Friday, January 23, 2015

Bait-And-Switch At AncestryDNA

Correction: the requirement for a subscription only applies to new tests after last fall's changes. You will get the screen shown on the right if you recently tested and try to access trees. You will be required to pay at least $49 a year to see any portion of a tree.

I was absolutely blown away yesterday when my cousin's DNA results came back and we couldn't even view partial trees for his matches. I set up a free account for him. In the past you could view the first 7 generations of a match's pedigree without subscribing. You could even see more if you clicked on the names. Now you can't see anything without subscribing. I think this is highly unethical. When I bought my kit I understood that I would be able to see at least a partial tree without paying a dollar more. This test has suddenly become the most expensive test offered by any company. Without the trees the test is useless, other than getting the highly controversial ethnic results, there would be no reason to use their test. If you maintain the minimum subscription of $49 to see the trees the test would end up costing you more than $500 over 10 years. I would rather use that money traveling to ancestral locations. The test results, which are often changed for the worse, the glitches, and no segment information in the AncestryDNA database mean this test is absolutely not worth that amount of money.

After learning about this bait-and-switch move by AncestryDNA I've decided I will eventually make my tree private. If Ancestry decides to make viewing partial trees free again I will unlock my tree. A number of people have linked to my tree so I will have to invite them to my private tree.

So now when you buy an AncestryDNA kit for someone as a gift they will be required to maintain some kind of subscription to continue to see the trees. A gift that keeps on taking?

In my last blog I shared the fact that a 3rd cousin 1x removed disappeared from my Mom's match list. It seems she purchased a test for another relative, and that relative now matches my Mom at the Extremely High Confidence level. Their result came in yesterday. This person appears to be a 2nd cousin 1x removed to my Mom. I will contact this match and see if she would be willing to compare at GEDmatch. I have a feeling they both share large segments.


Building Magic said...

"A gift that keeps on taking"

That's good.

Anonymous said...

I've been a member since the late 90's but they still surprise me. Ancestry, oh Ancestry, how many ways can thou gouge me....

Teacherdude22 said...

A world membership is around $300 a year and U.S. Discovery in about $200 a year. $49 a year is not bad. We need to remember they are providing a service. A service that can not exist for free. I have spent way more than $50 for one family members military records. The wealth of information on Ancestry is well worth it, if one uses it. It's like a gym membership, if on goes everyday, it's a great deal. If one doesn't go, they are loosing money.

Unknown said...

I left long ago because I found trees so unreliable beyond about five generations past by conflation of individuals with common names.
Through 23&me a French cousin found me, pointed me to
Found eight generations of mostly complete vigneron ancestors, with French records.

Annette said...

I'm unsubscribing after my next DNA result comes in. I don't like the way Ancestry jerks their customers around. Terrible company. The management needs a change of attitude or they need a change in management? I found an entire line of my family was missing in the tree created for AncestryDNA. The actual tree has the line in it but the generated tree doesn't? I'm finding that happens frequently. It's all just time sinking aggravation!

Paul Smith said...

Looks like the $49 annual subscription is going to be limited to tree access, DNA hints, and DNA Circles and not a full subscription where you get access to records. Don't know if Ancestry's Italian tree only access would be a good workaround, but at 10 Euros annually it's a lot cheaper.

Hello Ann,
In regards to the Ancestry Insights subscription; you will have the ability to contact all other members, view cousin's direct-line pedigrees up to 7 generations, view your cousins' full family trees, view public family trees for any member of Ancestry, view DNA shared ancestor hints, match locations and surnames, and also have access to DNA circles. Whereas, without a subscription you do not have access to those features, but can still access your results, your list of matches, the relationship prediction and can still contact your DNA matches. Let me know if you have any questions.

Karlie B. Community Moderator

It was bad enough 23andMe raising the rate to $200 for Canada and U.K. testers. When I asked them if they planned on raising U.S. rates to similar levels once they make up with FDA and their response wasn't promising:

Jess, Oct 10 05:26 PM:
Hello Paul,
Our intention is to return previously available reports to all customers without additional charge. However, we don’t know which reports will be approved or when. The FDA may have requirements that fundamentally change some reports or require the development of entirely new reports or products. It is possible that there may be additional charges for new products that are developed as a result of FDA requirements.

The company will continue, as it always has, to evaluate optimal pricing strategies and we may adjust pricing in the future.

Annette said...

Thanks for the info Paul! I should probably decide whether to test with 23andMe before they possibly raise the price. I'm doubting whether anyone outside of Italy will be allowed to subscribe to that product. Although using a VPN might work?

Unknown said...

My great-great grandfather was Francisco Antonio Alvarado Granizo. I need to talk to you to learn more about him! Please send me an email with your info!

Annette said...

Oh my Gosh Nicholas! Great to hear from you! I didn't know he had any children? He was a very interesting man and very good to my Mom Edna Forgey-Kapple. I've been researching him. My family called him Padrino. You can find me at facebook, G+ and my email is