16 CFR 453.3 - Misrepresentations.

§ 453.3 Misrepresentations.
(a) Embalming provisions—
(1) Deceptive acts or practices. In selling or offering to sell funeral goods or funeral services to the public, it is a deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to:
(i) Represent that state or local law requires that a deceased person be embalmed when such is not the case;
(ii) Fail to disclose that embalming is not required by law except in certain special cases, if any.
(2) Preventive requirements. To prevent these deceptive acts or practices, as well as the unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined in §§ 453.4(b)(1) and 453.5(2), funeral providers must:
(i) Not represent that a deceased person is required to be embalmed for:
(A) Direct cremation;
(B) Immediate burial; or
(C) A closed casket funeral without viewing or visitation when refrigeration is available and when state or local law does not require embalming; and
(ii) Place the following disclosure on the general price list, required by § 453.2(b)(4), in immediate conjunction with the price shown for embalming: “Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial.” The phrase “except in certain special cases” need not be included in this disclosure if state or local law in the area(s) where the provider does business does not require embalming under any circumstances.
(b) Casket for cremation provisions—
(1) Deceptive acts or practices. In selling or offering to sell funeral goods or funeral services to the public, it is a deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to:
(i) Represent that state or local law requires a casket for direct cremations;
(ii) Represent that a casket is required for direct cremations.
(2) Preventive requirements. To prevent these deceptive acts or practices, as well as the unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined in § 453.4(a)(1), funeral providers must place the following disclosure in immediate conjunction with the price range shown for direct cremations: “If you want to arrange a direct cremation, you can use an alternative container. Alternative containers encase the body and can be made of materials like fiberboard or composition materials (with or without an outside covering). The containers we provide are (specify containers).” This disclosure only has to be placed on the general price list if the funeral provider arranges direct cremations.
(c) Outer burial container provisions—
(1) Deceptive acts or practices. In selling or offering to sell funeral goods and funeral services to the public, it is a deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to:
(i) Represent that state or local laws or regulations, or particular cemeteries, require outer burial containers when such is not the case;
(ii) Fail to disclose to persons arranging funerals that state law does not require the purchase of an outer burial container.
(2) Preventive requirement. To prevent these deceptive acts or practices, funeral providers must place the following disclosure on the outer burial container price list, required by § 453.2(b)(3)(i), or, if the prices of outer burial containers are listed on the general price list, required by § 453.2(b)(4), in immediate conjunction with those prices: “In most areas of the country, state or local law does not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, many cemeteries require that you have such a container so that the grave will not sink in. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.” The phrase “in most areas of the country” need not be included in this disclosure if state or local law in the area(s) where the provider does business does not require a container to surround the casket in the grave.
(d) General provisions on legal and cemetery requirements—
(1) Deceptive acts or practices. In selling or offering to sell funeral goods or funeral services to the public, it is a deceptive act or practice for funeral providers to represent that federal, state, or local laws, or particular cemeteries or crematories, require the purchase of any funeral goods or funeral services when such is not the case.
(2) Preventive requirements. To prevent these deceptive acts or practices, as well as the deceptive acts or practices identified in §§ 453.3(a)(1), 453.3(b)(1), and 453.3(c)(1), funeral providers must identify and briefly describe in writing on the statement of funeral goods and services selected (required by § 453.2(b)(5)) any legal, cemetery, or crematory requirement which the funeral provider represents to persons as compelling the purchase of funeral goods or funeral services for the funeral which that person is arranging.
(e) Provisions on preservative and protective value claims. In selling or offering to sell funeral goods or funeral services to the public, it is a deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to:
(1) Represent that funeral goods or funeral services will delay the natural decomposition of human remains for a long-term or indefinite time;
(2) Represent that funeral goods have protective features or will protect the body from gravesite substances, when such is not the case.
(f) Cash advance provisions—
(1) Deceptive acts or practices. In selling or offering to sell funeral goods or funeral services to the public, it is a deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to:
(i) Represent that the price charged for a cash advance item is the same as the cost to the funeral provider for the item when such is not the case;
(ii) Fail to disclose to persons arranging funerals that the price being charged for a cash advance item is not the same as the cost to the funeral provider for the item when such is the case.
(2) Preventive requirements. To prevent these deceptive acts or practices, funeral providers must place the following sentence in the itemized statement of funeral goods and services selected, in immediate conjunction with the list of itemized cash advance items required by § 453.2(b)(5)(i)(B): “We charge you for our services in obtaining: (specify cash advance items),” if the funeral provider makes a charge upon, or receives and retains a rebate, commission or trade or volume discount upon a cash advance item.

Title 16 published on 2014-01-01

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