Consumer Protection

A Needle in a Haystack – Finding Funeral Prices Online in 26 State Capitals

A Pew Research Center study in 2016 found that more than 80 percent of Americans use the Internet to compare products and services on a first-time purchase. Yet, when it comes to one of the more expensive services that people are required to buy – funerals averaging more than $7,000 in cost – the Internet is of little use because only a minority of funeral homes list any prices on their websites. And only a very small percentage include the price information required by the Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule.

This report, prepared by Funeral Consumers Alliance and CFA, researched the websites of all funeral homes, found by Google search, in and within a 10-mile radius of 26 capital cities. We chose 25 small to mid-sized capital cities to study. In addition, we included Sacramento, California as a comparison. California is the only state that requires funeral homes to post their General Price Lists online, or, if they choose not to, to list 16 categories of funeral-related services on offer and a note that a price list is available on request. The results from Sacramento underscore the effectiveness of this law, enacted in 2013. The contrast between Sacramento and the other 25 capital cities is striking.

Download PDF