you from:
- Misrepresenting legal, crematory and cemetery requirements
- Embalming for a fee without permission
- Requiring the purchase of a casket for direct cremation
- Requiring consumers to buy certain funeral goods or services as a condition for furnishing other funeral goods or services; and Engaging in other deceptive or unfair practices
People are not in a clear frame of mind when death occurs and poor decisions are made when undue pressure from a deceptive salesman are forced upon them. The typical complaint that I hear is that you were told that you cannot bring a casket or a headstone from an outside supplier or that the company does not allow outside goods to be brought into the facility. This is a deceptive practice and an illegal one. Sellers must allow you to make choices. They can “Bundle” goods and services when shown on their “Price List”. There can be a package of goods that include a casket, Headstone or other items for a specific price and a package of goods without those items for a specific price called the “itemized List”. Now the consumer can make a choice whether shopping with that retailer or moving on to someone else.
The best time to start shopping is when you are not “AT-NEED”, do it before your loved one passes. At this time you can make clear choices and you can really get to know the provider that will do the services and accurately know what you are paying for. This knowledge is important because the consumer has choices today when purchasing the casket; COSTCO now retails a casket for a fraction of the price and they have Retail power to not allow the Mortuary industry to muscle over them. Their products are of a high quality and shopping is easy with on-time deliveries to all cemeteries.
Headstones, are also a product that falls under the guidelines of the Funeral Rule. You the consumer have the right to shop this outside of the Mortuary network when you purchase goods and services.
Know the Funeral Rules Before the Service
The consumer must be aware of the Funeral Rule before going into a service provider and must understand their rights. It is a difficult battle when shopping for the first time but armed with information you then can make difficult choices with better confidence.
Remember; that your options are greater when using independent service providers for funeral Services. You can find them in the phone book, they are generally priced lower and the experience will be rewarding in the end. Always use your District Cemeteries for the final resting place. Here in Orange County, Ca. we have the Orange County Cemetery District that is by far the most beautiful kept grounds in the area and with strict by-laws that prohibit unfair pricing and practices. District Cemeteries only provide burial services and do not sell funeral goods. You now have the power of shopping for the best deals via word of mouth, the internet or going to a headstone / casket retailer on-line. For all your funeral rule information for Orange County and Los Angeles Ca, contact American Headstones at (949) 228-7055 and purchase your headstone or memorial online with new online specials.
Article written by Josh Rapozo of American Headstones