2008 FTC Investigation

As an independent, unaffiliated pre-need funeral planner, I think that the results from the 2008 inspection are deplorable and the title of the press release is completely misleading. It basically spells out that not even one in seven states had a clean record, and good luck if you need to rely or trust a funeral home in Northeastern Arkansas, whose 15 inspected funeral homes received a 100% FAIL for compliance. In fact, only one state (NY) was below half of its funeral homes inspected receiving either a significant or minor violation. And the “penalty” for funeral homes with significant violations is to opt out of costly and public litigation, instead entering into a 3-year program to learn how to operate a compliant funeral home, while continuing day-to-day operations as a funeral home, and pay annual fees to an association that they likely already belong to, ultimately paying themselves. This builds consumer confidence? I continue to be shocked by the stories our clients share and the rude behavior of funeral homes towards us when we request information. I find the results of the 2008 survey, with over 61% of investigated funeral homes cited for either a significant or minor violation, embarrassing to the FTC, aside from the fact that for the entire year of 2008, only 104 funeral homes were included. It does not build consumer confidence, but it does make me believe even more strongly that consumers can and should protect themselves.

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