After the loss of a loved one, family and friends often need to make decisions about funeral arrangements quickly. You may need to plan services by phone or online. When you ask for information by phone, the FTC’s Funeral Rule requires funeral providers to give you accurate information.
Today, the FTC announced a lawsuit accusing Legacy Cremation Services, LLC, Funeral and Cremation Group of North America, LLC, and their owner of violating the Funeral Rule by making false statements about cremation prices and business locations. According to the FTC, Legacy’s online ads make it look like it provides cremation services in thousands of cities and towns. In fact, Legacy doesn’t own or operate a single crematory. Its staff take customers’ information, give price quotes, and then — often without clear notice to families — arrange for third party crematories and funeral homes to pick up loved ones’ remains and perform cremations. In many cases, the third parties aren’t in the locations Legacy says it operates. And often Legacy won’t tell families the name or location of the crematory or funeral home.
The FTC also says Legacy makes false claims about its prices. People rarely — if ever — get cremation services for the price Legacy quotes when they call, or for $695, which is the low end of prices Legacy lists on its website. At times, when people complained about price increases, Legacy threatened — or refused — to return cremated remains until they paid the higher prices.
When you’re looking for a funeral provider, see what people say about their experiences. Search the business’ name online plus words like “complaint” or “review.” When you talk to a provider about a service, ask what’s included in the price. If a provider won’t answer your questions or give you required information, look somewhere else. And if you’re having a problem, please tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
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This is wonderful information as our population ages -including myself. :) Thank you for sharing such important information when it comes to 'end of life' care.
Wow. I nearly had the same problem. The funeral home I dealt with tried to take all of the insurance money stating I signed a paper saying I would pay that price. It was well over the actual cost of the funeral. The signature they had definitely was not mine. Sad how they take advantage of grieving people in their times of bereavement.
excellent advice to the point and brief no extra bs thank you so much
This information is important BUT should be done before the need arises. In the day or two after a death when all these decisions must be made, who has time to research, do online comparisons, and seek out reviews/complaints? Pre-planning and, if possible, pre-paying is something people often avoid because no one wants to contemplate the death of a loved one or their own. Just as making a will and estate planning is vital to making sure you are in control of your assets and your legacy, funeral plans fall into the same category. No, I am not a funeral planner or an employee of any funeral service!
Excellent information. Far too many bereaved families are being duped by shady business practices at a time when they are most vulnerable. Thank you for publishing this information.
My sincere Gratitude for a comprehensive and valuable article. At the senior age of 70 years this article was timely and applicable.
Great Job: To FTC and staff for sharing this information.
Thank you for this information as I have been cheated by several Funeral Directors.
Do you have information regarding the cemetery representatives?