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Jolene, Jolene

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Vital Statistics Agency

Having carefully inputted all the information online, Jolene was surprised to see her daughter’s birth certificate arrive with a glaring error: “Jolene” was repeated twice as the mother’s name.

When Jolene contacted Vital Statistics to correct the error, she was told to pay the $71 fee for the correction of online registration user errors. Jolene grudgingly paid the fee and happily received a correct birth certificate for her newborn.

Still, Jolene did not like paying for someone else’s mistake and wanted a refund. Vital Statistics declined to investigate or refund the fee. Unhappy with this response, Jolene came to us.

We agreed to investigate, concerned that Vital Statistics might have dismissed Jolene’s request for a refund without first taking reasonable steps to identify the source of the error on her daughter’s birth certificate.

Vital Statistics’ electronic files showed that the mistake was indeed no fault of Jolene. Because of our investigation, Vital Statistics agreed to amend its internal procedures. Now, when a customer calls about an error on their baby’s birth certificate, Vital Statistics will review the customer’s file to determine the cause – before deciding whether to issue a fee. Vital Statistics also agreed to provide a refund to Jolene and a letter of apology.

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