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Last updated: Dec. 4, 2017

512 Ancestry Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 4, 2017

I received the DNA kit. Whenever I saw a commercial on television about collecting your DNA they always swab the inside of your mouth. This kit they sent me has a tube that you have to fill with your saliva, I have severe dry mouth and cannot fill a tube with saliva. I contacted them and asked for a refund. They said that they would keep $25 Plus a $10 shipping fee. I paid them $59. They would only return $24. I think this company is a total rip-off.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 14, 2017

I have been a member of Ancestry since 2000. I have had multiple DNA tests done, which I manage through my account. When I had my father submit his sample, I did not use the administrator option (purely accidental). After receiving his results, and realizing that they identify *me* as the donor, I called to set it straight. I was told they would fix the problem within a couple of weeks. Long story short, I have made several lengthy phone calls over the course of TWO YEARS, and the issue is still not resolved - despite being told REPEATEDLY that it would be "taken care of"! They have told me to "check back in a few weeks", or that they would "contact me to follow up" (never did).

Why doesn't anyone know what they're doing? I have wasted HOURS of my own time trying to chase down a solution. They have offered me a few months' subscription for free, but that doesn't help to fix the issue. What kind of IT department do they have, that can't make this adjustment to the account?? During today's phone call, I was told that the issue can NEVER be fixed... So why have I been strung along for TWO YEARS?! I would have closed my account and started from scratch TWO YEARS AGO, had I been given this information - but they took that option away from me by continually telling me to give them some time to fix it!

Most recently, I purchased a subscription that was to expire October 1st. I saw a charge to my credit card (which was expired, as I was going to use a *different* card when I updated my payment method on the account) for $149. I immediately went online to cancel. Still, when my credit card statement arrived, it showed the $149 charge, so I called Ancestry this morning. What a complete waste of time. I explained that I HAD cancelled online and Sasha explained that I hadn't gone "far enough", as even when you confirm that you DO want to cancel, you have to continue to another page. So, the initial cancellation did not take effect, and she could only issue a cancellation for MARCH 2018 - after all my $149 is exhausted.

I asked Sasha why there was a checkbox with the reason: "I didn't know my subscription was going to renew" when I cancelled online, if this were a unique problem. She indicated that their marketing department is gathering information, but it was not available to her. So, if they're not aware that the auto-renew is a problem, why are they polling cancellations to see who wasn't happy because they "didn't know" it was going to happen?! I asked her what I could have done differently, and she said I would have to have called and actively canceled the subscription, because it automatically renews (no opt-out option offered).

She also indicated that I had checked a "tiny box" (HER WORDS) when I purchased the subscription, stating that I had read the terms/conditions. Yes, I suppose I had - but I just didn't remember seeing the auto-renewal clause. So, despite the fact that I thought I HAD cancelled the subscription online (or so I thought), and I called as soon as I discovered the charge on my statement, I was offered no remedy (how about pro-rating a refund?) It's not like this is a few dollars, and now I have to find some way to pay for this during heating/holiday season!

Why does Ancestry make it SO difficult to cancel a subscription, yet they have no issues taking payment - even by way of EXPIRED credit card! With NO notification that the subscription is expiring, no opting out of automatic renewal, and no pro-rating payment/refunds... Doesn't it seem that there is only ONE thing on Ancestry's mind? And it sure isn't the CUSTOMER! BUYER BEWARE!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 7, 2017

I was told $79.00. Got charged $88.00. Was told I am 98% Britain ¿? 1% Indian 1% **. Well I knew you was from Germany or I was a Dutchman but what the hell does Great Britain mean? Waste of my precious money!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 6, 2017

I had a DNA test 3 years ago. Suddenly, my results are different on their site! I have been online and referred to call. I have been on the phone and referred to online. No help anywhere. I wish I could get my money back. I previously had problems with information changing or disappearing in my family tree.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 2, 2017

I went on this when they had a free offer. I reviewed my dad's side of the family. The info was fairly accurate. However, they 'lost' one of my uncles. I don't see how you can 'misplace' a person. I will not use this site again.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 24, 2017

I signed up for a free trial at, one which you had to provide credit card information and which they claimed you could cancel at anytime, months ago. I didn't like their service, so I canceled within 2 days of signing up for their 14 day long free trial. Naturally I expected there to be no charges on my credit card from However it has been months since I canceled my subscription with them and I am still getting charged $19.99 on my credit card.

After realizing that I was being billed again from Ancestry I promptly logged back in and had to re-cancel my subscription. I called Ancestry's customer service in an attempt to get some answers as to why I was being billed for a service which I had canceled months ago, during my free trial nonetheless, and was told that they had no record of my previous cancellation nor the most recent cancellation I did just now even though I have proof from their email cancellation confirmations! This is unbelievable and fraudulent! I advise people to stay away from this company unless they want to continue to pay for a service that they don't even use.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 20, 2017

I was thinking about ordering Ancestry. I opened up the free offers before and the short preview I got last time lined up with our history. This time it was completely different as though someone has changed our history. I know where my family traveled from and this time it looked like my family was from the US which is BS. They also made my family all labourers but there was great wealth, and a few famous people. Our name had surnames and we even seen when they traveled to this country. Now they are publishing rubbish about my heritage.

The main focus on the whole free page was the life expectancy!!! That tells me that this is very sick. That means any company or person can plug in a last name and see family life expectancy. Why do they post that type of info to anyone who see it... someone's family's life expectancy. You better believe they are selling this data. If you are excited about looking up your family heritage, and there in bold for everyone to see... life expectancy. Why is that even a part of the research? Why is that public information? I am going to see what I can do to stop this. It would be different if the life expectancy was just from long ago but they are publically posting life expectancy as current as 2004. That is really sick. This company is doing more with this data. I am not buying it now.

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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 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.

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 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 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 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 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 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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