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Consumer Satisfaction with Funeral Homes


The funeral service industry has gotten a lot of negative press in the past few years, but several recent studies and a US government report indicate customer service satisfaction levels are very high when it comes to funeral service-one of the highest of any industry.

A 2000 survey by Wirthlin Worldwide gave the industry a 69% across the board positive rating and a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative comments (the report says 3:1 is considered healthy for an industry). Funeral directors also received positive commendations in a Gallup poll, where they ranked in the top 15 professions for honesty and ethics. According to the 1,028 adults surveyed in the 2000 poll, funeral directors possess higher standards of honesty and ethics than business executives, building contractors, journalists, real estate agents, and insurance salespeople.

The Better Business Bureau reports it receives few complaints about funeral service as well. 1999 complain statistics rankings released by the BBB-a total of 197 complaints rank the industry 298th overall in complaints received, and individual funeral directors rank 345th with a total of 149 complaints. Adding cemeteries and cremation service providers brings the industry total for 1999 to 413. Since nearly 2.4 million deaths occurred that year, that means approximately one complaint was filed for every 5,800 deaths. Contrast this to franchised automobile dealers, who received 17,686 complaints in the same time period.

The US government notes the number of complaints for the funeral service industry is "generally low compared to complaints about other types of consumer issues," and a General Accounting Office analysis shows funeral homes across the country with a very high rate of compliance with the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule.


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