The Green Burial Council joins the Funeral Consumers Alliance in encouraging citizen participation in creating change that supports families in need of access to affordable and appropriate funeral products and services.
The Federal Trade Commission has asked for comments on improving the landmark “Funeral Rule”. This is our chance to persuade the government to bring this important regulation into the 21st century, making funeral home prices accessible online to anyone, at any time.
What is the Funeral Rule? In 1984, the Federal Trade Commission instituted the Funeral Rule to ensure that consumers were able to get only the funeral goods and services they wanted. The Funeral Rule is the federal government's check on the funeral profession. To learn more about the specifics of what the current Rule covers, go to The FTC Funeral Rule webpage.
Below we’ve listed the top questions that are of particular interest to GBC providers and consumers. Our goal is to persuade the FTC not just to accept comments as it is doing now, but to actually open the Rule to amendments and changes. We are not there yet—that’s why your testimony is crucial.
Two Major Questions We Ask Your Help in Answering
What specific questions should GBC providers and consumers answer? To review the detailed questions the FTC is asking public input for, please download this PDF: FTC_Funeral_Rule_2020_Review. 13. Online and Electronic Price List Information The Funeral Rule, currently, does not require funeral homes to post their General Price Lists on their websites. Funeral homes only have to hand a paper copy to any person if that person physically visits the funeral home. Should the Rule be amended to require that funeral homes who have websites post their GPLs prominently and conspicuously on the home page of that website? 22. Cemeteries Should the Commission broaden the Rule to apply to cemeteries? The current Rule does not. Cemeteries are not required by the Funeral Rule to have General Price Lists, to distribute them, or to allow consumers to pick item by item. Because there are no general price lists required for cemeteries, cost comparison surveys are not available for families wishing to compare and choose as an informed consumer. Should the Rule require cemeteries to be on the same playing field as funeral homes?
Instructions on How to Submit Your Comments to the FTC
Please answer the questions in your own words, and use your real-world experience to illustrate the need. Tell the FTC about the elderly woman you helped, who thought the $9,000 funeral bill she was facing couldn’t be avoided. Let them know how burdensome it is to have to get in your car and physically visit funeral homes who refuse to mail you a copy of their price list or put them on their websites. Explain why transparency in cemetery pricing is just as important (see Question 22a for the specific input being requested). Your submission doesn’t have to be long, just a clear statement of your real-world experience with consumers as you try to educate your community about funeral planning with an eye to controlling costs.
1) “What is the deadline for submitting comments?” April 14, 2020
2) “What document should I use when I submit?” We suggest you copy and paste the questions below into a separate word processing document. When you are satisfied with your final version, submit that separate word processing document to the FTC at the online portal below. We strongly advise you against submitting on paper through the US Mail. While this is technically permitted, experience shows your comments are more likely to be delayed, lost, and never make it to the FTC given the security measures through which paper mail is put in the nation’s capital. Don’t waste your good effort.