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In many cases the company in which you are purchasing the headstone from will assist you with this paperwork. They should be able to complete the forms and provide most of the required information pertaining to the cemetery headstone.
Know Your Rights
One important thing to understand is your rights as a consumer. Specifically where you want to purchase the cemetery headstone from. While most cemeteries operate in an honest manner, some will resort to unethical tactics to try and discourage a customer from purchasing cemetery headstones from an outside dealer. A cemetery may flat out say they do not accept cemetery headstones from outside sources, or they may say that an installation fee will be levied if you purchase from another dealer, but not from them. According to the FTC this is considered illegal by federal law as it is restrictive of free trade.
You can report incidents to the Federal Trade Commission by using their online complaint form and the Funeral Consumers Alliance.
Prepare to be Discouraged
Although the majority of cemeteries operate in a fair and ethical manner, there are some that may not. Here are some of the things that may be said by the cemetery personnel to keep you from purchasing from another source.
You may be told that if you purchase from an outside dealer there will be an additional fee. The truth is this may be illegal as they are penalizing you for purchasing elsewhere.
They may say they are not responsible for cemetery headstones purchased from an outside dealer. This is the most popular statement we hear. While they may not be responsible for damage caused by damaged incurred during delivery, acts of nature or vandalism, they certainly are responsible if it is damaged due to worker negligence after they accept it.
They may try to question the quality of the cemetery headstones sold by outside dealers. The fact is many monument dealers purchase cemetery headstones from the same sources that cemeteries do.
You may be flat out told that they do not accept cemetery headstones from outside dealers. As long as the cemetery headstone meets their requirements they are supposed to accept it.
If you feel you are being treated unfairly by the use of scare tactics simply tell the cemetery representative that you will report them to the Federal Trade Commission and the local Better Business Bureau. In most cases this will usually keep them from pursuing it.
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