Amend the Funeral Rule
UPDATE: As of October 2022, the FTC has asked the public for comments on proposals to update the Funeral Rule and will accept comments until January 3, 2023. Here is the letter that was sent to the FTC from the PMA Board of Directors in 2020. We encourage you to use it as you need to prepare your own comments then visit this link to submit your own comments.
We have been working alongside other organizations in the funeral industry to urge 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.
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."
Here's a summary of points that have been brought to the FTC in support of amending the Funeral Rule:
- Funeral homes should be required to post their complete price lists on their websites. 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.