Funeral Service Management: FTC Material

FTC (Federal Trade Commision)
Agency of the federal government created in 1914 to promote free and fair competition by prevention of trade restraints, price fixing, false advertising and other unfair methods of competition.
Commission
Refers to the Federal Trade Commission.
Funeral Provider
Any person, partnership, or corporation that sells or offers to sell funeral goods and funeral services to the public.
Crematory
Any person, partnership, or corporation that performs cremation and sells funeral goods.
Person
Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, government or governmental subdivision or agency, or other entity.
Telephone Price Disclosure
Funeral provider must give consumers who call accurate information from the price lists and answer questions about offerings and prices with readily available information.
CPL (Casket Price List)
Printed or typewritten list of the casket and alternative containers normally offered for the sale by the funeral provider which do not require special ordering. It must include retail price and enough descriptive information to enable consumers to identify the merchandise.
OBC PL (Outer Burial Container Price List)
Printed or typewritten price list of outer burial containers normally offered for sale by the funeral provider which do not require special ordering. It must include retail price and enough descriptive information to enable consumers to identify the merchandise.
GPL (General Price List)
Printed or typewritten price list of goods and services offered for sale by a funeral provider with retail prices. It is considered the keystone of the Funeral Rule.
Statement of Funeral Goods and Services Selected
Itemized written statement provided for retention to each person who arranges a funeral or other disposition. It must include the goods and services selected and prices paid for each, itemization of cash advance items and the total cost. ” The Contract”
Itemization
Method of price quotation by which each unit of service and/or merchandise is priced separately.
Package Pricing
Use of a single dollar amount to identify the charge for a group or bundle of goods and/or services.
Cremation
Heating process which incinerates human remains.
Outer Burial Container (OBC)
Any container which is designed for placement in the grave around the casket including, but not limited to, container commonly known as burial vaults, grave boxes, and grave liners.
Exigent Circumstancs
Situation requiring immediate action or urgency; FTC recognizes that funeral provider might embalm without permission.
Funeral Goods
Goods which are sold or offered for sale directly to the public for use in connection with funeral services.
Funeral Services
Any services which may be used to 1) care for and prepare deceased human bodies for burial, cremation or other final disposition; and 2) arrange, supervise or conduct the funeral ceremony or the final disposition of deceased human bodies.
Services of Funeral Director and Staff
Basic services, not to be included in prices of other categories in Section 453.2(b)(4), that are furnished by a funeral provider in arranging any funeral, such as conducting the arrangement conference, planning the funeral, obtaining necessary permits, and placing obituary notices.
Non Decline-able Service Fee
Basic services is the only fee which the consumer can not decline (unless state or local law requires otherwise). Funeral provider should recover expenses for services, facilities or unallocated overhead in this charge.
Tying Arrangements
Exist when a seller requires the purchase of unwanted items/services in order to obtain items/services.
Casket Handling Fee
Charge, fee or surcharge applied to consumers who purchase their casket elsewhere from a source other than the price list/funeral provider. (Note: This is defined by the FTC but is not to be charged to the family).
Mandatory Disclosures
Statements required by the Rule which can not be modified or edited and must appear in clear and conspicuous manner.
Effective Date
Date that the specific Price List was put into use.
Funeral Ceremony
Service commemorating the deceased with the body.
Memorial Service
Ceremony commemorating the deceased without the body present.
Graveside Service
Ceremony commemorating the deceased at the place of final disposition.
Forwarding of Remains
One of the categories required to be itemized on the GPL( if the funeral provider offers the service). This involves services of the funeral provider in the locale where death occurs and preparation for transfer to another funeral provider as selected by the family(consumer). Funeral Rule requires package pricing of this service with a description of the components included.
Receiving the Remains
One of the categories required to be itemized on the GPL(if the funeral provider offers the service). This involves services of the funeral provider after initial services have been provided by another firm at the locale of death. Funeral Rule requires package pricing of this service with a description of the components included.
Direct Cremation
Disposition of human remains by cremation, without formal viewing, visitation, or ceremony with the body present.
Alternative Price List
Price list which may be prepared for use in certain limited situations such as children/infants, for government agencies to provide for indigent persons, for agreements with religious groups, burial or memorial societies for members of their group.
How many commissioners are there on the FTC?
5
How long do commissioners serve on the FTC?
7 years
What are the three purposes of the FTC?
1) Maintain free and fair competition in the U.S. business. 2) Take action against Monopolies, restraint of trade and unfair or deceptive trade practices. 3) Prevent anti-competitive practices in the market place as aid to consumers.
What year did the FTC Trade Regulation rule for the funeral industry go into effect?
1984 (4/30)
What are the five things a Funeral Provider may NOT do under the Rule?
1) Misrepresent legal, cemetery and crematory requirements. 2) Embalm for a fee without permission. 3) Require the purchase of a casket for direct cremation. 4) Require the purchase of certain goods or services as a condition to furnish other goods or services. 5) Engage in unfair or deceptive practices as described in the Rule.
What is the fine per violation?
May result in penalties of up to $10,000 per violation.
What is considered the cornerstone of The Rule?
The GPL
Are you permitted to charge a casket handling fee?
No
What are the 5 items required on the GPL?
1) Funeral Provider firm name, address, telephone number. 2) Caption: General Price List. 3) Effective Date. 4) Printed or typewritten. 5) Retail prices of funeral goods and or funeral services offered for sale in any order.
Is the GPL to be given for retention?
yes
How many items of Goods and Services are required on the GPL if the funeral home provides them all?
16
What are the 6 mandatory disclosures on the GPL?
1) Consumer right to select only the goods and services desired. 2) Embalming. 3) Alternative containers for direct cremation. 4)Basic Service Fee. 5) Casket Price List. 6) Outer Burial Container Price List.
What are the 4 rules about placing disclosures?
1) Exactly as the Rule prescribes, 2) Clear and conspicuous manner, 3) Identical wording as given in the Rule, 4) Can include additional information in disclosures, but can not change or add anything that will modify FTC language.
What is the triggering event for giving the GPL?
Face-to-Face meeting. Someone asks about funeral goods, services or prices at the funeral home or elsewhere. Upon beginning the discussion of any of the following: 1) Prices of funeral goods or services, 2) Overall type of funeral service or disposition, 3) specific funeral goods or services offered by the provider.
What is the triggering event for giving the OBC PL?
Must offer to those who inquire in person. Upon beginning discussion of outer burial containers. Not required for retention.
What is the triggering event for giving the CPL?
Must offer to those who inquire in person. Upon beginning discussion of caskets. Not required for retention.
Are the OBC PL and CPL given for retention?
No. Not required.
What are the items required to be on the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services selected?
1) legal, cemetery or crematory requirements, 2) Embalming, 3) Cash Advance items.
How long must the GPL be retained?
At least one year after the date of last distribution.
How long must the Statement of Funeral Goods and Services be retained?
At least one year from the date of the arrangement conference.
Explain FROP ( Funeral Rule Offenders Program )
1) Non-litigation alternative for correcting core violations of the Rule. 2) Joint project of the FTC and NFDA. 3) Voluntary payments to the U.S. Treasury. 4) NFDA led training and competency testing. 5) Five year commitment. 6) Price lists are reviewed.
Yes or no? More funeral homes are requiring people to pay for the funeral at the time of the arrangements(no longer waiting for the settling of the estate).
Yes
Yes or no? Pre-Need will continue to increase, but the trend in guaranteeing the cost of the funeral will decrease.
Yes
How long is the Cooling Off Regulation for Door to Door sales?
Have 72 hours
Funeral providers must give:
Accurate, itemized price information.
FTC Regulation Rule for Funeral Industry Practices is known as:
The Rule
Free Items
None of the 16 items required to be separately itemized on the GPL can be listed as free or no charge. Items not required by the rule can be listed as free.
Casket
Rigid container which is designated for the encasement of human remains and which is usually of wood, metal, fiberglass,plastic or like material, and ornamented and lined with fabric.
Embalming Disclosure
“We embalm because the family requested the embalming”. Disclosure must be on the Statement of Funeral Goods and Service Selected.
Alternative Container
Unfinished wood box or other non-metal receptacle or enclosure, without ornamentation or fixed interior lining, which is designed for encasement of human remains which is made of fiberboard, pressed-wood , composition materials, etc.