Washington, D.C. – The Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, Funeral Consumers Alliance, Funeral Consumers Alliance of Maryland and Environs, and Consumer Federation of America applaud the 13 Baltimore funeral homes that assist consumers by posting their prices online.
“These funeral homes help Baltimore area consumers shop for relatively expensive services by fully disclosing all charges on their websites,” said Marceline White, Executive Director of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Home Rule requires funeral homes to make available General Price Lists to consumers who ask. However, this Rule was issued in 1984, before the existence of the Internet and websites. “Now that the internet has become the consumers best resource for comparative prices, the FTC Funeral Rule needs to be modernized by requiring funeral homes to post all of their prices on their websites,” said Josh Slocum, President of the Funeral Consumers Alliance.
The good news: 13 of the 45 funeral homes with websites inside the Baltimore Beltway (Route 695) have decided to post their price lists voluntarily.
In addition to calling on the FTC to require website price disclosures by funeral home, these consumer groups will be examining disclosure practices in other parts of the country.The FTC’s Funeral Rule requires price disclosures because funeral prices can be very high – averaging more than $7,000 nationwide. Even simple cremations can sometimes cost thousands. Compounding these high costs is the fact that most consumers must make this complex purchase under time pressure and in a state of emotional distress. “Consumers who have suffered a loss and must quickly choose a funeral home benefit greatly by the availability of online price lists,” said Stephen Brobeck, a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America.
Josh Slocum, FCA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Blaylock, FCAME, email@example.com
Marceline White, MCRC, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Brobeck, CFA, email@example.com