How the Funeral Rule Helps Consumers
February 22, 2017
In 1984, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) established the Funeral Rule to give consumers of funeral services certain protections. The rule’s main objective was to ensure consumers receive adequate information concerning all of the goods and services they may purchase from a funeral provider. All funeral providers are required to comply.
Prior to the 1970s, the National Funeral Directors Association prohibited its members from advertising their prices in newspapers and other media. These practices made it easy for the association and funeral providers to take advantage of families seeking services. For example, this prohibition allowed providers to include unexpected fees as part of a funeral bill. Survivors paying these bills were often unaware of these fees and had no choice but to pay them. In 1968, the US Department of Justice sued the association over this issue. The suits and other encounters led to the FTC create the Funeral Rule.
The Funeral Rule offset many unfair practices and gave transparency to families who were dealing with the loss of a loved one and who were in a particular moment of weakness and vulnerability. As you know, after death, survivors do not have a lot of time to survey the market for the most affordable and honest funeral service.
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