Calling a Funeral Home for Information
One of the best ways to comparison shop for the best prices when planning a funeral is to call the home ahead of time to determine their rates. According to the Funeral Rule, funeral service providers are required to give consumers who contact them via phone all of the information contained in their General Price List, Casket Price List, and Outer Burial Container Price List. To the best of their ability, they are also required to answer questions that relate to payment options and additional costs.
The reason for all these legal regulations is to prevent funeral homes from taking advantage of customers at what is obviously a difficult time in their lives. While most funeral homes are more than happy to adhere to these laws and will do their best to help you make an informed decision, it is important that you know your rights as a consumer and what you can expect when you call a funeral home.
- Funeral service providers are prohibited from requiring you to give your name, address, or phone number in exchange for information. This doesn’t mean they can’t ask—it simply means you aren’t obligated to reply. Information regarding prices should be made available to you either way.
- Funeral service providers also can’t require you to visit their facilities in order to learn about prices. They might wish to make a more concentrated sales pitch in person, which is why you could be urged to stop by for a brief chat. You are welcome to take them up on the offer, but don’t feel like it’s required of you. It’s not.
- Because a funeral home is a business, they are allowed to ask that you call back at a different time (during hours of operation) or when someone is available to answer your specific questions.
Funeral homes have gotten a fairly negative reputation in recent years because of business practices that take advantage of consumers. However, legislation is in place to protect consumers, and almost all homes in operation today adhere to a strict code of ethics that allows you to make fair, balanced decisions without fear of being turned away.
If you’re hoping to cut back on funeral costs, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and make a few calls while you’re in the initial funeral planning stages. A few comparison costs—and even a good phone experience with a funeral director—can go a long way in helping you make a sound, solid decision with your loved one’s best interest in mind.