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RULE §203.49Required Purchase of Funeral Goods or Funeral Services

(a) Casket for cremation provisions.

  (1) 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, or a crematory, to require that a casket be purchased for direct cremation.

  (2) To prevent this unfair or deceptive act or practice, funeral providers must make an alternative container available for direct cremations, if they arrange direct cremations.

(b) Other required purchases of funeral goods or funeral services.

  (1) In selling or offering to sell funeral goods or funeral services, it is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to:

    (A) condition the furnishing of any funeral good or funeral service to a person arranging a funeral upon the purchase of any other funeral good or funeral service, except as required by law or as otherwise permitted by this part; or

    (B) charge any fee as a condition to furnishing any funeral goods or funeral services to a person arranging a funeral, other than the fees for:

      (i) services of funeral director and staff, permitted by §203.46(b)(5)(C)(iii) of this title;

      (ii) other funeral services and funeral goods selected by the purchaser; and

      (iii) other funeral goods or services required to be purchased, as explained on the itemized statement in accordance with §203.48(d)(2) of this title.

  (2) Preventative Requirements

    (A) To prevent these unfair or deceptive acts or practices, funeral providers must:

      (i) Place the following disclosure in the general price list, immediately above the prices required by §203.46(b)(5)(B) and (C) of this title: "The goods and services shown below are those we can provide to our customers. You may choose only the items you desire. If legal or other requirements mean you must buy any items you did not specifically ask for, we will explain the reason in writing on the statement we provide describing the funeral goods and services you selected." Provided, however, that if the charge for "services of funeral director and staff" cannot be declined by the purchaser, the statement shall include the sentence: "However, any funeral arrangements you select will include a charge for our basic services" between the second and third sentences of the statement specified above herein. The statement may include the phrase "and overhead" after the word "services" if the fee includes a charge for the recovery of unallocated funeral provider overhead;

      (ii) Place the following disclosure in the Purchase Agreement, required by §203.47 of this title: "Charges are only for those items that you selected or that are required. If we are required by law or by a cemetery or crematory to use any items, we will explain the reasons in writing below."

    (B) A funeral provider shall not violate this section by failing to comply with a request for a combination of goods or services which would be impossible, impractical, or excessively burdensome to provide.

Source Note: The provisions of this §203.49 adopted to be effective October 18, 2015, 40 TexReg 7070

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