Petition Demands Funeral Homes Post Prices Online

Volt Collection /

Nearly 20 years ago, my high school’s “Prep for Life” class visited a local funeral home. The goal of the class “field trip” was to give us an idea of what a funeral costs.

I will never forget how our teenage jaws dropped when the funeral director showed us the $250 price tag on a casket-sized cardboard box. That was in 1997.

It’s no secret that funeral costs can be expensive. Worse yet, the price of a funeral can vary — sometimes by several thousand dollars — depending on where you’re planning the funeral and which funeral home you choose.

In an effort to help Americans make funeral decisions that don’t leave them buried in debt, two consumer groups are calling on the federal government to make funeral pricing more transparent by requiring that funeral homes post the prices of their services online.

The Funeral Consumers Alliance, in partnership with the Consumer Federation of America, filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission this week, urging the agency to update its 1984 Funeral Industry Practices Rule, also known as “The Funeral Rule,” to include a provision for mandatory internet price disclosure for funeral homes.

The rule already requires price disclosure by funeral homes, but only in person or over the phone.

The petition contends that requiring funeral homes to disclose service prices online would help decrease “inflated funeral prices” because consumers would have easier access to funeral homes’ pricing.

That access would allow consumers to more easily comparison shop for a funeral home that stays within their budget. The petition states:

Many Americans cannot afford the average funeral as the market functions today. Full information is associated with competitive markets and greater consumer surplus. To state the obvious: shopping around leads to savings. Research shows price shopping on the Internet yields savings.

The petition notes that many people are forced to make funeral arrangement and purchasing decisions quickly, while grieving the loss of a loved one.

Although the FTC is slated to review “The Funeral Rule” — which was originally issued to make funeral home pricing more transparent — in 2019, the petition urges the commission to act now because “between now and 2019, consumers will likely spend at least $50 billion on funeral services.”

Josh Slocum, executive director of the FCA, says he’s hopeful the FTC will act promptly on the petition request.

“Grieving families don’t have time to wait,” he says.

Check out “Why It’s Tough to Get a Good Price on Cremation.”

Have you planned a funeral lately? Were you surprised at the costs? Share your experiences below or on our Facebook page.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet
11 Expenses That Quietly Drain Your Wallet

It’s scandalously easy to overspend in these areas of your life.

15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age
15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age

There are many products that can make getting older — or any time of life — a little easier.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started


Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.

Trending Stories