If you have a problem concerning funeral matters, it’s best to try to resolve it first with the funeral director.
If you are dissatisfied with the funeral services you receive, the Funeral Consumers Alliance offers advice on how best to resolve a problem. In addition, some of the resources listed below the may be able to provide informal mediation of a complaint.
You may also contact your state or local consumer protection agencies. Check the Blue Pages of your telephone directory for the phone number or check www.naag.org for a list of state attorneys general.
In addition, you may file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Visit ftc.gov or call 1-877-382-4357. Although the commission cannot resolve individual problems for consumers, it can act against a company if it sees a pattern of possible law violations.
For more comprehensive information about the federal Funeral Rule, see Funerals: A Consumer Guide, at www.ftc.gov/funerals. The guide, written by the FTC, includes a price checklist, glossary of terms, description of services, information sources, and list of questions to ask funeral professionals.
The National Funeral Consumers Alliance
The national Funeral Consumers Alliance is dedicated to protecting the right of consumers to choose a meaningful, dignified, affordable funeral. The national alliance was started in the late 1930s because of two influences: the Great Depression and the increasing cost of funerals stemming from the use of embalming and more elaborate manufactured caskets. Since then, the alliance has kept pace with new technologies and trends as well as a growing return to older, simpler ways of death and disposition. The alliance now has about 70 chapters across the United States.
Kansas and Missouri have licensing boards that regulate the funeral industry. You may contact the board in your state for information or help. If you want additional information about making funeral arrangements and other options available, you may want to contact interested business, professional, and consumer groups, including those listed below.
While this page links to websites of other organizations, neither the Federal Trade Commission nor the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City necessarily endorse the views expressed on these websites or guarantee the accuracy or completeness of information on them. (Note that some of these sites may track visitor viewing habits.)
Missouri State Board of Embalmers & Funeral Directors
This board protects the public from incompetence, misconduct, gross negligence, fraud, misrepresentation or dishonesty; licenses only “qualified” professionals by examination and evaluation of minimum competency; and enforces standards by implementing legislation and administrative rules.
Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts
The mission of this board is to ensure that licensees perform their professional services in a manner providing maximum protection of the health, safety, and welfare of the people of Kansas. In addition, our mission is to inform the public of the laws and options available to them when dealing with the funeral profession. The website provides procedures for filing complaints. The KSBMA offers a free memorial planning guide.
700 SW Jackson St., Suite 904
Topeka, KS 66603-3733
Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
Better Business Bureaus are private, nonprofit organizations that promote ethical business standards and voluntary self-regulation of business practices. The BBB’s website offers information about pre-need funeral planning.
4200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838
Cremation Association of North America
This is an association of crematories, cemeteries, and funeral homes that offer cremation.
401 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
This is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping older Americans achieve lives of independence, dignity, and purpose. Its publications, “Funeral Goods and Services” and “Pre-Paying for Your Funeral,” are available for free.
601 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20049
International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association
This is a nonprofit association of cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories, and monument retailers that offers informal mediation of consumer complaints through its Cemetery Consumer Service Council. Its website provides information and advice under “Consumer Resources.”
1895 Preston White Drive, Suite 220
Reston, VA 20191
Funeral Ethics Organization
This independent nonprofit educational organization promotes ethical dealings in death-related transactions and provides mediation assistance to resolve consumer complaints.
87 Upper Access Road
Hinesburg, VT 05461
Green Burial Council
This independent nonprofit encourages environmentally sustainable death care practices as a means of acquiring, restoring, and stewarding natural areas, and assists consumers in identifying “green” cemetery, funeral, and cremation services.
8 Estacada Court
Santa Fe, NM 87508
International Order of the Golden Rule
This is an international association of independent funeral homes across North America and overseas who pledge to a strict code of ethical business and service standards conduct.
9101 Burnet Road, Suite 120
Austin, TX 78758
512-334-5504 or 800-637-8030
Jewish Funeral Directors of America
This is an international association of funeral homes serving the Jewish community.
150 Lynnway, Suite 506
Lynn, MA 01902
National Funeral Directors Association
This educational and professional association of funeral directors provides consumer information and sponsors the NFDA Help Line, designed to help consumers resolve complaints about NFDA members.
13625 Bishop’s Drive
Brookfield, WI 53005
National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association
This national association comprises primarily African-American funeral providers.
3951 Snapfinger Parkway, Suite 570
Decatur, GA 30035
Selected Independent Funeral Homes
This is an international association of funeral firms that have each agreed to comply with its Code of Good Funeral Practices.
500 Lake Cook Road, Suite 205
Deerfield, IL 60015