Home Information Shopping Tips Beware of the "Scratch Game"
10 | 15 | 2019
Beware of the "Scratch Game" PDF Print E-mail

You have shopped well.  You found a nice casket at a steep discount from a discounter.  The casket is delivered to the funeral home and the funeral director informs you that it is scratched or otherwise unusable. You might think that this would be a rare occurance, but you would be wrong.

What's worse is that the funeral directors will often summarily refuse to handle these caskets and leave you in a bind for a casket.  A bind they are only too happy to release you from with one of their caskets.  Often the damage is incredibly minor, we heard one account of a casket being refused for a scratch that was less than 1/2 inch long.

Earlier this year, the FCA of North Texas and the Southwest surveyed several independent vendors of caskets and found that this practice is very widespread.  Several of the vendors indicated that they personally make all deliveries and require that the customer and the Funeral Director sign that the items were received in good condition.

Jim Bates has given testimony to the TFSC on this issue.

As described, the "scratch game" is clearly illegal, it is only ignorance that permits it to be played.  When encountering the "scratch game", you should take the following steps:

  • Inspect the casket at arrival or shortly afterwards.
  • Remember that funeral directors have no leagal right to refuse to handle a casket.  Doing so violates the Funeral Rule.  Indicate that you intend to inform the TFSC of their refusal.
  • If the funeral director refuses to handle the casket, require that the refusal be put in writing and signed by the funeral director.
  • Document the alleged damage with pictures.
  • File a complaint with the TFSC.


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