Cemetery Consumer Service Council Assisting the Public for over 30 Years

August 1, 2011
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Sterling, VA — July 19, 2011 — The Cemetery Consumer Service Council (CCSC) is celebrating its 32nd year of operation in 2011 and through its network of industry volunteers continues to assist consumers. An increasing number of contacts originate from Internet searches and traditional referrals from other organizations. The CCSC periodically contacts members of Congress to advise them of the assistance and information the Council can offer to their constituents.

CCSC is a non-profit organization created in 1979 and is funded by the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, the Cremation Association of North America, the Southern Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, the Illinois Cemetery and Funeral Home Association, and the Cemetery & Mortuary Association of California. The sole purpose of CCSC is to assist consumers, without charge, in resolving complaints or answering inquiries regarding cemetery services or policies. Participation in the complaint resolution process is voluntary for both the consumer and the cemetery.

Industry members volunteer their time and experience to serve as CCSC representatives in their respective states. The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, various state consumer protection agencies, and offices of attorneys general are notified of CCSC activities and are among the major sources for consumer referrals. CCSC is listed in the Consumer’s Resource Handbook, a U.S. government publication that is circulated to public libraries and consumer assistance agencies throughout the nation.

Complaints are handled by the state and regional committees with the national CCSC office in the Washington, D.C. area being the overall coordinator of the project and the central contact point. Complaints received by the national office are logged in and each is given a file number for tracking purposes. A copy of the complaint is then forwarded to the appropriate state representative for investigation and action. At that point, many complaints are resolved by telephone and the consumer is notified of the results. It is rare for a cemetery to refuse to participate in the CCSC dispute resolution process. Where no committee exists, CCSC works with the state cemetery board or similar government agency to assist the consumer.

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The Federal Trade Commission has published an annual survey of consumer complaints culled from dozens of consumer protection agencies and private organizations including the Better Business Bureau. For the calendar year 2010, the FTC tallied 1.3 million complaints nationally, of which 339 or 0.03%, were funeral-related. Consumers wanting to contact CCSC for assistance should use this link https://www.iccfa.com/tag/consumer/complaint-resolution-services.

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