Date: Fri, May 14, 1999 3:31 PM
Subject: casket handling fees
In continuation of my previous e-mail, I also would like to submit the following. We have been able to survive despite the dastardly tactics of many funeral homes who do everything they can to violate the spirit of, if not the actual ruling regarding handling fees. They have elected to inflate their itemized prices to an absurd amount and then offer a bundled package at greatly reduced prices (their original prices before inflating them) to only those consumers who purchase caskets from them. In effect,this is a reverse handling fee. I have written to you about this previously as have many others in the industry. Additionally, many funeral homes have elected to lower their prices on a case by case basis in an attempt to put us out of business. How unfair is this where the unwitting consumer pays three times as much for a casket as the informed consumer. If the funeral home has a GPL, why should they be allowed to deviate from it only when it serves their interest, not the consumer's?
If we are to abide by the funeral rule, which, incidentally, we do anyway, should not the rule address these clear attempts at circumvention by the funeral directors?
The NFDA's position on the handling fee would be laughable if I wasn't concerned that it might somehow be successful in its endeavors. I would like to submit the enormous number of thank you's we have received from consumers so enamored with our service. Please notify me should there be any opportunities to speak to the review committee.