1) in the federal FTC "Funerals: A Consumer Guide"
2) in the federal GSA "Consumer Action Handbook"
3) in National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)
publications and press releases (15,000 members)
4) stated by: Sen. Dodd, chair of U.S. Senate Hearing
5) stated by: Hosts of various national TV programs
6) on Suze Orman's website (Jan. 09) that helps all funeral
homes rip-off every family that visits her "trusted" site.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the General Services Administration (GSA) publish FALSE price information - and they FALSELY state: "most morticians are honest". (You can see the false statements in the actual documents at the bottom of this column.)
These agencies, that you pay for through your taxes, publish false information they receive from the funeral industry - designed by the industry to DECEIVE you and trick you to pay high prices and to trust cheating morticians.
Federal consumer agencies and U.S. Senators have a duty to PROTECT you -- not to help the industry to DEFRAUD you (perhaps in return for favors from the industry).
The senator, radio and TV hosts of national programs, and many community leaders use, or have been coaxed to use, false statements from the industry that help mortuaries to deceive and rob families.
Both of your federal agencies published this FALSE statement:
"MOST (false) funeral providers (morticians) are
professionals (false) who work to serve their clients'
needs and best interests (false)."
The senator and TV hosts (as on ABC-TV's "Home" show) used similar words, "MOST [false] morticians are honest [false] professionals [false]". These words were designed by the industry to deceive the public.
The senator went further at the Senate Hearing, nationally televised by C-SPAN, naming three mortuaries in his home town, stating that the owners were some of the most upstanding people he knew (possibly as a payback for donations received).
At the televised Senate hearing and on the TV show, Fr. Wasielewski of our IFIC, contradicted the statements and stated that federal studies, AARP studies, and others have shown that MOST morticians do not treat families honestly and have too little training and skills to be classed as "professionals" -- like doctors or teachers who are required to have many years of training and skills many times greater than the little skill needed by morticians.
LITTLE EDUCATION is needed by funeral directors, embalmers: The Arizona Auditor General told the legislature that funeral directors and embalmers did not need mortuary school, but could learn all that is needed for their tasks "on the job" and by helping with a dozen embalmings. Colorado has not required mortuary school nor licensing for funeral directors and embalmers.
The FTC's "Funerals: A Consumer Guide" and the GSA's "2008 Consumer Action Handbook" tell families that a funeral, casket and vault will cost $6,000. This is a RIP-OFF price promoted by the industry to deceive families to think that this is a fair price and be ready to by robbed by this much.
PRICE TRUTH: A FAIR price is about $3,000. The FTC and the GSA should have said that a fair price would be about $3,000. The false price of $6,000 has helped mortuaries throughout the U.S. to rob families of more than $3,000 each.
$1,950 to $2,400 is a fair price for a complete funeral and beautiful casket. See the fair prices in Topic 2.
SUZE ORMAN's deceptive website FALSELY SAYS that filling out her chart (Jan.09) of funeral items will enable you to obtain a FAIR-priced funeral.
FACT: This chart will cause NEARLY EVERY family to LOSE THOUSANDS of dollars each.
Is Ms. Orman ready to REPAY every family all of the money they lose from using her dangerous chart?
(Morticians must be thrilled that they have misled and/or coaxed her and several other nationally-known "advisors" to provide false, harmful industry advice to families.)
Her chart gives the WORST POSSIBLE ADVICE when it tells people to obtain the prices of two funeral homes and choose one of them.
Families will probably pick two mortuaries near them or whose names they have heard.
Getting the prices of ONLY TWO mortuaries NEAR THEM means they will pay the HIGHEST-PRICES in the area because 90% of mortuaries charge outrageous prices, and the two probably will not be the few low, fair-priced ones. When they choose one of the two, they will be RIPPED-OFF by Ms. Orman's chart and by the mortuary they choose.
This IFIC website gives the same WARNINGS that we have presented in U.S. Senate Hearings, FTC Hearings, C-SPAN, national TV, and in national publications about the industry-wide tactics of outrageous markups, prices and more than 130 deceptive tactics used daily nationwide. Ms. Orman's chart misleads every family to think there is no reason to worry about any of these dangerous industry tactics.
DANGER from her not warning about caskets: Her chart gives more BAD ADVICE by merely saying:
This lack of any warning about casket fraud will cause families to LOSE THOUSANDS of dollars more. Families are led to think they can write in any casket name without fear of any danger - because it does not warn about thousands of dollars rip-off on most caskets. The nationwide casket fraud makes most prices given to you by mortuaries useless and dangerous in trying to compare prices of various mortuaries.
She does not warn you that the most common type of metal casket that families are coaxed to buy is the costly, fraudulent, destructive "Protective Seal" gasket casket that severely damages every body, bloats them and explodes daily in mausoleums. Where is her warning about these? or does she not know about them? or does she know about them but helps morticians obtain high profit from you by not warning about them? If she knows about the items mentioned here, she has a duty to warn you.
Ms. Orman may know something about other topics, but she apparently knows nothing about funerals - and she should immediately REMOVE THE CHART from her website and should give no funeral advice on any TV or other program until she learns something about it - or stops taking false, harmful advice from the funeral industry and passing it out, harming families.
It is amazing that she promotes herself as an expert and then gives advice that will cheat thousands of families of millions of dollars a year, and damages most of their bodies.
Does she not care how much she hurts families?
Should anybody BELIEVE HER ADVICE on other topics if she gives harmful advice like this?
Here is list of false funeral prices and statements in the two federal consumer publications, and where to view them:
"$6,000-$7,000 funeral price" [false]: FTC, pg. 1; GSA, pg. 49;
"Most morticians are professional" [false]: FTC, page 4: GSA, page 49;
"Most morticians strive for clients' best interests" [false]: FTC, page 4; GSA, page 49;
"Professional" [false] funeral home: FTC, pg. 8; GSA, pg. 50;
"Average casket price $2,000" [rip-off price]: FTC, pg. 12;
Fraudulent "Protective seal" gasket casket" [No warning about the severe body damage]: FTC, pg. 12;
"Most morticians are honest" [false]: Sen. Chris Dodd, C-SPAN; ABC-TV "Home" show.
To see these false statements in the actual publications on the Internet, click the underlined locations below and go to the page numbers indicated above:
FTC Funerals: A Consumer Guide:
GSA 2008 Consumer Action Handbook:
Click your BACK button to return here.
(GSA stands for "Government Services Administration" and its "Federal Citizen Information Center" which publishes the book.)