I found the company through Ancestry.com, figured it was reputable and needed a copy of my mother's California death cert quickly so I ordered and paid for it. $40, including express delivery.

I even had my own identification notarized, although I requested the certificate be delivered to my sister in California, and faxed/scanned all requested information to them. A couple of weeks later I rec'd an email saying the cert had "shipped". My sister called and said she rec'd the packet, but it was a letter saying they had been unable to locate the death cert. SO ...

she took a day off, went down to the LA County Courthouse and requested the doc, providing the same info I had given Vitalchek. Bingo! She had the document in less than 15 minutes. Of course, we had to lay out money again for that service.

Additionally, she showed the supervisor the Vitalchek paperwork. He said that Vitalchek is not authorized to obtain or provide that documentation, that only the county or state can do that. I tried to find contact info for Vitalchek at their website. No such thing, that I can see.

I am so angry at myself for falling for their ploy, and with Ancestry.com for allowing them to link from their website.

Product or Service Mentioned: Vitalchek Death Certificate.

Monetary Loss: $40.

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VitalChek doesn't have the documents. It takes the information a state or county needs to find the certificate and takes a credit card payment and sends the info and money to the agency.

(For a fee.)

If you got a letter from the agency it came from the agency and is probably a different agency than the LA County Courthouse.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States #622970

You are just one of many people that have got ripped off by Vital Check. I haven't been able to figure out why people use this company just because it is mentioned on Ancestry.com.

I have been working on my family's genealogy for about 15 years and have needed to obtain any of the certificates that I need from my State Department of Health or Vital Statistics, what ever it is called in different states.

Here I can go to the states web site and find the forms they require, print them out and send them to the address given along with the fee and have the certificate within a couple weeks at the longest. I could also go to the county court house and obtain the form, but it is hard for me to get around.

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