I actually posted this to another thread before noticing this one. This is probably the better place to post it.
I have run into a problem obtaining vital records from the state of New York. You cannot get a copy of a record even when you pay for it. Example: (this part is fact) I actually have a copy of my Grandfather's and my Uncle's birth certs. They are in poor condition, so I wanted new copies. I filled out the forms, paid the fees and even furnished the certificate numbers to aid the search. I was informed that there is no such record of my Grandfather and they just kept my money. (keep in mind that I have the certificate in hand) My Uncle has tried and paid 3 times now as he needs a copy of his own birth certificate. Again, they keep his money and send nothing. He even traveled to Albany to pick one up and was told that they would have to mail it. It has been about 2 years now...still nothing.
(this part is just my opinion) Quite a great scam if you think about it. Collect money all day and send nothing. They probably didn't even try to search it, just denied it...sort of like the insurance companies did with initial claims immediately following Hurricane Katrina.