Amend the Funeral Rule
We are currently working in partnership with the Funeral Consumers Alliance (the national organization that monitors the funeral industry on behalf of consumers) on amending a current piece of legislation. We are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to amend the Funeral Rule to require funeral homes to post their General Price Lists on their websites. The Funeral Rule was written in 1984 and is the only piece of federal legislation that regulates the funeral industry.
We need your help! The FTC needs to hear from real people like you about the importance of bringing this law into the 21st century. The last thing we need when experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one is to go door-to-door requesting prices to shop around for an affordable funeral home. In the digital age, we no longer shop this way... and in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we simply can’t shop like that. In order to comply with social distancing recommendations and the mandates of local public health authorities, we have to "Stay Home, Stay Healthy."
Unsure of how to start? The following are suggested talking points to help you as you write your comments to the FTC:
- Consumers should be able to compare prices for cremation and burial services by visiting the websites of their local funeral homes.
- Local affiliates like PMA dedicate months to collecting the information from General Price Lists for cost-comparison surveys in their state. Price lists could easily be gathered in hours instead. These surveys are widely used by consumers to make informed decisions.
- The price of cremation should be clearly stated on a General Price List and not contain hidden fees.
- Cemeteries should be included in the Funeral Rule and be required to have General Price Lists. Currently, cemeteries are not regulated by the Funeral Rule and are not required to have prices in writing making it unnecessarily difficult for consumers.
Still feeling stuck? FCA has drafted a template to help PMA members draft your own comments to the FTC. Here is the letter from the PMA Board of Directors.
The FTC recognizes that we are living through an uncertain and challenging time. The importance of access to affordable and ethical funeral care is even more relevant in the midst of this ongoing crisis. In recognition of that, they have extended the deadline to submit your comments by June 15, 2020. We recommend submitting your comments electronically to increase the likelihood they will be read. The only permitted way to do this electronically is by visiting the Federal Register's website and uploading your document.