Some Funeral Homes Overcharging Customers

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

City officials say last rites may have been costing customers more than the going rate.

An investigation in the five boroughs revealed that 15 percent of funeral homes did not display casket prices in an effort to make customers buy more expensive caskets.

Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz says getting ripped off at a funeral home is the last thing people want. "Absorbing the death of a loved one is obviously a traumatic experience, and planning a funeral should not add to that grief," Mintz said.

Other common violations include failing to provide customers with prices over the phone, and concealing less expensive caskets from display--all of which are illegal in the city. The city says funeral home violations were highest in Brooklyn, where one in four parlors denied customers the proper pricing information.

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