Price Survey: Inconsistencies within GPLs
GPLs are not all well written. Prices for alternative services (Table 1) may be reversed, and there may be arithmetical inconsistencies in prices for viewing/visitation and funeral ceremonies, such that the FTC-mandated combined price for supervision and facilities/equipment may disagree with the sum of separate prices for supervision and facilities/equipment.
Ambiguity exists in many GPLs because of the way costs of a graveside ceremony are listed. Whereas some GPLs follow the FTC Rule (showing the combined cost of supervision and setup at the graveside), others list only the cost of supervision, with no mention of an equipment fee and/or set-up fee for graveside ceremonies. We used an asterisk (*) in the appropriate column of Table 2 to alert the reader to this situation.
Many funeral homes list a price for equipment setup and use at a place other than the funeral home, without stating whether the cost is applied to a graveside ceremony. In some GPLs this item refers explicitly to buildings such as churches. In other GPLs the statement is generic and could refer to graveside ceremonies. We have included these costs in Table 2 where they appear to be appropriate. However, GPL readers interested in burial prices should be alert to this ambiguity and ask the funeral director for details.
Several GPLs had the following statement regarding direct burial: “Prices range from [one price] to [another price] which includes the services described above but with the alternative container (or casket) supplied by the customer.” According to the Funeral Rule, a customer may supply either type of burial container, not one specified by the funeral home.
Regarding livery, Table 2 shows the prices of using a hearse and a passenger car. The latter price was not included in the full-service funeral price index, because some funeral homes do not list passenger cars.