6/8/11—“Why, it’s awfully nice of you to pay to advertise our business, especially after you gave us thousands of dollars to bury your dad!” That’s what Texas funeral homes should tell their customers. After all, grieving families in the Lone Star State are spending between $1 and $2 million every year making sure funeral home logos show up in the newspaper. What’s that? You didn’t know?
Of course you didn’t, because funeral homes aren’t telling you. The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Texas has discovered many mortuaries are inserting their logos into the newspaper obituaries, notices that consumer families pay for. FCAT’s Jim Bates, also on the national FCA Board, reports the price for a column-inch of space runs from $33 to $95 in the newspapers he surveyed. Strangely, none of the itemized funeral bills Bates examined disclosed the advertising charge consumers paid, and Bates wants the Federal Trade Commission to know about it.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Texas (FCAT) is asking for a FTC staff opinion concerning charging consumers for funeral home logos inserted into obituary notices in newspapers; without the cost of the logo being disclosed to the consumer. The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Texas believes this practice to be in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule.
. . .the use of a funeral home logo appears to only be advertising by the funeral home, paid for by the consumer. Actual “Statement of Goods and Services” sampled by FCAT have not shown any listing for the column-inch charge for a logo in the Cash Advance Items. Only “Obituary” and an amount are listed.
Go here to read the entire letter requesting the FTC to rule that the practice is deceptive and a violation of the Funeral Rule.