Blog Continues to Push FTC to Modernize its Funeral Rule

It’s time funeral homes join the internet age.

| Laura Smith

A lot has changed since the mid-1990s. Cassette tapes have been replaced with streaming services, the one-strap overall is (fortunately) a thing of the past, and most Americans no longer have a landline phone. But there is perhaps no change more significant than the astronomic increase in internet usage. In 1994, when the FTC’s Funeral Rule was last revised, five percent of Americans were using the internet (and many didn’t even understand what it was). Today, that number has skyrocketed to 93 percent.

This monumental change has impacted how marketers around the globe promote their products and services. Today, is urging the FTC – for the second time – to make funeral service marketers join the 21st century. (The first time chimed in on this topic was in 2020 when the FTC was initiating a review of the rule; now the agency is asking the public if it should make changes to the rule.)

In its 2022 comment, reiterated its position that the agency should require that all funeral service providers post their prices online. Not only would this requirement conform to consumers’ shopping behavior, but it would also allow them to meaningfully price-shop before committing to a purchase. This is particularly important in the funeral services industry, where individuals dealing with grief and sorrow face intense time pressure to make decisions. What would otherwise take days or hours of engaging with strangers in the marketplace could be accomplished in minutes from the comfort of home. And in addition to improving the shopping experience for consumers, online price lists would improve market efficiency, create price competition, and allow the FTC to more efficiently review funeral home practices. also urged the FTC to, among other things, require funeral homes to standardize the formatting of their price lists so the costs are clear and easy to understand, and publish the names of noncompliant funeral homes to improve compliance by causing funeral homes to rethink their cost-benefit analysis of noncompliance.

To date, the FTC has received more than 360,000 comments regarding whether to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to amend its Funeral Rule. In 2020, the agency received a total of 785 comments. Click here to read’s latest comment.

Laura Smith

As Legal Director, Laura is responsible for overseeing’s overall legal strategy. She believes that efficient and ethical markets only work if there is complete – and accurate – information…

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