For this post we are focused on Issues 18 through 21of the FTC’s Notice to revise the Funeral Rule. With these issues the FTC is responding to consumer advocates assertions that the GPL does not adequately disclose incidental costs associated with direct cremations or immediate burials. With regard to immediate burials, advocates do not believe consumers are adequately warned that the cemetery will have its own charges (such as interment fees, endowed care and a vault). With regard to direct cremations, the issues ask whether funeral providers must list possible costs such as an urn or delivery costs.
It would seem intuitive that consumers would ask the funeral provider what is or is not included. But the consumer advocate is suggesting that as on line shopping expands, consumers will make decisions based on the information posted on the funeral provider’s website. But the reality is that a very small percentage of funeral arrangements are made wholly online. If any disclosure is needed for this situation it should be that additional costs may be associated with either direct cremations and immediate burials, and consumers should speak with their funeral provider before finalizing their decisions.