Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price’s Office Announces $23 Million Dollar Settlement Agreement with the Nation’s Largest Funeral Provider for Allegedly Violating California’s Consumer Protection Laws

May 1, 2024

OAKLAND, CA — Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, together with the California Attorney General’s Office and the District Attorneys of Marin and San Francisco, has entered a settlement with Service Corporation International, the nation’s largest funeral service provider, doing business in California as the “Neptune Society” and the “Trident Society,” for violations of California’s Unfair Competition and False Advertising Laws related to marketing and selling pre-need cremation packages. The settlement provides full restitution to consumers, comprehensive injunctive relief that requires compliance with the law going forward, and $23 million total in civil penalties, over $5.7 million of which will be paid directly to Alameda County.

“This settlement holds Neptune Society and Trident Society accountable for a practice of using deceptive price manipulation to defraud consumers and skirt legal obligations requiring them to place all funds paid for pre-need cremation services and collateral agreements in trust,” said District Attorney Pamela Price. “

The scheme involved Neptune and Trident locations selling consumers a pre-need package called the “Standard Plan,” which includes cremation services and merchandise but was marketed and sold to customers as a single plan at a single price. The Standard Plan was strategically priced below stand-alone cremation services to induce consumers into purchasing the Standard Plan. But when it came time to sign, Neptune and Trident presented consumers with two contracts, one for heavily marked-up merchandise and one for deeply discounted cremation services. When a consumer requested a refund, Neptune and Trident only refunded the portion allocated to cremation services, not any money earmarked for merchandise. Typically, consumers would be refunded less than half of their money. These practices violate California law, which requires funeral service providers to provide a full refund of the amount paid for the entire pre-need cremation package at any time before services are rendered.

Of the $23 million in civil penalties, the Neptune Society and Trident Society will pay $5,750,000 to Alameda County, pay full consumer restitution to the consumers who canceled their plans but did not get a full refund, and be subject to strong injunctive terms that provide meaningful protections for consumers. The cremation services providers must also:

  • Cease selling the Standard Plan or any similar package unless all money paid for the plan or package and money paid for any collateral agreements is placed into trust.
  • Provide clear written disclosures informing consumers of their rights under California law, including that consumers are not required to purchase additional products or services in order to purchase pre-need cremation services.
  • Provide a full refund upon request to any consumer who cancels a pre-need funeral agreement.
  • Comply with California law when advertising veterans’ benefits.

There are three Neptune Society locations in Alameda County: Castro Valley, Livermore, and Oakland. There is a Trident Society location in Fremont, and the crematorium is in Oakland.




The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office (DAO) is one of California’s largest prosecutors’ offices and is led by Alameda County’s first Black woman District Attorney Pamela Y. Price. Price brings her vision to this office to fairly administer justice in the pursuit of thriving, healthy, and safe communities for every person who steps foot in Alameda County, no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, income, or zip code. Price has been recognized as one of the most progressive prosecutors through her forward-thinking, innovative strategies to interrupt cycles of violence and crime and bring change to a criminal justice system rooted in systemic racism. Follow Madam DA on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and @AlamedaCountyda on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.