Was the Funeral Home Ethical?

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Are You Wondering if the Funeral Home You Used Was an Ethical One?

It probably was — IF — you can answer "yes" to these ten questions:

  • Did you receive a General Price List early in planning the funeral and before you made any decisions that would affect the price of the funeral?
  • Did you receive a Casket Price List prior to picking out a casket?
  • Was there a casket on display that cost less than $500?
  • Were you told that some caskets come in other colors for the same general model or price and that they are readily obtained?
  • Were low-cost caskets presented with the same dignity as the more expensive models? Or was disparaging or dissuading language used in describing certain low-cost caskets such as "welfare casket," "morgue box," or "cremation container" while pushing the nonexistant qualities of "sealer" caskets?
  • Did you receive an Outer Burial Container price list before selecting a grave liner or coffin vault?
  • If you were told that anything was required by state or cemetery law, were you given that evidence in writing?
  • Did you receive an itemized Statement of Goods and Services Selected prior to the funeral so you knew what the cost of the funeral would be?
  • If there were "cash advance" items on the Statement of Goods and Services Selected, does the Statement indicate, "We charge you for these services in the same amount as we are billed."? (If not, did you realize that you might be charged more than what these items actually cost?)
  • Were your wishes respected in the choices you made? ( Or were you subtly pressured to opt for expensive items by such comments as "This is the respectful way to do it . . ." or "I'm sure you want the best for your mother. . . "?)

If your funeral experience was less than satisfactory, you may have grounds to file a funeral complaint. Email the details of your story to the FCA This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please include the state where this experience took place. You should receive an answer within 24-48 hours. You might also want to read our pamphlet, How to File a Funeral Complaint.

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 December 2007 16:32 )  
Comments (2)
1 Thursday, 21 August 2008 20:33
With a pre-arranged funeral contract, I was told because my sister was obese, a oversize casket would be needed in the amount of $1,400 above the $410.00 that had been already paid in the pre-arranged contract. I never was presented a list with a price for an oversize casket, and found out at the funeral that the casket was regular size. Later told by funeral employee that the casket was regular size with a re-adjusted lining. Do I have a legitimate complaint?
2 Thursday, 21 August 2008 21:38
Yes, you do have a legit. complaint. I would try to get from the employee the real model number and name of the casket, so you have that to offer in your complaint letter. I would first write to the funeral home insisting on a refund, and letting them know that if one is not forthcoming, you'll file a complaint with your state's funeral board.

I'd love a copy of your complaint. For future correspondence with us, please email us directly at fca@funerals.org. The comments are not a good place for us to go back and forth over a complaint.

Good luck,

Josh Slocum
FCA Exec. Director

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