If you do genealogy I sure hope you NEVER have to obtain documentation/vital records from a large city!
You will, without a doubt be driven crazy by it.
My father was born in NYC. I sent away through VITALCHEK online for his birth certificate back in February.
Paid a whopping $38.30 for it.
And then I sat and waited.....and waited.....then waited some more.
The Vitalchek website showed no information(the status of my request)for a month.
I got busy with other things and just refound, last week, my receipt for the order I made.....3 full months since the request.
I have heard not one peep nor gotten anything in the mail in all this time from either Vitalchek or NYC.
So I went back to the Vitalchek website and there is a message that they can't show any information on my purchase/request after 45 days(for MY privacy...yah, riiight!)and I have to call them for information.
So I call and basically they tell me I have to call the NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene directly now to inquire on the status of the request.
They further said they show that the request was received on Feb. 27th by the NYC H&MH and there is no evidence that anything was ever mailed out.
So I call the number the gal gives me and it's not the Dept. of H&MH but a 311 information line for NYC govt....like parking rules today, when is the next garbage pick-up....that sort of thing.
So I hang on the line what seemed like an hour before I got a live person....a live person who spoke too fast and with a heavy accent.
I couldn't make out anything they said except they will transfer me to the Dept. of H&MH.
And I sat on hold some more.....
FINALLY got someone at the actual agency I needed to contact.
After taking every piece of information from me short of when my last bowel movement was, she tells me that the order was CANCELLED....cancelled back on Feb. 27th!!!
Well, THANKS for not letting me know that for 3 months!
She says all birth certificate requests have to be done in person or via snail mail with a physical application. Since my father is dead I also need a certified copy of his death certificate with the application.
So now I have to go to Virginia and pay $12 to get that. (Yah, I can snail mail andapplication but that will be another 4 weeks or more and I've already waited 3 months for this stuff!)
Then I can send it all into NYC and wait the devil knows how long!
Oh, and the $30 I paid NYC for the birth cert. and shipping?
They still have it.
The gal at the Dept. of H&MH said I could expect a refund in the mail in 6-8 weeks from when the application was cancelled.
After a long pause on my end, while I waited for her to realize the lunacy of what she just told me, I reminded her that my application was cancelled Feb. 27th and it was now May 28th, so the 6-8 week time frame had long passed.
She then, put in a request for my refund so we shall see how long(or if EVER)it takes to actually see my money again.
And somebody needs to tell VITALCHEK-who can now officially KMFA!-that they shouldn't allow consumers to request birth certificates online to certain places without other documentation first.....and in some states can't EVER request a cert. online.
They are scamming people out of a fee of $8.30 to do NOTHING!!!
More on this saga is and when it develops.
Off to take my lunch time blood pressure pill....