Price Survey: Inconsistencies within GPLs
There are often inconsistencies within a General Price List. Some GPLs contain obvious errors. Prices for the choices made when arranging 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 (if included in the GPL) 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. GPL readers interested in burial prices should be alert to these ambiguities and ask the funeral director for details. Whereas some GPLs follow the FTC Rule (showing the combined cost of supervision and setup at the graveside), others list the cost at graveside only under “supervision,” with no mention of an equipment fee and/or set-up fee for graveside ceremonies. In one case in the current survey where a combined cost was listed, it was higher than the cost of supervision, although the GPL failed to list the implied facilities cost for a graveside service.
A GPL may list a price for equipment setup and use at a place other than the funeral home, without stating whether the cost is also 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.
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 home GPLs do not list passenger cars.