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Last updated: Oct. 12, 2017

505 Ancestry Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 12, 2017

I'm writing in enormous frustration re the inefficiency of your site. Today I tried (yet again) to follow all the advice given to me from your advisors re how to download raw DNA data, this time with an IT Consultant beside me. He like myself is of the opinion that the site is unusable! Please note these random examples of the failures encountered to date: On the very few occasions when I seem to have been finally getting somewhere I just end up with a screen message from you saying that I can't use Ancestry because you are experiencing 'A high volume of traffic' and to try again later.

I'm managing my mother's account and when today her password again didn't work (which I need in order to download her DNA results for her), my partner -the IT consultant - changed it, only for us to then be told when we tried to use it - that the new details were invalid! Tonight I tried to call you, (no answer), the live chat feature is also closed... My previous telephone advisor, although very pleasant did not send a new DNA link although I had explained that the constant delays had resulted in it expiring. What on earth is going on? To be honest had my mother and I known in the first place that downloading DNA is dependent on either the use of a laptop or computer ('ancient' technology - as most people now use iPads!) we would have opted to use a different site for a DNA test.

This dependency on near redundant technology really needs to be plainly stated before people choose to buy your DNA kit. (Do you realize how frustrating it is having constant interruptions to an already seemingly hopeless task, which inform the user that this – or - that needs be updated or installed?). I'd forgotten how laborious laptops were until being expected to use one again just because Ancestry can't deliver DNA results by more modern means. While being given advice that never works I realize that the delays will not only hold up a crucially important search for a lost family member (when in view of my mother's age of 83 this is a race against time) but will of course inevitably just succeed in pushing me over into another monthly subscription payment, when really all we want to do now is unsubscribe.

Footnote to users: the Ancestry DNA test involves spitting copiously into a tube. N.B. Modern DNA test sites now use a swab! Ancestry is just NOT geared up to the service it is selling. Avoid! Perhaps if it stopped spending a fortune on its TV advertising and used the money saved to get it's service up to standard, customers might stand a chance of getting what they paid for.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 30, 2017

I question the accuracy of the DNA lab, my husband and I submitted our DNA samples with two different activation codes and when the results came the results were identical! I think they tested his sample twice and entered the results under my code.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 26, 2017

    I am very disappointed in the results sent from Ancestry DNA. The results show 47% "Other". Are they kidding? For all the testing they supposedly do telling me 47% of my DNA is "other" is absolutely worthless. Don't waste your money.

    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Sept. 25, 2017

    Ancestry.com provides absolutely nothing for your money. (I have not and will not subscribe to their "services" as I've received NO value from their initial response on my test kit.) 23andMe provided much more value for initial investment. The attachment sent with the "Results" cannot be opened by any known reader. I've no clue on my heritage except for a brief, one-line description with NO supporting information. And, here's a rub - "submitting a receipt" will add a "Verified Buyer" label to your review; Okay, where do I find this? Could I have overlooked this important number? Save your money. Invest in, hey, a money market account - you'll get better return.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 1, 2017

    I ordered the DNA kit. Results came in and reported I was 15% Irish, 70% Western European, 15% other. Western Europe, 8 countries, 70%. I still have no idea what the majority of my heritage comprises. I'm very disappointed. I wish I had gone with another company for this information.

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    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Aug. 28, 2017

    I ordered a DNA kit, the post office is returning it for insufficient address. I called and asked how do I get a refund and was told I would be charged $25, so my refund would only be $54. Ha, so I will lose money!!! The customer service agent was helpful and I realize it's not her policy. What a crock.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 25, 2017

    Ordered DNA kit. They took my money and my DNA and never gave me anything in return. It's been six months now with no results. All I get is, "Sorry we will ask for a report from the lab" and the lab has never responded and after all this time they offered me a one month free subscription. They are probably selling DNA to research labs and this is a farce to get people's DNA to do research on.

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    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: Aug. 23, 2017

    Ordered a Ancestry DNA kit. Checked the tracking and it was returned to Ancestry.com. I have no idea why because they don't answer the customer service line. As I write Ive been on hold 50 minutes. If I can't communicate that's an issue timely... but they sure can take my money fast.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 18, 2017

    I had a free trial and Forgot to cancel. When I noticed my account got debited twice, I tried calling and was put on hold for over 20 minutes. After talking to a rep she couldn't find my account and she told me to cancel online. I went online and when I logged in there was nowhere in the website that I can cancel. It directed me to a 1-800 number and waited for 20 minutes and the rep said the same thing, can't find an account associated with my email or debit card. Yet, they are still charging my debit card. It has been over a week and I still can't cancel online and customer service reps can't help me. This business makes it difficult for you to cancel your subscription. I am frustrated! Today I called again and waited for 20-30 minutes then got disconnected. I will call my bank instead.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 17, 2017

    So I decided to try Ancestry to see what it could teach me. I decided to try their free month trial, but only used the service for about an hour before I decided that it wasn't teaching me much that I didn't already know. I could cancel at any time in my free trial and not get charged the $35. Well, it's been one month and I just found a $35 charge from them in my account. What the heck?! I logged into my account and checked to see if my subscription was actually ended and it was. It says I'm just supposed to be a guest, rather than having the subscription that I'd selected to do for free. I'm so freaking that even after successfully cancelling a month ago, I was still charged for an already crappy service. Don't ever use this service. I will not give up until I get my money back.

    Original review: Aug. 1, 2017

    I purchased two DNA kits in January 2017. One for my son's birthday and one for my 82 year old father's birthday. My son's was sent back and asked to resubmit his saliva. Neither my father or my son have received their information. This is August 1st. It's been months with no information!. Seriously makes me wonder if any of this is legit? Paid money for nothing. Out $200.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 25, 2017

    I joined Ancestry and was sorely disappointed. Instead of providing me with ancestry information, I had to provide the information. What little information it did provide I already had, or it was just plain incorrect. The misleading commercials on TV about clicking on the little green leaf lead to nowhere. The little green leaves fell from my family tree for sure.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 24, 2017

    I became a member in 2005 when I ordered my DNA test. I received it but since then my report was lost in a house fire and I would like to order a new one to replace the one that was destroyed in a fire. Seems like no one cares once they get your money. Now they are requesting an Order #. Are you kidding me this was back in 2005. Plus a receipt #. Just be aware of this Ancestry.com. It is not what they promote on TV. My name is Carol ** E-mail address is **. Would like someone at Ancestry to help me with this problem if this company truly cares. Thank you.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 17, 2017

    I started the free trial to look up my son's father's family. I started the free trial for a week and then got busy with other things. They NEVER sent me an email stating that my free one week trial was over, and charged me $34.95 from July 1-August 1, 2017. I contacted them and have not heard back. It is impossible to get a person on the phone. So, I filed a complaint with PayPal. To date, they have not responded to PayPal's request for information. So, beware of these so called FREE TRIALS.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 14, 2017

    I have had Ancestry on and off for many years. I had trouble with double accounts that never was resolved. I have requested, I receive my newsletter but havent received one since 2012 this is 2017. I signed up for world which was expensive and their practice of auto renewal with no choice is deceptive. They could notify you of upcoming renewal and give you a choice but it makes more money for them with auto renewal.

    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: July 12, 2017

    Been a member 10 years for lack of an alternative, and for the last few years at highest level. But they have never fixed relationship calculation errors that I have alerted them to multiple times. Are not fixing foundational issues chasing bells & whistles. Their servers seem to crash regularly, making parts of tips or trees unavailable. I suspect they have oversold relative to capacity.

    Charge your payment method without authorization. Make it difficult to avoid auto renewal by not taking checks or prepaid cards. And say they remove payment method but do not if making a one time authorization. I have had this happen several times, & I gather I am not alone. They don't moderate trolls, so one basically has to shut off contact internally from everyone. To avoid those outraged by trees that contradict their info. Or those having done little or no work on their own tree who believe they are entitled to full access of your years of research. PS. This after I stated clearly in my profile that I am happy to answer specific questions but don't share my tree. Early adopter on DNA test, but underwhelmed re level of detail. Feels like it doesn't go very far back either. Long waits for customer service which ineffectual & no real follow-up.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 2, 2017

    I have been an Ancestry subscriber for years and I am finding that their searches are getting more and more tedious and difficult. Currently, once you find a census record for a family (not always easy as transcriptions are not always accurate or, in fairness, possible to be accurate because of bad handwriting on the original images), one can often only link in the person who was the query of the search. Sometimes the transcribers did not associate the names on the census pages with the correct families and it is impossible to do multiple names in the family at one time. I am finding this to be true quite often now.

    In the past when this happened, one used to be able to go to the image and link people in from the image, but now I find that once I have linked the first person, I am forced to do tedious searches for all of the other members of the family so that I can link them in. If I try to link a different person from the index on the image, I am only allowed to save the image to my computer which is not what I am trying to do. It used to be that when one went to the index on the image and clicked on a different name, one got an option to link the new person into the tree or save to the computer. This option disappeared a long time ago and I have no idea why!!

    I am also finding that I frequently have to go to other places like familysearch.org to find a document because sometimes the options for a census search are not even available when I hit the search button for a person in my tree. Once I input more information for the person, I can usually find the record in hints, but honestly, what is the point in doing the search if I am not even going to have access to the right documents. I am finding these problems to be more and more common. I suppose it may be that their search engines are overworked, but for the price we are paying they should fix the problems. Their search engines used to work much better years ago. I don't feel that I am getting good value for my yearly membership on a World subscription. I am not a novice to this site. I have been using it for years and these searches used to work much better.

    Recently, I decided not to renew my subscription and I swear it was often as quick to look the records up on other sites and type in the information into my tree on Ancestry. I really like the linking feature and the fact that so many new British records have been added, but after today's terrible search experiences, I am thinking it is not worth the money. Once I laboriously manage to get the new records linked in that currently only appear to be available on Ancestry, I doubt I will be back. I have several months left on my subscription, so perhaps service will improve, but my experiences over the past couple of years are revealing that the search experience is getting worse and worse!

    I use Chrome which I read in someone else's message is the search engine they tell one to use. I also have over 10,000 people in my tree, so suppose that may be a problem. Maybe Ancestry searches don't perform well for people who have trees with a lot of people. Anyway, I have been getting more and more frustrated the past couple of years and at this point think I am getting very bad value for my money. I only resubscribed because they were having a sale when I bought a DNA kit. I will never pay full price to join again!!!

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 1, 2017

    Ancestry.com is an absolute rip off. They take your family photos and sell them to places like Pinterest without contacting the family first. Their DNA testing is another worthless item - vague at most. They also allow other members to pilferage your site, swiping family photos, allowing them to contact you & stir up family crap that happened 80 years ago as to who got great grandma's stuff and who did not. They also allow other members to steal your personal data and post it on their fb pages. If I had to do it all over again I would have never made an ancestry page to begin with. It has caused nothing but grief. Stirred up crap that happened years before & also allows Ancestry.com to cash in on all this stuff by selling it to third party vendors.

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    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: June 24, 2017

    I'm an adoptee from birth. I have found out that my birth mother was English but I don't know about my paternal heritage. I ordered the DNA test kit in 02/17, and received it the same month. I followed the instructions and sent the sample in very early March. There hasn't been any response from Ancestry regarding my DNA. I have received multiple advertisements and ''money saving offers''. I haven't gotten any answers when e-mailed about the issue.

    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: June 21, 2017

    I have been a member with Ancestry for approx 25 years before online computer programs. I today went on to my Family Tree program and now it has changed & Ancestry is requiring to upgrade to 2017 without a notice. You pay up to $90 when you buy these programs and I have had mine for 2 years and now I need to upgrade again for approx the same amount? I pay annual dues for their services over $300 yearly and there are still things I can not get. I can't even use my AARP yearly since I used it 1 time.

    The DNA is a great option BUT... as a serious Genealogist you find MANY, MANY people due their DNA because the commercials on TV to see where they come from. When these people match you, you email through Ancestry DNA and you never know if they get it because they do NOT have trees online. I wish Ancestry would have their email information on their information so we can contact them directly. I understand possibly some people may not want to be found, but there are other issues involved as well. Have it marked on ALL DNA RESULTS how that person is related, maternal/paternal would also help us with these people.

    On the hints, there are many that are 'GREY OUT' and you can't delete them from your hints. They say they have been working on that. It is been a year. Hmmm... how good are their computer techs? Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of good from Ancestry but their customer service hangs up on you, you can't hear them or they don't pick up. I truly recommend you download your RAW DNA from Ancestry and put on a free service GEDMATCH.COM. Very medical but you get people's emails to contact them and you find matches.

    Also FAMILYTREEDNA.COM buy their kits and do your DNA with them too. I am just starting to use it, very medical again, but it will pay off. SUGGESTION... use your same login name from Ancestry on these accounts so when people are researching they will remember you from Ancestry and so on. ANCESTRY.COM.. Please make POSITIVE CHANGES with pricing and your staff ASAP. With all the money you are all making, help us continue to help you being richer. Thank you!

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    Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
    Original review: June 17, 2017

    I purchased a DNA kit for my mother (who has limited information about her parents or her extended family). We were told by Ancestry she is 65% Western European, 20% Irish, 15% Other (they did then break out some of "Other" into again vague categories like "Italian or Greek", but did not offer any break out on the majority "Western European" category). I could have provided this vague level of information without paying ~$100 based upon the limited family information we already had. Don't waste your money.

    Original review: June 17, 2017

    I signed up for the 14 day trial and found that it's way too expensive of a membership and it wasn't something I was interested in using enough to validate spending the money. I went online to cancel and lo and behold when you click the reason and then click "done" it takes you to an error page so you are unable to cancel!! I then found the 1-800 number and waited on hold 20 min on a Saturday morning because they had high call volume!! What a joke!!

    Finally a representative came online and after informing her I wanted to cancel she of course tries to talk me out of it. I let her know that I tried the website and she tells me that the Safari engine I used is not compatible with Ancestry and I can only use Google chrome. That's absolutely ridiculous. Any search engine should be sufficient with wanting to cancel a membership!! I was able to cancel my membership and received the confirmation email, but I'm not very confident that they won't end up charging me anyway based on other reviews I've read. Shame on you Ancestry!! I may have considered staying if your rates weren't so high or you didn't make this experience so horrible!!

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: June 15, 2017

    I paid my money in August and they advised me last week 10 months later that they needed a new sample and I was to pay the fee again... I tried to contact them and they simply gave me the runaround. I would suggest that you try someone else if you wish this service as I was scammed.

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    Original review: June 12, 2017

    I missed a sale by a few days and asked for a price adjust which would have saved me $40. They said no. I asked if I could return it and rebuy at the sale price and they said they would charge me a $25 restocking fee, plus the $10 for the shipping again ($35) plus the shipping to return it back ($45). So I would actually lose money that way. Poor customer service!! I always grant my customers price adjusts if they notice they booked a service just before a deal and missed out. Would have been nice to see this business extend the same courtesy.

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    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 22, 2017

    A few months ago, I had my DNA done by Ancestry. Unknown to me, they started charging me for a subscription that I did not order. When I requested cancellation and a refund, they refused to allow the refund but said they would cancel the subscription. I feel that I have been scammed by them.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 15, 2017

    Paid them $2500 to help us find my husband's bio dad. Said we could cancel our search at any time just by calling. Well...we did call, several times to cancel. And as of today, still haven't received any refund at all. Very frustrated!!!

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 14, 2017

    If you're a European Jewish person don't bother submitting your DNA. I did and all they told me was that I was a European Jew. They could not tell me any specific country I was from. My map showed from Germany on east. A waste of money.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 9, 2017

    I request for my DNA to be mailed to me as an official doc. I was told they don't mail DNA. I can't print because the entire info. will not print not even the origin map. I paid 100 bucks and waited 8wks and you can't mail my results. What a rip-off Ancestry is.

    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 8, 2017

    I wanted to cancel my account on Ancestry. I went to their website, logged in and went to my account. The link to cancel the account was missing. According to Ancestry if the link is missing then the account doesn't exist! If the account doesn't exist why are they billing me every month? After waiting over 5 minutes to speak with a representative I was offered the previous month’s payment of 19.99 when the charges had accumulated to over 200.00. They will never have me or any of my friends and relatives sign up with them.

    Verified Buyer
    Original review: May 5, 2017

    I went through the cancellation process on ancestry.com and believed my account was deactivated only find out I was being charged for a monthly subscription. Upon calling customer service they insisted if the cancellation was successful I should have a confirmation email from them but I did not receive one. I am very computer savvy and have used the internet since it was in its infancy and feel confident that the cancellation process was misleading. Beware if you want to cancel your subscription.

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