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TITLE 22EXAMINING BOARDS
PART 10TEXAS FUNERAL SERVICE COMMISSION
CHAPTER 203LICENSING AND ENFORCEMENT--SPECIFIC SUBSTANTIVE RULES
SUBCHAPTER CENFORCEMENT
RULE §203.46Price Disclosure

(a) In selling or offering to sell funeral goods or funeral services to the public it is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to fail to furnish accurate price information disclosing the cost to the purchaser or prospective customer for each of the specific funeral goods and funeral services used in connection with the disposition of deceased human bodies. Such price information must include at least the price of embalming, transportation of remains, use of facilities, caskets, outer burial containers, urns, immediate burials, or direct cremations. Any funeral provider who complies with the preventive requirements in subsection (b) of this section is not engaged in the unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined here.

(b) To prevent these unfair or deceptive acts or practices, as well as the unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined in §203.49(b)(1) of this title, funeral providers must:

  (1) Telephone price disclosure. Tell persons who ask by telephone about the funeral provider's offerings or prices any accurate information from the price lists described in paragraphs (2) - (5) of this subsection and any other readily available information that reasonably answers the question.

  (2) Casket price list.

    (A) Give a printed or typewritten price list to people who inquire in person about the offerings or prices of caskets or alternative containers. The funeral provider must offer the list upon beginning discussion of, but in any event before showing caskets. In lieu of a written list, other formats, such as notebooks, brochures, or charts may be used if they contain the same information as would the printed or typewritten list, and display it in a clear and conspicuous manner. Provided, however, that funeral providers do not have to make a casket price list available if the funeral providers place on the general price list, specified in paragraph (5) of this subsection, the information required by this subsection.

    (B) The list must contain the effective date and the retail prices of all caskets and alternative containers offered which do not require special ordering, and must include, at a minimum, the following specifications:

      (i) The type of material that is predominately used in the construction of the merchandise, i.e.:

        (I) steel, identified as stainless or by gauge, e.g., 18 gauge;

        (II) wood, identified by type, e.g., pecan or cherry;

        (III) bronze, described by weight, e.g., 32 oz.;

        (IV) copper, described by weight, e.g., 32 oz.; or

        (V) other specifically named material, e.g., such as cardboard or corrugated wood;

      (ii) The type of sealing feature, e.g., sealer, non-sealer, gasketed, or non-gasketed, if specified on the funeral provider's general price list; and

      (iii) The material lining the interior of the casket, e.g., crepe, velvet, satin, twill or silk.

    (C) Place on the list, however produced, the name of the funeral provider's place of business and a caption describing the list as a "casket price list."

  (3) Outer burial container price list.

    (A) Give a printed or typewritten price list to persons who inquire in person about outer burial container offerings or prices. The funeral provider must offer the list upon beginning discussion of, but in any event before showing the containers. The list must contain at least the retail prices of all outer burial containers offered which do not require special ordering, enough information to identify each container, and the effective date for the prices listed. In lieu of a written list, the funeral provider may use other formats, such as notebooks, brochures, or charts, if they contain the same information as the printed or typewritten list, and display it in a clear and conspicuous manner. Provided, however, that funeral providers do not have to make an outer burial container price list available if the funeral providers place on the general price list, specified in paragraph (5) of this subsection, the information required by this subsection. The description of an outer burial container under this section must, at a minimum, include the following specifications:

      (i) The type of material that is predominantly used in the construction of the merchandise, i.e.:

        (I) concrete, specifying type of construction, e.g., liner, box, or vault;

        (II) steel, identified as stainless or by gauge, e.g., 12 gauge (or described as galvanized of a particular gauge);

        (III) wood;

        (IV) bronze or copper, described by weight or gauge, e.g., 32 oz. or 18 gauge; or

        (V) other specifically named material; and

      (ii) The type of sealing feature, e.g., sealer, non-sealer, gasketed, or non-gasketed, if specified on the funeral establishment price list.

    (B) Place on the list, however produced, the name of the funeral provider's place of business, address, and telephone number, and a caption describing the list as an "outer burial container price list."

  (4) Urn price list.

    (A) Give a printed or typewritten price list to persons who inquire in person about urn offerings or prices. The funeral provider must offer the list upon beginning discussion of, but in any event, before showing the containers. The list must contain at least the retail prices of all urns offered which do not require special ordering, the description of an urn under this section must, at a minimum, include the type of material predominately used in its construction. Bronze urns must be described as sheet bronze or caste bronze, whichever is applicable. The price list must include the effective date for the prices listed. In lieu of a written list, the funeral provider may use other formats, such as notebooks, brochures, or charts, if they contain the same information as the printed or typewritten list, and display it in a clear and conspicuous manner. Provided, however, that funeral providers do not have to make an urn price list available if the funeral providers place on the general price list, specified in paragraph (5) of this subsection, the information required by this subsection.

    (B) Place on the list, however produced, the name of the funeral provider's place of business, address and telephone number and a caption describing the list as an "urn price list."

  (5) General price list.

    (A) Availability of general price list.

      (i) Give a printed or typewritten price list for retention to persons who inquire in person about the funeral goods, funeral services or prices of funeral goods or services offered by the funeral provider. The funeral provider must give the list upon beginning discussion of any of the following:

        (I) the prices of funeral goods or funeral services;

        (II) the overall type of funeral service or disposition; or

        (III) specific funeral goods or funeral services offered by the funeral provider.

      (ii) The requirement in clause (i) of this subparagraph applies whether the discussion takes place in the funeral home or elsewhere. Provided, however, that when the deceased is removed for transportation to the funeral home, an in-person request at that time for authorization to embalm, required by §203.50(a)(2) of this title, does not, by itself, trigger the requirement to offer the general price list if the provider in seeking prior embalming approval discloses that embalming is not required by law except in certain special cases, if any. Any other discussion during that time about prices or the selection of funeral goods or services triggers the requirement under clause (i) of this subparagraph to give consumers a general price list.

      (iii) The list required in clause (i) of this subparagraph must contain at least the following information:

        (I) the name, address, and telephone number of the funeral provider's place of business;

        (II) a caption describing the list as a "general price list"; and

        (III) the effective date for the price list.

    (B) Include on the price list, in any order, the retail prices (expressed either as the flat fee, or as the price per hour, mile or other unit of computation) and the other information specified below for at least each of the following items, if offered for sale:

      (i) forwarding of remains to another funeral home, together with a list of the services provided for any quoted price;

      (ii) receiving remains from another funeral home, together with a list of the services provided for any quoted price;

      (iii) the price range for the direct cremations offered by the funeral provider, together with:

        (I) a separate price for a direct cremation where the purchaser provides the container;

        (II) separate prices for each direct cremation offered including an alternative container; and

        (III) a description of the services and container (where applicable), included in each price;

      (iv) the price range for the immediate burials offered by the funeral provider, together with:

        (I) a separate price for an immediate burial where the purchaser provides the casket;

        (II) separate prices for each immediate burial offered including a casket or alternative container; and

        (III) a description of the services and container (where applicable) included in that price;

      (v) transfer of remains to funeral home;

      (vi) embalming;

      (vii) other preparation of the body;

      (viii) use of facilities and staff for viewing;

      (ix) use of facilities and staff for funeral ceremony;

      (x) use of facilities and staff for memorial service;

      (xi) use of equipment and staff for graveside service;

      (xii) hearse;

      (xiii) limousine; and

      (xiv) filing a claim seeking life insurance proceeds on behalf of the beneficiaries.

    (C) Include on the general price list, in any order, the following information:

      (i) Either of the following:

        (I) The price range for the caskets offered by the funeral provider, together with the statement: "A complete price list will be provided at the funeral home."; or

        (II) The prices of individual caskets, disclosed in the manner specified by paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection; and

      (ii) Either of the following:

        (I) The price range for the outer burial containers offered by the funeral provider, together with the statement: "A complete price list will be provided at the funeral home."; or

        (II) The prices of individual outer burial containers, disclosed in the manner specified by paragraph (3)(A) of this subsection; and

      (iii) Either of the following:

        (I) The price for the basic services of funeral director and staff, together with a list of the principal basic services provided for any quoted price and, if the charge cannot be declined by the purchaser, the statement: "This fee for our basic services will be added to the total cost of the funeral arrangements you select. (This fee is already included in our charges for direct cremations, immediate burials, and forwarding or receiving remains.)." If the charge cannot be declined by the purchaser, the quoted price shall include all charges for the recovery of unallocated funeral provider overhead, and funeral providers may include in the required disclosure the phrase "and overhead" after the word "services"; or

        (II) The following statement: "Please note that a fee of (specify dollar amount) for the use of our basic services is included in the price of our caskets. This same fee shall be added to the total cost of your funeral arrangements if you provide the casket. Our services include (specify)." The fee shall include all charges for the recovery of unallocated funeral provider overhead, and funeral providers may include in the required disclosure the phrase "and overhead" after the word "services." The statement must be placed on the general price list together with the casket price range, required by clause (i)(I) of this subparagraph, or together with the prices of individual caskets, required by clause (i)(II) of this subparagraph.

      (iv) If the funeral home charges for processing the insurance claim, that fee shall be disclosed.

      (v) If a consumer intends to use the proceeds from an insurance policy to pay for a funeral and the funeral provider requires payment before the proceeds from such policy can be obtained and, if the funeral provider does not provide the service of filing a claim seeking life insurance proceeds on behalf of the beneficiary (or, if the funeral provides the service and the consumer does not wish to utilize the services of the funeral provider), the funeral provider shall include the following statement on the general price list: "Please note that if you utilize a third party to file a claim seeking expedited receipt of life insurance proceeds on behalf of a beneficiary, there will be a fee to be paid associated with the filing of such a claim."

    (D) The services fee permitted by subparagraph (C)(iii)(I) or (II) of this paragraph is the only funeral provider fee for services, facilities or unallocated overhead permitted by this part to be non-declinable, unless otherwise required by law.

  (6) Funeral providers may give persons any other price information, in any other format, in addition to that required by paragraphs (2) - (5) of this subsection so long as the statement required by §203.47 of this title is provided when required.


Source Note: The provisions of this §203.46 adopted to be effective October 18, 2015, 40 TexReg 7070

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