This guide will help you become an informed consumer by outlining your rights and offering suggestions and tips when shopping for a funeral service provider. Highlights include a discussion of the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Funeral Rule along with creative ways to manage expenses when making funeral arrangements.
Shopping for a funeral service provider is less stressful when you are aware of your rights. The laws outlined within the Federal Trade Commission’s FTC Funeral Rule helps to protect consumers when using a funeral service provider. Guidelines are in force to monitor and govern funeral service providers in the effort to prevent them from engaging in questionable business practices. Consumers have several options that include:
Obtaining information by telephone to learn how much service features cost without obligation. When choosing this method of contact, consumers are not required to share personal info.
Funeral service providers must give consumers that visit their business in person a General Price List (GPL) that includes itemized costs for all available services.
There is no requirement to purchase package funeral arrangements. Consumers can choose only those features they want and can afford.
Consumers have the right to get a detailed written statement of selected services with costs before making payment.
The Internet is home to a wide variety of excellent resources that consumers will find helpful when searching for funeral service providers. Some of the top choice sites include Dignity Memorial, which has a search tool to locate funeral homes in the Tampa area. Their nationwide network includes listings with detailed information about service feature options offered by individual providers. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) also maintains a searchable online directory of funeral homes in the Tampa region.
Additional sources that provide helpful information and suggestions include the website of the Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO), which maintains individual state guidelines including a link for Florida residents. Highlights on FEO include topics such as making funeral arrangements, organ donation, burial, cremation, and much more. The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) is yet another site where consumers can find helpful resources and answers for many of their questions when searching for a funeral service provider.
There are many options available for consumers to explore to help them afford the expenses associated with funeral services. The Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) outlines a variety of ways to cover costs, which includes considering alternative methods when making final arrangements. You can save money by going the route of direct cremation or donating the body for medical research purposes.
Additional ways to save money include setting up a trust fund, opening a savings account, or purchasing a life insurance policy. If the deceased was still working prior to passing, check to see if the loved one had survivor benefits as part of their employer package plan. Comparison-shopping when contacting funeral service providers will often result in substantial savings to help pay for the expenses. You can save hundreds of dollars, if not more, by comparing the prices of several providers.
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