At Express Casket we strive to achieve the absolute best in affordability & customer service, and the funeral industry as a whole is filled with capable and well-meaning service providers. But, like any large industry, there are businesses that run afoul of the law and attempt to take advantage of consumers during a time of vulnerability.
You have probably found us during a very emotional time, and one filled with many unique challenges & distractions. When making funeral arrangements, you need to have absolute certainty that you are getting a fair deal and only the services that you want.
Express Casket wants you to be informed regarding your rights, so that you are not occupied with the need to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. The funeral industry is regulated by the United States Federal Trade Commission, by the so-called ‘Funeral Rule’. A number of guidelines ensure fair trade and protection for consumers – among the most noteworthy are the following funeral rules:
- You do not need to accept costly unwanted services as part of a package. Goods (caskets & urns) and services (embalming) can always be purchased separately.
- Funeral professionals must quote you prices over the phone if requested. You do not have to give any personal information in order to receive a quote.
- All price lists must be itemized into a General Price List (GPL). If you are shopping around, request a GPL from each funeral home to compare costs.
- Ask to review a complete list of casket prices prior to examining the caskets on display. Funeral homes may not display lower-priced caskets on their showroom floor.
- Ask to review a price list for an outer burial container. There are no federal or state requirements for an outer burial container, but individual cemeteries may require one. Find out if you need an outer burial container, and then review the prices before viewing them – budget models may not be on display.
- You may purchase products from anywhere – a funeral home may not refuse to use funeral products purchased elsewhere, or charge an additional fee based upon what products you have purchased from them. If you have funeral products being delivered to a funeral home, you do not need to be present to take delivery.
- If you are having a cremation performed, there is no requirement for a casket – you are allowed to choose a different container. Contact the funeral home directly to find out what alternative (usually much more affordable) options are available.
- Prior to payment, the funeral home must provide you with an itemized list of expenses. Take some time to review this list to ensure that prices, products & services are correct. Do not hesitate to question items that are inaccurate or unclear.
- The funeral home must provide you, in writing, with a list of any funeral products & services that they charge you for that are legally required by the burial jurisdiction. This list must include additional requirements of the cemetery. The legal source of any requirements must be cited.
We have one tip that will be extremely helpful to you in getting the best prices possible: