Date: Fri, May 14, 1999 3:10 PM
Subject: re:casket handling fees
My name is Kevin Gray and I am the CEO of Direct Casket, possibly the largest
casket retailer in the country. I am terribly dismayed at the prospect of the FTC repealing the ban on casket handling fees. Since our inception, we have sold over 5000 caskets directly to consumers at about half of the price they would have paid at the funeral home. With an average selling price of $1200-an average savings of $1200, I estimate we have saved consumers at least $6,000,000 since our inception.
Additionally, we have probasbly[sp] saved them an equivalent amount by providing them with information on how to obtain a lower cost yet dignified funeral by avoiding using the funeral home for the viewing. I am proud to say we have had a profound impact on the funeral industry by not only helping consumers save in the regions we have stores, but by spawning a great number of stores throughout the country who were inspired by our success. To even contemplate the repeal of the casket handling fee would be a travesty! I have hundreds, if not thousands of thank you's from our clients and I can only imagine our colleagues have numerous thank you's themselves. I would greatly appreciate any opportunity to speak before the committee to express my feelings about this.