Still, a review of the funeral rule in has been scheduled for several years, Ms. The commission typically seeks public comments to help determine if a rule remains relevant, and whether any changes are warranted.
Scientific Advancement, ‘1 Funeral at a Time’
One factor it considers, Ms. Poss noted, is any impact of technological changes. Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, said the rule sorely needed updating.
The alliance, along with the consumer federation, unsuccessfully petitioned the Federal Trade Commission in to speed up its review. The commission enforces the funeral rule, in part, with undercover inspections of funeral homes. It reported last year that nearly a quarter of homes in a dozen states visited in had failed to comply with federal price disclosure rules.
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An analysis of funeral homes last year by the Funeral Consumers Alliance found just 16 percent with websites included their full price lists online, although about a fourth posted some information, such as packaged services. More recently, research by the alliance and other groups found that online pricing disclosure was spotty even in California, the only state that requires funeral homes with websites to include pricing information online or to list services and note that prices are available upon request.
What happens if a funeral home fails to properly disclose its prices? But first-time offenders can enter a training program run by the National Funeral Directors Association that is intended to help increase compliance. Is there anywhere to compare funeral prices online?
Commercial websites like Parting. Funeralocity, he said, earns a referral fee when users book services with funeral homes that have that status. The website says those homes agree to offer discounts to users who choose them through Funeralocity. Consumer advocates say they generally support wider availability of information online but caution that third-party websites may have financial incentives to promote one funeral home over another.
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