Posted: August 18, 2014
NFDA has recently heard from a number of members who have repeatedly been contacted by salespersons from various funeral home referral sites urging them to advertise their business on the site. Some salespeople go as far as insinuating that they have a family interested in using a funeral home's services in order to get the firm to pay a fee to join the website as a preferred provider. Please note that NFDA has not endorsed, nor does it have an affiliation, with any of these referral websites.
According to NFDA General Counsel Scott Gilligan, most states have laws prohibiting a funeral home from paying a third party to refer a family to them; however, these laws are generally designed to prohibit a funeral home from paying hospice workers or health care personnel to refer a funeral home to a family that has just experienced an at-need death. The purpose of these laws is not to prohibit a funeral home from paying a referral service that will refer a funeral home to a family that initiates contact with the referral service in order to locate a funeral home. Therefore, in most states, there is nothing illegal about a web-based funeral home referral service, nor with a funeral home signing up with the service and agreeing to pay it for referrals.
If you have declined an offer from one of these salespeople, yet continue to receive high-pressure sales calls, NFDA recommends that you continue to ask the salesperson to remove your firm's name from their database. You may also wish to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
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