FTC Issues Opinion Letter on Everest Price Inquiries

August 26, 2009
Advertisement

image In an FTC staff opinion letter issued today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) addressed inquiries submitted by Everest Funeral Package, LLC. As many funeral professionals already know, Everest obtains price information from funeral homes and sells it to clients who use its comparative price information to select funeral homes in their area. Everest employs third-party call centers to contact funeral homes to obtain price information on funeral services and merchandise.

The FTC Staff Advisory Opinion mirrors the advice that NFDA has long-provided to its members regarding price inquiries from Everest. Even though Everest is not a ?consumer,? funeral homes may not refuse to provide price information over the telephone. As pointed out by the staff advisory letter, the telephone price-disclosure requirements of the Funeral Rule require funeral providers to give the information to all persons ? not just consumers.

In its letter, the FTC staff emphasized that telephone price information must be given out even if a business will make a profit by compiling the information. A funeral provider may not require the business to ask for the price information in person or in writing. Additionally, the funeral provider cannot refuse to provide the information even though the caller does not identify himself or herself or disclose what they intend to do with the price information.

Advertisement

The FTC staff advisory letter did indicate, however, that funeral providers need only respond to price inquiries received during normal business hours. If calls are made outside of normal business hours, the funeral home may decline to provide the information, as long as a funeral director promptly returns the call during normal business hours. Moreover, if a funeral director is unavailable during normal business hours, the funeral director should call back promptly when he or she becomes available and provide the price information.

Although not addressed by the FTC staff advisory letter, funeral homes are not required by the Funeral Rule to fax, email or mail price lists to Everest or anyone else who telephones a funeral home and asks for the lists; however, provided that the Everest representative agrees, the funeral home may offer to fax or mail the price lists instead of providing the information over the telephone.

If NFDA members have questions regarding their responsibilities under the FTC Funeral Rule, they may contact NFDA General Counsel Scott Gilligan at 513-871-6332 or scott@gilliganlegal.com.

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
CDFuneralNews
Advertisement

You may be interested

“Going Out In Style” will Plan Your Funeral in the Most Extravagant Way
Humor
11 views
Humor
11 views

“Going Out In Style” will Plan Your Funeral in the Most Extravagant Way

Justin Crowe - February 7, 2018

I've never desired to plan my funeral until seeing the events that are being designed by the women at Going Out…

49 Wilbert Licensees Earn Ultimate Service Provider for 2017
Funeral Industry Press Releases
24 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
24 views

49 Wilbert Licensees Earn Ultimate Service Provider for 2017

CDFuneralNews - February 7, 2018

BROADVIEW, IL, February 6, 2018 – Forty-nine Wilbert Licensees have earned the 2017 Ultimate Service Provider designation from Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. (WFSI),…

Learn and Connect at 2018 NFDA Professional Women’s Conference
Funeral Industry Press Releases
24 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
24 views

Learn and Connect at 2018 NFDA Professional Women’s Conference

CDFuneralNews - February 7, 2018

Brookfield, Wis. – Registration is open for the profession’s leading gathering for women in funeral service: the National Funeral Directors…

Comments