FTC and Telephone Price Disclosures
Funeral service providers must give consumers who telephone their place of business and ask about prices or offerings accurate information from their General Price List, Casket Price List, and Outer Burial Container Price List. They also must answer any other questions about offerings and prices with any readily available information that reasonably answers the question.
Funeral service providers cannot require callers to give their name, address, or phone number before they give them the requested information. They can ask callers to identify themselves, but they still must answer their questions even if the caller refuses to do so. They cannot require consumers to come to the funeral home in person to get price information.
They can use an answering machine or answering service to record incoming calls. However, they must respond to questions from callers on an individual basis.
Example: The funeral service provider's answering machine can have a message telling consumers to call a specified number during business hours for information about prices and offerings. They need to provide the requested information when consumers call during those hours, or, they can have an answering machine or answering service take consumers’ names and phone numbers so that they can return the calls at their earliest convenience.
Funeral service providers may have an employee answering phones who can respond to easier questions regarding offerings and prices by referring to the printed price lists, but who refers more difficult questions to another person in the firm. If they are unavailable when the call comes in, the employee can take a message so that the call can be returned later.
Funeral service providers do not have to give price and other information after business hours if it is not their normal practice to do so. They can tell consumers who call during non-business hours that they will provide the information during regular business hours. However, if a consumer calls after hours to inquire about an at-need situation, and it is their practice to make funeral arrangements during non-business hours, they should provide price or other information the consumer requests.
If funeral service providers are in the middle of an arrangements conference when another family calls about their offerings, they can take a message and return the call at a later time.