Adele Kieffer, a resident of Olathe, said that she is already making funeral plans for both her and her husband. She said that it would be better if the prices follow a standard list from the casket to cremation urn accessories and if the prices are posted online. This way, people are not easily scammed because there are many funeral businesses that are ripping their customers. There are many reasons why she is shopping around and comparing prices.
Funeral homes can have a difference in prices as high as thousands of dollars for their basic services alone. When someone dies, majority of the decisions are done quickly. This entails family members spending thousands of dollars while they are in a state of grief coupled with time pressure and no experience in the funeral industry.
According to the federal funeral rule of 1984, funeral homes are mandated to give a general price list to people who are visiting and inquiring about their services.
Consumer groups are now requesting the Federal Trade Commission to update the funeral rule and add an order that funeral homes should make an online post containing their general price lists.
According to Funeral Consumers Alliance’s executive director, Josh Slocum, the consumer should also have the same power as he vendors to be able to have a negotiation. They wanted to make sure that the marketplace is effective for everyone involved.
Consumer groups, Consumer of Federation of America and Funeral Consumer Alliance, are the ones who filed a petition to the FTC to make some amendments with the Funeral Rule.
A number of funeral homes located within the Kansas City area have already posted their price lists online. The number is only 10 to 16 per cent of the total number of funeral homes in the country.
A spokesman from the funeral industry said that the marketplace should be the ones who make decisions regarding disclosing their prices online and there is no need to alter the Funeral Rule.
Consumers, on the other hand, are in agreement with the online price list including caskets, cremation urn accessories and other related products.