Costco Stepping Up Casket Game?

December 17, 2009
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image Costco launched a redefined “Must Read This Important Information Before Purchasing a Casket” page, adding more Frequently Asked Questions.

With Walmart making a huge public push to sell caskets online and rumors that Amazon.com is going to start offering a more extensive line of caskets, I guess Costco sees the need to step up their game and answer some frequently asked questions about ordering caskets online.

Below is the Q & A from Costco’s website.

“Must Read This Important Information Before Purchasing a Casket”

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Q: Why is Costco Wholesale selling caskets?

As a service to our members.

Q: If members have more questions, where do they get answers?

First, call Universal Casket Company toll free at 866.458.2800. This customer service number is staffed by qualified representatives who will be able to answer any product, shipping and delivery questions.

Additionally you can call Costco?s Call Center at 1-800-955-2292 or email customerservice@costo.com.

Q: Will funeral homes accept the casket that we order?

Yes, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires funeral homes to accept any casket purchased from an outside source. However it is recommended that the purchaser notify the funeral home of their Costco.com casket order within 1 business day.

Currently, caskets can only be purchased from and shipped to addresses in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Q: If my bill to address is in a state not listed above, but the ship to address is, will my order be valid?

No, at this time your bill-to and ship-to addresses must both be within the 34 states listed above, otherwise your order will be canceled.

Q: How long before I receive the casket?

Expedited and Standard shipping is available.

Before placing an order for Expedited Delivery, you must call Universal Casket Company directly at 866-458-2800, or your order will not be processed. Expedited Delivery orders must be placed by 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). A casket ordered for expedited delivery will arrive by 5 p.m. (your local time) the following day (Monday-Friday, excluding holidays). For example: if an order is placed on Monday at 2 p.m. EST, the casket will be delivered by Tuesday by 5 p.m. (your local time); however, if the order is placed on Monday at 2:01 p.m. EST, the casket will deliver by Wednesday. Expedited delivery is not available in all areas.

Standard delivery orders may be placed directly through Costco.com without prior authorization from Universal Casket Company.

A casket ordered on Costco.com with standard shipping will be delivered within three business days (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) from the date the order is placed (for exceptions see below). If your order is placed by 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), that is considered as one business day. For example, for an order placed on Monday at 12:00 p.m. EST, the casket will be delivered by Wednesday, however if the order is placed on Monday at 12:01 p.m. EST, the casket will deliver by Thursday. Standard orders will be delivered by 5 p.m. (your local time) on scheduled delivery date.

All purchases are subject to credit card approval before the order is valid. Credit card holds or declines can delay the orders beyond the stated delivery parameters.

Additionally, Acts of God, weather-related conditions and states of emergencies can delay delivery beyond the stated delivery parameters.

To facilitate delivery, Costco will provide your bill-to name, phone number, name of the deceased and name of mortuary to Universal Casket Company.

Q: What information is required at checkout to purchase a casket that is shipping to a funeral home?

Enter the following information for the “Shipping Address” at checkout:

*

First and last name: name of the deceased

*

Company name: name of mortuary

*

Address: address of mortuary

*

Phone Number: phone number of the mortuary

For the “Billing Address,” enter the following information at checkout about the person or organization that is paying for the casket:

*

First and last name: name of bill-to customer

*

Company name: bill-to company name (if there is one)

*

Address: bill-to address

*

Phone Number: bill-to phone number

Q: Will the funeral home charge a fee to use the casket?

No, State and Federal laws prohibit any additional fees from being assessed to your casket purchase. Funeral or other service (not offered on Costco.com) fees are to be negotiated between the member and their funeral home.

Q: Do I need to be at the funeral home to receive the casket?

Universal Casket Company delivers during normal business hours. You do not have to be present at the time of delivery. A funeral provider?s refusal to use third party merchandise until the consumer has inspected it may place an unreasonable burden on consumer choice, in violation of Section 453.4(b)(1) of the FTC Funeral Rule.

Q: Do I need to be at the delivery location if the casket is being delivered to a facility other than a funeral home?

Yes, if the casket is being delivered to a location other than a funeral home, the carrier will call for a delivery appointment. In this case, someone must be present to accept delivery.

Q: Is there an additional shipping charge?

No. Shipping is included in the cost of the casket.

Q: What is the sales policy/guarantee?

Costco.com will only accept a return of a casket due to freight or cosmetic damage from shipping. Please call 1-800-955-2292 or email customerservice@costco.com for a return authorization. Caskets cannot be returned to Costco warehouses.

Q: Can you order a casket for preplanning purposes?

Yes, as long as the casket is being shipped to a member’s home or storage facility of choice. The order will ship within the stated delivery parameters on the site. However, due to regulations and restrictions, we cannot hold on to any orders for future delivery.

Q: Where do the caskets come from?

Costco.com caskets are made by Universal Casket Company, Inc. Universal Casket has been assembling and distributing caskets and serving the funeral industry for over 60 years.

Q: Can we choose other colors or options?

Not at this time. We have selected the most popular styles and colors, with the highest quality linings.

THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC OR OTHER EVIDENCE THAT ANY CASKET WITH A SEALING DEVICE WILL PRESERVE HUMAN REMAINS

FOR CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS: THE SELLER IS NOT A FUNERAL DIRECTOR AND IS NOT LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, AND MAY NOT OFFER OR PERFORM FUNERAL SERVICES. STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS PROHIBIT A FUNERAL DIRECTOR FROM CHARGING HANDLING FEES FOR A CASKET SUPPLIED BY ANOTHER PARTY. THE MONEYS RECEIVED BY THE SELLER FOR THE PURCHASE OF A CASKET ARE NOT SUBJECT TO STATE LAW GOVERNING MONEY HELD IN TRUST. THE SELLER IS NOT BOUND BY STATE LAWS OR REGULATIONS THAT GOVERN FUNERAL HOMES AND CEMETERIES. THE PURCHASER ENTERS THIS AGREEMENT AT HIS OR HER OWN RISK. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT THE OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN YOUR COUNTY.

Source: Costco.com

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