CHICAGO – February 28, 2010 - Governor Pat Quinn announced that a series of protections for consumers provided by the Cemetery Oversight Act take effect March 1, including a new toll free consumer Helpline that will offer assistance to anyone who wants to file a complaint against a cemetery. The Act, which was signed into law January 17 by Governor Quinn in response to the Burr Oak Cemetery scandal, also provides a Consumer Bill of Rights for cemetery customers.
“The safeguards that we are putting into effect as a result of the Cemetery Oversight Act will ensure that we will never have to suffer through another ordeal like the Burr Oak Cemetery tragedy,” Governor Quinn said. “Now when families are struggling with the loss of a loved one, they will know where to turn to find out what protections they have under the law, and who is responsible for protecting those rights.”
The Cemetery Oversight Act created a rigorous and unified regulatory structure for the cemetery and funeral industries under the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The toll-free Helpline for complaints about cemeteries is 1-888-RLOVED1 (756-8331).
Among the safeguards provided under the Consumer Bill of Rights, a consumer is entitled to:
- Protection from deceptive or unfair practices by the cemetery
- A standardized price list disclosing prices for all cemetery related products
- A burial contract that describes the exact location of the burial
A brochure that details all of the protections provided under the Consumer Bill of Rights is available at: http://www.idfpr.com/cemetery/cemeteryconsumerrights.pdf.
The Act, which was the result of recommendations of the Cemetery Oversight Task Force created by Governor Quinn in response to the Burr Oak tragedy last summer, also called for the appointment of the state’s first Cemetery Oversight board by IDFPR Secretary Brent E. Adams. For information about the appointees go to: http://www.idfpr.com/cemetery/cemeteryoversight.asp
“The launch of the Consumer Bill of Rights and the appointment of an Oversight Board represents a major step toward fulfilling Governor Quinn’s commitment to making Illinois cemeteries more accountable to consumers and to the State,” said Secretary Adams, who by law will serve as the board’s chairperson.