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Cemetery Consumer Service Council

The Cemetery Consumer Service Council (CCSC) is a non-profit organization that provides a mechanism for informally resolving consumer complaints and inquiries about cemetery services or policies. It was created in 1979 and is funded by the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA), the Cremation Association of North America, the Southern Cemetery and Funeral Association, the Interment Association of California, the Western Cemetery Alliance, and the Illinois Cemetery & Funeral Home Association. The CCSC can serve as an alternative to costly and time-consuming lawsuits or other legal actions, and its services are available at no cost. Participation in the complaint resolution process is voluntary for both the consumer and the cemetery.

Industry members volunteer their time and experience to serve as CCSC representatives in their respective states.  Complaints are handled by the state committees, with the national CCSC office in the Washington, D.C. area being the overall coordinator of the project and the central contact point.

The procedure is designed to allow for resolution of disputes at the state and local levels through state cemetery consumer service committees made up of volunteer industry members through participating state cemetery associations. Our own Texas Cemeteries Association serves such a position. These committees are responsible for responding to complaints and inquiries, initiating investigations, opening channels of communication between the consumer and the cemetery, and attempting to resolve disputes.

Complaints received by the national office are logged in and each is given a file number for tracking purposes. A copy of the complaint is then forwarded to the appropriate state representative for investigation and action. Where no state committee exists, CCSC works with the cemetery board or similar government agency to assist the consumer. When a state committee receives a consumer complaint or inquiry, it immediately attempts to identify the problem. Frequently the committee will find that the problem is simply a misunderstanding arising from a communication failure between the cemetery and the consumer. If, however, the matter proves to be more serious, the state CCSC will conduct an inquiry into the matter and attempt to work out a solution that is satisfactory to the consumer. The CCSC has no enforcement powers. Any decision it makes is merely advisory and is not binding on any participant. If the cemetery and consumer are not able to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution through the CCSC process, the consumer is free to proceed with legal or other options.  Download a Complaint Form.

The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, various state consumer protection agencies and offices of attorneys general are periodically notified of CCSC activities and are among the major sources for consumer referrals. CCSC is listed in the Consumer’s Resource Handbook, a U.S. government publication that is circulated to public libraries and consumer assistance agencies throughout the nation.

The CCSC continues to improve its effectiveness to assist consumers. An increasing number of calls originate as referrals from the Better Business Bureau and similar organizations. The CCSC also contacts members of Congress to advise them of the assistance and information that the Council can offer their constituents. For more information visit http://www.iccfa.com/.

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