FTC Names Five Area Funeral Homes With Pricing Violations
ARKANSAS (KFSM) – The Federal Trade Commission has revealed the five funeral homes that it found to have price list disclosure violations during a series of undercover inspections.
On May 5, the FTC published a report detailing the results of a series of undercover inspections. Investigators found multiple failures to disclose pricing information to customers as required by the FTC. The inspections were conducted in six states. In Northwest Arkansas, 16 funeral homes were investigated.
In May, 5NEWS sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FTC, seeking the names of the five funeral homes that had the pricing violations, and the FTC recently responded, providing the requested paperwork.
The five are:
- Beard’s Funeral Chapel and Crematory in Fayetteville
- Benton County Funeral Home in Rogers
- Epting Funeral Home in Bentonville
- Sisco Funeral Chapel in Springdale
- Westfield Chapel in Springdale
FTC price-list disclosure guidelines require funeral homes to provide consumers with an itemized general price list at the start of an in-person discussion of funeral arrangements, a casket price list before consumers view any caskets and an outer burial container price list before they view grave liners or vaults.
Funeral homes with price list disclosure violations can enroll in a training program, known as the Funeral Rule Offenders Program, designed to increase compliance with the FTC’s rules, officials said.
An owner of Beard’s Funeral Chapel and Crematory said that the funeral home was now in line with federal regulations, and it enrolled in the offenders’ program, called FROP. The owner also said the funeral home had made changes as suggested by the FTC.
Ricky Epting, owner of Epting Funeral Home, said his funeral home had also enrolled in FROP. He confirmed that their price list violation stemmed from an incident where a customer wasn’t provided prices “in a timely manner.” Epting said there was a fine involved and an enrollment fee to start FROP, but he paid both, and his funeral home is now in good standing with the FTC.
The owners of the Benton County Funeral Home, Sisco Funeral Chapel, and Westfield Chapel could not be reached for comment.