Written Price Disclosures Prior To Purchasing
Developed in 1998 by the Government and Legal Affairs Task Force of the
International Cemetery and Funeral Association
When consumers consider contracting for cemetery and funeral merchandise or services, whether on a preneed or an at-need basis, important information that may influence purchasing decisions should be available. Chief among this data are truthful and accurate prices given in written form prior to a purchasing decision being made.
Although the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule mandates certain written price disclosures by funeral establishments, many related entities including cemetery and crematory authorities, and memorial and casket retailers are generally not covered. As a practical matter, many volunteer, municipal, religious, and fraternal entities organized under various state laws would continue to be excluded from the Funeral Rule due to the FTC's limited jurisdiction over such organizations. However, state regulatory authorities would not be similarly restricted in their coverage.
- Sellers of funerals, interment rights and related merchandise or services, including cremation, should provide a written price list of all such items offered for sale to a potential purchaser where the purpose of the discussion pertains to the sale of any of these items. Where a large number of items are offered for sale in a category, a range of prices may be used.
- The potential purchaser should be allowed to retain a copy of the price list for future reference, which may be combined with other required disclosures.
- The price list should be provided at any location where the meeting between the seller and potential purchaser occurs, not solely at the seller's place of business.
- The price list should contain the name, address, and telephone number of the seller, and contain the effective date of the prices.
- Price information should be provided over the telephone when requested by the caller.
- For enforcement purposes, a warning should be issued by the state regulatory authority for an initial violation. Subsequent violations by the same seller should be assessed based on a graduated scale of monetary penalties.