Salt Lake City Funeral Homes Lack Price Transparency Advocates Say | KUER 90.1

Salt Lake City Funeral Homes Lack Price Transparency Advocates Say

Jan 29, 2018

Funeral planning can be an emotional, vulnerable time for family members. It’s also a time when people regularly spend thousands of dollars on funeral costs. According to a new report, Salt Lake City is just one place where online price transparency for funerals is lacking.

Of 15 funeral homes in and around Salt Lake City that have websites, just two post their prices online for consumers. That’s according to a new report by the Funeral Consumers Alliance and Consumer Federation of America. The consumer protection groups surveyed funeral homes in 25 small and mid-sized cities around the country for online price information.

"Electronics dealers don’t hide their prices. Car dealers don’t hide their prices. The funeral industry hides its prices," says Josh Slocum, one of the authors of the report.

Slocum says the average full-service funeral costs around $7,000. There are federal regulations that require funeral homes to give price quotes over the phone and in person but they aren’t required to do it online. Slocum says the rule needs updating.  

California has the only state rule that requires funeral homes to publish their rates on the Internet. In Sacramento nearly 75 percent of funeral homes published their rates online. In Salt Lake City it was just 13 percent.