A Montgomery, Alabama, funeral home has agreed to settle FTC charges that it violated the Funeral Rule. The Rule requires funeral providers to give consumers pricing and other important information when discussing funeral arrangements.
The FTC conducts annual undercover inspections of funeral homes to monitor compliance with the Funeral Rule’s disclosure requirements. These requirements include providing itemized price lists at the start of any in-person discussions of funeral arrangements, and casket or outer burial container purchases. The Rule also requires funeral homes to provide price information by telephone upon request, and generally prohibits them from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service.
According to the FTC, on at least two occasions in 2012, Ross-Clayton Funeral Home Inc. failed to provide an itemized casket price list at the time and manner required by the Rule. The consent order, which the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama entered on June 23, requires the funeral home to pay a $16,000 civil penalty, and permanently prohibits it from violating the Funeral Rule.
The Commission vote to authorize the filing of the proposed consent order was 3-0.
NOTE: Consent orders have the force of law when entered by the District Court judge.
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