We have been informed about an online site, "Echovita", publishing obituaries and has been set up to accept flower and tree orders for grieving families. However, to our knowledge, the families never receive any orders, the money is lost, and the obituary information is incorrect. Please be wary and use the information published through the funeral home which each family has authorized. The National Funeral Directors Association has issued the following statement:
ADVISORY CONCERNING UNAUTHORIZED OBITUARY WEBSITE
We want to alert you that a Canadian company operating under the name of Echovita.com is engaged in pirating obituaries from newspapers and funeral home websites. Echovita.com revises the wording of the pirated obituaries to avoid copyright infringement lawsuits and then posts them on its website. When members of the public do an online search for a particular obituary, the website comes up with the obituary and includes offers to sell flowers, virtual candles, and memorial tree plantings. In essence, Echovita is using the deaths of loved ones to draw traffic to its website in the hope of selling products.
Our funeral home has no connection, financial or otherwise, to Echovita.com. Currently, there are no laws that prevent Echovita from taking the information from online websites and posting their own obituaries using that information. If you hear from friends and family members regarding Echovita.com, you may want to warn them that you have not authorized Echovita to post the obituary of your loved one.
Not only is Echovita.com engaged in deception, it is also not very good at reporting accurate information. The algorithms used by Echovita.com to modify obituaries are not foolproof and misinformation regarding names of the decedent or relatives, or the times, places and dates of funeral services are often found in online obituaries.
Obituaries that appear on Echovita.com may be corrected or removed at the request of family members. When the obituary appears on the website, a family member may click a box entitled “Report this Obituary”. The family would then be given an option to edit the page by correcting the misinformation or directing Echovita to remove the obituary. Echovita warns that it may take up to three business days before the obituary is removed.
Many funeral homes, nationally and locally, and the families they serve have been targeted by this site.