A Problem Solved: Pre-need Funeral Contract

Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Thursday, Apr. 28, 2011

A Problem Solved
By Dave Lieber

Norma Erwin, 79, of Crowley complained to The Watchdog that the price of her pre-need funeral contract was unfairly increased after she altered it.

I forwarded her complaint to Jim Bates of Watauga, leader of the North Texas chapter of Funeral Consumers Alliance, which helps consumers in disputes with the funeral industry.

Bates met with Erwin on his way to Austin, where he planned to testify at a legislative hearing on the funeral industry. At the hearing, he saw Stephanie Newberg, a Texas deputy banking commissioner, and showed her Erwin’s contract.

Newberg saw a flaw in the original contract written by an insurance company representative.

The deputy commish called the funeral home operator to point out the error. After that, the operator gave Bates a $600 check to give to Erwin as a refund.

I want to publicly thank Bates for his efforts. It would be great if every problem could be solved this way: Take it straight to the top and get your money back in less than a week.

The above text is an extract from a larger article titled:

Fort Worth open-records problems bigger than believed

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