Preparing funeral arrangements and contacting potential service providers can be very emotional and stressful. This guide will help make the process easier as it offers suggestions and tips on what to look and what to expect while you shop for a funeral home. Included is an overview of your rights as a consumer as outlined by the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Funeral Rule.
It is comforting to know that the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Funeral Rule governs the ways in which funeral service providers conduct their businesses. The laws protect consumers in many ways, particularly when shopping and comparing prices for available services. The FTC Funeral Rule prohibits funeral homes from engaging in unethical and questionable practices when assisting consumers with service arrangements. A few examples of these laws as posted on the FTC’s website include:
Funeral service providers must provide detailed price information when consumers contact them by telephone. Consumers do not have to reveal personal information such as their names or phone number to receive the information.
Consumers may refuse the option for embalming. When burial is not immediate or within a specific period, alternative arrangements may include refrigeration.
Funeral homes must provide service to consumers that want to get a casket or urn at another business and have it delivered to them directly without charging extra costs or expenses.
When cremation is the choice, consumers have the option of not using a traditional casket. Funeral homes offering this service must tell consumers what types of containers are available and provide prices.
The Digital Memorial network offers excellent online resources for consumers that need additional assistance when planning funeral services. The site has a search tool that you can use to locate funeral homes and similar services within the San Diego area. A few of the listed providers in the San Diego area include the Merkley-Mitchell Mortuary and the Beardsley-Mitchell Funeral Home.
Another option is to explore the suggestions and tips on the website of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which offers guidance on how to compare and shop for funeral services. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) maintains an online directory of funeral homes in the San Diego area that includes reviews and ratings.
If you know in advance that the death of a loved one is eminent, you have the opportunity to plan for the expenses associated with planning a funeral service. Other options include having a life insurance policy to cover the costs. You do not need to spend a lot of money on extra funeral features to provide a dignified burial for a loved one.
The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) funeral pricing checklist provides consumers with additional ways they can pay for expenses. You can print the checklist off their website and have it handy while contacting potential funeral service providers to get information. The tool is an excellent resource to use for comparison-shopping among several providers in your area while you search for the best options to meet your needs.
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