It can be one of the biggest expenditures a consumer makes. It’s a uniquely sensitive transaction. And it’s covered by an FTC Rule.
Blog Posts Tagged with Funerals
In the annals of undercover operatives, their work may not be the most glamorous. But the intelligence they glean plays a central role in protecting consumers.
Good news? About funerals? That’s not a headline you read every day. But the results of the FTC’s latest undercover inspections to check if funeral homes are complying with the Funeral Rule yielded some positive results – and sounded cautionary notes for some members of the industry.
Get two business owners in a room and you’ll get three opinions about how and when to disclose information to prospective buyers. But if you have clients in the funeral industry, the FTC’s Funeral Rule takes some of the guesswork out of that decision.
The Funeral Rule establishes some basic requirements that apply to all funeral providers. Who’s considered a funeral provider? Any business that sells funeral goods and funeral services to the public, including funeral directors, funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematories, among other businesses.
One key provision requires those covered by the Rule to give potential clients a written price list of the goods and services their business provides. The Rule also spells out some practices that are not allowed. For example, it is not permitted to:
Here’s a compliance tip that extends beyond the narrow facts of the FTC case at hand: If you run into legal trouble and are able to avoid law enforcement action, make sure it doesn’t happen a second time. That’s what business people from every sector can take from the FTC’s settlement with James Donofrio and Donmaz Ltd., doing business as New York’s Blair-Mazzarella Funeral Home.
An undercover inspection at a funeral home? It may sound like the plot summary for a movie pitch, but it's the very real — and very serious — work of people trying to make sure consumers are protected when they're shopping for funeral services.
The Benedictine monks of St. Joseph Abbey, the Louisiana Embalming and Funeral Directors Act, and the policy goals of the FTC’s Funeral Rule. Not a likely trifecta, but an amicus brief filed by the FTC in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit raises interesting issues about the relationship between the three.
Is your briefcase feeling lighter? That’s because your dog-eared copy of Volume 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations (where most FTC rules and guides live) is decidedly thinner these days. For the past two decades, the agency has undertaken a systematic review of its rules and guides to make sure they’re up to date, effective, and not overly burdensome. As each rule comes up for review, we ask ourselves — and you — four questions:
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