Two consumer groups recently issued failing grades to funeral regulators from 33 states. Taking the position that state funeral regulators have a duty to serve both professionals and consumers, The Funeral Consumer Alliance and the Consumer Federation of America worked together in evaluating each regulator’s website on the following criteria:
- The inclusion of a prominent link to consumer-focused information.
- An explanation of a consumer’s basic rights under the Federal Trade Commission’s “Funeral Rule.”
- An explanation of a consumer’s rights when buying a prepaid funeral.
- Other information about how consumers can optimize their purchase of funeral services, including links to the FTC website or publications on “Shopping for Funeral Services”.
- A prominent link for consumers wanting to file a complaint.
- The ability to see whether a funeral home has been subject to disciplinary action by the regulatory body.
In a report titled “An Evaluation of Consumer Information Provided by State Funeral Regulators”, these consumer groups found that most regulatory websites focus exclusively on educating funeral licensees. The report includes recommendations to those state funeral regulators who need to do a better job educating the public. These consumer groups also offer this brochure for funeral consumers.