Beware of VitalCheck – They’re A Money Pit

I ran in to an issue with VitalCheck.com recently when I ordered a record. They handled the situation so poorly and disreputably that I feel that it’s important to forewarn other genealogists and family history researchers about this service.

I’ve used VitalCheck in the past to order public records for my family tree research. I never had a problem. However, the last order turned into a problem and how well (and in this case how poorly) the problem is handled speaks volumes about the business practices of a company. Vital Check tanked in my ratings.

Recently a relative died and I needed to travel out-of-state to handle their estate. I needed a certified copy of the death record. I ordered the record on December 3 and paid a whopping $48.50 which was to include 2-day expedited delivery. I was to receive the record in about 10 to 14 days.  My out-of-state trip has come and gone.  Thank goodness a relative was able to obtain the death record from a more reliable source, so we were able to accomplish what was scheduled for the trip.

It’s now a new year. Today is January 5th, still no death record from VitalCheck. When I called VitalCheck I was told that $6 of my payment was to VitalCheck and that the rest was to the county records office who are responsible for locating the record and shipping it.  VitalCheck refuses to refund me for either the record that I haven’t received nor the 2-day shipping fees which have not been used (obviously because the record never shipped!).

VitalCheck’s customer service (1-866-203-2777) answers with a recorded announcement that VitalCheck is now a Lexis Nexis Company. Lexis Nexis has a very good reputation as the source of case-law and legal records, let’s hope they are cleaning house at Vital Check and that their current policy of passing the buck and no refunds even when service and product have not been provided will be changed.

So friends, be aware. Beware.