After a close friend committed suicide, Maciej Cegłowski discovered that a company called Legacy.com provides the back-end for almost every US paper's death notices, and that this company uses deceptive practices to get money from vulnerable, grieving people:
In other words, the site takes money from bereaved people without disclosing what it's billing them, gambling on the fact that they're probably too preoccupied to care. Whether or not this kind of thing is legal, it is completely unethical. Even an undertaker who has upsold you on everything from coffin to funeral buffet has to show you a number before you sign on the dotted line.
If you Google around long enough, you may find your way to the New York Times rate sheet, where the small print tells you that an online death notice costs "from $79". But you won't find this information from anywhere within the legacy.com payment funnel, nor will you find any more information about that evocative word from.
I find it odious and troubling that the New York Times, along with a raft of other major newspapers, partners with this kind of website. It seems like further confirmation that newspapers will now clutch at any revenue stream.