In the forefront of educating the public on their rights as funeral consumers is our national organization—the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA)—located in South Burlington, VT. FCA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1963. Along with monitoring industry trends and mediating complaints, the organization spends much of its effort alerting consumers to the existence of what is known as “the Funeral Rule,” issued in 1984 by the Federal Trade Commission.
The Funeral Rule requires funeral directors to itemize the costs of their services (like picking-up the body, embalming, using make-up, purchasing the casket, flowers, a viewing, a service at the funeral parlor or church, a hearse and a grave-site ceremony). But noncompliance is rampant and widespread, contends FCA.
visit their website –or- call ( 800-765-0107 )
FCA’s critique of the Funeral Industry
“I think what upsets many people in funeral service [is that] we’re taking issue not with the scandals (because everyone agrees about those), but with the basic, core belief system by which much of funeral service operates. This includes the unquestioned assertions that ordinary people are incapable of handling death without ‘trained professionals,’ that counseling the bereaved on an appropriate casket somehow facilitates the grief process…that the embalmed, casketed body is somehow ‘traditional,’ that dignity can be bought, and that love can be measured by commercial consumption.
I know that many, probably most, funeral directors enter the business out of a sincere desire to help people. I really do believe that their intentions are usually honorable…But it doesn’t make the deliberate confusion of commercialism with sentiment any less questionable.”
Josh Slocum, Executive Director, RadioActive, July, 2008.