Funerals are an essential part of our culture and allow us to say goodbye to our loved ones. Funeral homes provide crucial services, including embalming, caskets, and other related services. However, these services come at a cost, and funeral expenses can quickly add up.
In recent years, there has been a growing call for funeral homes to be required to use online pricing transparency. This means that funeral homes would be required to publish their prices online, enabling customers to compare prices and make informed decisions. Let’s explore the arguments for and against requiring funeral homes to use online pricing transparency.
Arguments for Online Pricing Transparency
The primary argument for online pricing transparency is that it enables customers to make informed decisions. With online pricing transparency, customers can compare prices from different funeral homes and choose the one that best suits their budget. This would help prevent families from being taken advantage of during a time of emotional distress, as they would be able to see the costs associated with different services and make informed decisions.
Another argument for online pricing transparency is that it would increase competition in the funeral industry. Currently, many funeral homes do not disclose their prices, making it challenging for customers to compare prices. This lack of transparency allows some funeral homes to charge higher prices than others, which can lead to price gouging. By requiring all funeral homes to use online pricing transparency, customers would have access to more information, and funeral homes would be forced to compete on price.
Arguments Against Online Pricing Transparency
The primary argument against online pricing transparency is that it could lead to a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. Funeral homes may feel pressure to reduce their prices to compete with other funeral homes, leading to a situation where funeral homes are cutting corners and providing lower quality services. This could be particularly problematic for smaller funeral homes that may struggle to compete with larger funeral homes on price.
Another argument against online pricing transparency is that it could be difficult to implement. Funeral homes may not have the resources to maintain an online pricing database, and some funeral homes may be resistant to the idea of disclosing their prices. Additionally, different funeral homes offer different services, and it can be challenging to compare prices accurately. This could lead to confusion among customers and potentially make the funeral planning process more complicated.
There are Benefits and Drawbacks to Funeral Home Price Transparency
In conclusion, the issue of whether funeral homes should be required to use online pricing transparency is a contentious one. While there are valid arguments on both sides, it is ultimately up to policymakers to decide whether to mandate online pricing transparency. However, it is clear that online pricing transparency has the potential to benefit customers by allowing them to make informed decisions and increasing competition in the funeral industry. Ultimately, the funeral industry should strive to be transparent and provide customers with the information they need to make informed decisions.
About MKS&H: McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond (MKS&H) is a professional service firm with offices in Hunt Valley and Frederick. MKS&H helps owners and organizational leaders become more successful by putting complex financial data into truly meaningful context. But deeper than dollars and data, our focus is on developing an understanding of you, your culture and your business goals. This approach enables our clients to achieve their greatest potential.