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Ancestry
Ancestry
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.14/5
  • 5 stars
    0
  • 4 stars
    0
  • 3 stars
    0
  • 2 stars
    11
  • 1 stars
    52
Based on 63 ratings submitted in the last yearSHOW RATING DISTRIBUTION

Ancestry

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Last updated: May 21, 2018

544 Ancestry Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 21, 2018

Phone call is not worth it. Only ask for credit card account but my card is already expired. I need to speak with representative and don't have on the system. I did cancel on April 2018 but you charge it through PayPal without notified me in May. I change the setting on pre-approved billing cancellation. I will talk to the bank to delete it. This is bad service for cancellation. I will delete my email on Ancestry and they cannot access with them anymore.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 20, 2018

I ordered my DNA test through Ancestry and although it took a while I did receive my results. The problem began when I tried to sign up for the free trial. The site refused to accept any of my credit cards and no, this wasn't a case of my card not having available credit, I have a number of cards all in good standing - SO, I called Ancestry and they told me that "unfortunately" this happens to some customers, not only was I not able to sign up for the trial (or any other account for that matter) the customer service representative wasn't able to manually enter my card number either.

When I asked how to resolve it the answer was... "I HAVE NO IDEA." Seriously? I was given an email address to submit a complaint to and I have but I'm not holding out much hope that there will be a timely resolution. Totally dissatisfied with their service and recommend people consider my experience before purchasing - this could happen to you too. Oh, and one other thing, they said this generally happens to people who attempt to purchase using an Apple device. (Mine was Microsoft) so to you Apple users out there BEWARE!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 18, 2018

I bought this for my Mom as a gift using MY PERSONAL credit card, creating a series of auto renewing gouging. My 83 year old mom then lost her sight and cancelled her internet. When I noticed another billing on MY CREDIT CARD, I called and tried to cancel. They said my Mom had to call and cancel. Even though I was the one paying. What if, God forbid, my mom had died? Would I have to cancel my credit card to cut these users off at the source? HORRIBLE 2 day effort to try to cancel. Don't buy as a gift.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 14, 2018

DO NOT EVER SIGN UP FOR THE TRIAL PERIOD on Ancestry.com. I immediately cancelled, within the trial period, now they are denying that I ever did that. They have been charging my CC every month since!! Now they are saying today is the first notice they got!! That is BS!!! I am demanding that they refund ALL my money. Am dissing them everywhere I can. Will also complain to the BBB and FTC.

2 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 12, 2018

I purchased a kit online. Received an e-mail stating "congratulations" and another one saying that "it is on its way". After two weeks, never I received it. I called them, and after long waits on hold, they wanted to send me another one. After this poor service and reading the horrible reviews for this company, I said, "No, I want a refund." The customer service person said, and then the supervisor that I demanded to speak with said that, "It is our policy to charge you $25 plus postage." I pointed out how unethical it was to charge me for a kit that never got sent. Eventually the supervisor refunded my money. So be assertive if you have to, or better yet, use another company like 23andMe. Ancestry.com is scamming people.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 11, 2018

The DNA story provided by Ancestry.com is of limited value. It shows me what my DNA is made up of from a general geographic area of the world. That's it! That geo map showing migration patterns over the last 300 years tells me nothing of value. Essentially all it says is that sometime over the last 300 years some people migrated from some parts of Europe to someplace east of the Mississippi River and then some of those people started moving to other places in the USA. That ultra generic kind of info is available free of charge from any library as well as the internet.

I bought their DNA service believing it would tell me something specific about me. NO! And their search engine is also of zero value. I entered very specific and accurate info about my own mother to search birth and death records and it found NOTHING. On a scale of 1 - 100, with 100 being perfect, I would rate this site maybe 3 tops. My advice is don't waste your money. I certainly wasted mine.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 4, 2018

I recommend that you don't sign up with these cheaters. I signed up for the free account and forgot to cancel within the time frame. They charged my account $20. I was okay with that because NOT canceling in time was my fault. But then I canceled a few days after the date. These jerks took money out of my account again, claiming my account was not canceled. Don't trust these cheaters!

4 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: May 1, 2018

I cancelled my subscription online to Ancestry on January 22, 2018. I pay my credit card online so I don't always closely review the charges; however, I was checking closely my April statement where I saw the charge to Ancestry. This caused me to review my February and March statements which showed I was charged those months also. When I contacted Ancestry my account clearly showed that it had not been accessed since January 22, the day I cancelled. They approved a refund which I assumed would be for all three months.

On April 24 I received a credit for 1 subscription month. I called customer service 5/1/2018 and after an extremely long hold time I was informed that it was my fault for not checking my card sooner. Be sure if you are cancelling your subscription that you do not do it online. Call the customer service number even though the wait time is extremely long. That is the only way you can be assured of the cancellation process. I will never recommend Ancestry to anyone.

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4 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: April 25, 2018

Did the Ancestry.com saliva DNA test. Seems like if you are an ** they just hone in on "ALL" the African countries to give you a percentage make up. I have Cherokee Indian in my family, guess what not a lick of it in my percentage when I know this fact to be true, go figure. I'm not happy at all. Tried to download my "RAW" DNA report, not happening, "link expired"? REALLY?!?!

5 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 24, 2018

I first opened the account in 2008 just looking to search for family members. Grandparents I stop off and on pick back up when I would get more info. I met a family members that had info on my father sister. That threw me off way off by some years. I even let her be a guest and use it. Last month thing got crazy. I used another site which was 14 day trial and call this person to share the extra information. To be added to what we had. Waited all day. They meaning person never call me back as promised. So I call person. No answer. So I attempted to get back online because I had shared where I was with this person and I was completely shut out of the site I had just created. I was in shock... Well I searched my mind. I call them back. Still no answer. I block them from Ancestry account, and any getting in touch with me. I was at a loss for what happened still is.

On 4/11/2018 I was just putting the finishing touches on info I had research away in a shoebox inside Ancestry. I was assured that with all new passwords

No one could enter. For one it never cross my mind I was in danger. The only thing up until that point was trust. Around 3 AM I was up on the date posted finishing up for figure two I saw clear came through Into the Ancestry tree and clean all the information I store and saved. Sound forfeited. I know all my info was compromised. I have called so many times to Ancestry. I've reported it to the police three times. Last straw was yesterday. I don’t understand what is going on or why. I saw the other two people. They go in as private. I have no security And I’m told it’s hard to prove. I ask the rep to close that account and take it out my name. And refund my money. The people that I did list as guest never came. I’m confused as to what is going on, if I’m in danger and who these people are.

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4 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 22, 2018

I was excited to sign up for Ancestry in hopes of finding a means of tracing my family tree. What I found was lack of records even for direct family members still living who would absolutely have all kinds of traceable documentation on them. Ancestry's findings will state false information that grandparents had one child, as an example, when I know for a fact they had more! I signed up for the Europe and Canada trace as well but with little or no evidence of a family member.

At first, I thought this may be due to the region I was searching and possible destruction of records so I decided to search on friends who would absolutely have birth certificates etc. and came up with nothing. I also tried the DNA test and I'm very suspicious about the results. I'm well aware of where most family would've resided but when I found an extended tree via a cousin who was also on Ancestry, I started thinking that the "results" of the DNA test were geared toward the bloodline through her family. Regardless, the results are vague anyways and not all that surprising or interesting. I wish I would've read the reviews before starting this as it's expensive overall.

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2 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 17, 2018

The problem with Ancestry as I see it is that they want you to pay to access your own information. It goes like this. I naively entered a great deal of my family tree that I acquired the old fashioned way (court, probate, census, marriage, land and military records). This is data that took many years to acquire. Then what does Ancestry do? They send me an email saying they had new info and 'hints' on my family. I thought great, I'll check it out, only to find that they are sending me links to the data I just entered. What's worse is that they now want me to pay to access any corroborating documents. These are the same docs I used to compile my tree! And now, if any long lost relatives stumbles across my tree, they will be required to pay Ancestry for the right to see it. I have no say in the matter. Nice business model. You do the hard work, give it all to Ancestry for nothing and then they charge you and others to see it.

And then we have their DNA tests. All they give you are amorphous, ill-defined geographic regions for your ancestry. No surnames to match against. And even these do not always tally with the traditional genealogy results. For instance, when they say I have 10% Iberian DNA just what does that mean? I can go back 400 years and there's not a single Spaniard or Portuguese in my tree. Then they say I have 0% American Indian DNA, but I have family photos that go back to the mid-1800s that clearly show Indian ancestors. I'm not talking about Indian Princess b.s. either. I don't know what their reference DNA samples are, but they appear to be incomplete and way off.

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21 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 12, 2018

Up until 2 weeks ago I was able to go to IGI batches on Google and get information from Ancestry to read census, births, marriages and deaths. Now it requires you sign up for Ancestry.com and requires you enter your personal information and that of your immediate ancestors, then it still does not give you access to the government owned original data, I have been doing research for approx. 45 years before internet and now I am blocked at all turns unless I pay a fortune for DNA testing.

9 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: April 4, 2018

Signed up for a trial but they had changed the compatible software so I cancelled the day before the trial ended. They have since billed me over $80 and I have cancelled it three times. The 800 customer service number does not work.

10 people found this review helpful
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 29, 2018

I signed up for a trial offer, but you can't access very much information that way so I decided to pay for a subscription. That didn't open up much more information and they were sending me emails trying to sell the DNA test. When I couldn't go back past 1875 I decide to cancel. Now they've automatically renewed the subscription and are trying to stick me with another $145 charge. So almost $300 to find out what I pretty much already knew. What a crooked business.

15 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 26, 2018

This test does NOT give you very much information so don't believe all the hype and "sale" prices. Since my computer past involves crashes I wanted to print for my own use the small amount of information they do give and all their website does is knock me out of my Internet Explorer. (I am able to print the e-mail telling me my DNA results are available but nothing else.) Since I am a "senior" thought maybe I'm too stupid to print so decided to contact them. Good luck trying to contact them if their FAQ'S don't answer your question. I got a screen up saying to call and the hours available with NO phone number. By the way, you get a little more information on the 23 and my test but the same problem with trying to print the info. I am getting lots of e-mails trying to get me to sign up for Ancestry so all they are interested in is the $$$.

12 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: March 14, 2018

My son has been begging me for the past couple of years to buy this for him and I didn't like the cost of it so I kept putting it off. Well, my son saved his money and told me that he will pay for it if I order the kit for him. So, I told him I would look into a little first to make sure it's what you're looking for in results. He wants it for learning about his blood history and finding family members. Unfortunately, this doesn't help too well in that unless other family members out there did the test too. So, I read some more info the website and it can be a tad confusing to understand what you really get with the kit itself (since there are lots of extra add-ons you need to purchase for more info) because it's deceiving.

They have a sale going on for $79 instead of $99 so I thought well I guess I can just try it out and my son will be happy. I was going to buy 2 extra kits (3 total) for my other son and me. After getting to the end of the transaction they ask if you want to add all these other things you'll need to access A-Z... well it's not cheap! So I said nevermind sounds like a little scam to get more money and I thought I didn't complete the transaction since it was asking to add more to my order and I exit out of it. Then a couple minutes later I get an email notification of a charge on my card. So I immediately called customer service to cancel the order and get a refund. They said no problem and canceled my order and said the refund will be issued back in about 7-10 business days. They gave me a verification number of cancelation, so I'm thinking I'm good. Ummm nope!

The next day I get an email stating "Great news–Your AncestryDNA® kit has shipped. Your DNA kit should arrive in 7-10 business days (or earlier if you chose expedited shipping*). It will have everything you need to send your DNA sample back to us, so you can start discovering more about who and where you come from. You can track your package by clicking here..." So, I check it and it doesn't show like it's coming to me, so I'm thinking maybe they started shipping and now it's being shipped back to them, nope, a package arrived about 5 days later with 3 kits inside! Umm, I'm not paying to ship them back nor have tests done!

I never received an email from Ancestry of purchase or cancelation/refund, only email of shipping (weird). So, I checked my credit card and it looks like they credited back my money, but not sure if they are going to recharge me! They shouldn't because it's not like there is anything fancy inside the kit, just a saliva tube, mixture tube to preserve it, a ziplock bag to put it in, and an envelope to mail in the sample. I'm just disappointed because their commercials are deceiving and had my son excited for nothing on top of him knowing the kits arrived and were not doing them.

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17 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 26, 2018

There were glaring errors in my DNA report. One is that my Jewish ancestry is higher than 68% and the report excluded my French heritage on my maternal grandmother's side. (It's not just what she told the family; her maiden name was French.) I would like a refund.

25 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 25, 2018

My wife spent her hard earned money to buy this kit because I’m adopted with unknown family/lineage. #1 - You have to fill a tube with saliva, not swab your gums like the commercial says. Very misleading. #2 - The results took over 2 months. #3 - They finally arrived saying “I’m %50 from Europe...%50 other possibilities. Seriously? That’s so vague. EVERY ** person in the US is from Europe. #4 - “No other information provided” on me. #5 - The website is purposefully impossible to navigate and find help or contact. (See other reviews). After a half hour of searching I gave up to come on here. This was a total disappointment, they offer huge discounts on family member kits because they NEED other family to join in order to give you some actual results. Do not buy people. Horrible.

24 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 22, 2018

Ancestry had a computer problem a couple years ago and accidentally deleted many people in my trees. For the longest time, I couldn't get them to admit any wrongdoing but I finally got an honest person who admitted to me that this did happen and many people were affected. For years, I have tried to get them to rectify this but they say they can't. I have paid the premium price for over a decade and for ancestry to not have a back-up or some way of fixing this very common problem that was initially started by them, is inexcusable. The company knows that they are really the only company available that does this kind of service and they take full advantage of it. They could offer a print option so that you could keep a hard copy of your data but since they want to bleed you for as much money as possible with their various products, i.e., ordering a bound family tree book, etc., they won't do this.

This work has taken me thousands of hours of hard work and now it is corrupted and/or deleted. This is not even acceptable, however, I'm confident that Ancestry will continue this until they are forced not to. I encourage others if you are able to find a way to research your ancestry, try to find anything other than Ancestry to do it with. It may not be as comprehensive initially, but it will save you so much grief and frustration in the long run. Good luck!

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29 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 17, 2018

We paid for the All Access Membership which was advertised as including access to Newspapers.com and Folds3.com. The first time that we tried to use these sites we could not sign in. I had to call Ancestry.com for help and after waiting on the phone for over 30 min I was told to call the helplines at both sites as Ancestry could not help. I called the sites and was told that I had to register my complaint online, which I did. After much back and forth communication I finally could sign on to Newspapers.com but could not read the clipping I searched for.

I contacted both Newspapers.com and Ancestry.com again and explained the problem. I was then told by Ancestry.com that the All Access Membership only included the basic Newspapers.com and that we would have to pay an extra monthly fee to read what we was searching for. $45 a month may not be much to pay for some people but for some of us it is. We will use the balance of our membership since we have paid for it but we warn anyone to exercise buyer beware when dealing with Ancestry.com. If anyone wonders what has happened to the quality of honest business dealing in this country this is a good example.

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31 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 9, 2018

Ancestry.com DNA test results were a total disappointment. Somehow they got my father's name instead of mine. THERE IS ZERO customer service so no way to get in touch with them to change it. The DNA results were very limited and did not agree with the DNA test results I got from MyHeritage.com. In my experience MyHeritage.com is 100% better for DNA testing. Ancestry.com looks great on TV ads but not so much in reality. Also they claim you can search on their site for free - not true.

37 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 6, 2018

This is a rip off company. The DNA results are completely wrong. And also just gave a general results of being from England. We are all from the European Countries. That reside in North America. Very dissatisfied. I want my money back.

29 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 5, 2018

Beware of the trial subscription if you purchased the DNA kit. On my initial and subsequent visits to their site I had almost full access to what a subscription would provide. I didn't know this until I tried the Free Trial subscription, and found it not necessary for what I needed, so I canceled. After the cancellation I was blocked from all the access that I had prior to this. I called (30 min wait time!) and was told that initially, with my DNA purchase, I was "grandfathered" in and had almost full access, but canceling the trial subscription, automatically canceled my "grandfather" rights. I asked where was the warning that this would happen. They referred me to something buried deep in their web, but I haven't found it yet!

27 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 5, 2018

I signed on to Ancestry.com for one month ending Jan. 1, 2018. I gave them my credit card number for this service expecting that it covered the cost for one month only. I logged on their site on Jan 1, 2018 and wasn't able to continue my searching as I expected so felt certain that my service contract was ended. However, on Jan 4, 2018 my credit card statement indicated that I had another charge for the month of Jan to Feb 1, 2018 added to my credit card without my permission.

I was never contacted by Ancestry.com to remind me that my service was ended or that they were going to charge my credit card for another month. I feel that they have violated the use of my credit card and I feel that I have been robbed by this company. I have contacted them by e-mail to ensure that my subscription was cancelled and they have confirmed that it is cancelled now but not until Feb 1, 2018. They have stolen an extra month from me without my permission and have not ceded my credit card. Further e-mail or telephone contact was not successful. This is highway robbery and the general public needs to made aware of their crooked policies.

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30 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 4, 2018

We received a couple of DNA testing kits as a Christmas gift. Although skeptical about the security risks and past poor experience with Ancestry.com's system, we decided to look closely at what the service has to offer. We were shocked when we read about the company's policy to own aspects of the DNA in perpetuity! Add to that the boilerplate language that says if you agree to the testing that information pertinent to your health could be revealed to third parties. NO THANK YOU. And those third parties could be individuals the company has identified as kin, and no, there does not seem to be an opt-out process from this kind of sharing!

Having DNA results "integrated" into their family trees is concerning as well, especially given that their family trees are not that accurate and it appears that anyone with an Ancestry.com membership can log in and add to existing trees. Maybe okay for entertainment purposes, but not for anyone serious about genetic genealogy! Given the understanding that people receive Ancestry's DNA kits as a gift, there should be a swift and simple way to decline participation and return the product, but NO. There is a phone number listed that you can call if you want to return a kit, but you have to know the last four digits of the credit card that it was purchased on! Yeah, right -- like I'm going to ask a family member to give me their credit card number so I can return the gift or give them the aggravation of trying to return it! Calling the specific number for returns as on their website yielded no help at all!

So, we resorted to calling the main information line and waited a very very long time on hold (15 or more minutes maybe?) and spoke with a rep. We explained that we were not comfortable taking the test and wanted a refund. The rep said that they could not look up information on the kit with our name and address (where the kit was mailed) and that to get a refund that the gift giver would have to request the refund! What scammers! How do they get away with this????

When I looked further on their website, I also noticed that there appears to be no such thing as a full refund either! If the kit is returned within 30 days, the refund can be in the $50 or $75 dollar range -- after they take out shipping and possibly other fees. If it's over 30 days since the kit was ORDERED --not shipped, mind you, just ORDERED, there is NO REFUND!!!

And, as if that isn't enough bad business practice, think about all these sub-zero temps that have been happening in part of the country. Have the kits been shipped in a climate-controlled manner? I really don't think so. How well does the kit perform once it has been sitting outside in subzero temperatures for 8 to 12 hours???? Who knows? For those who LOVE Ancestry.com and their DNA testing procedures, God Bless You! But be forewarned. My rant is not just an illustration of Chicken Little screaming that the sky is falling. No. But there are SERIOUS security issues to be contemplated. For anyone interested in learning what can happen when DNA is "commercialized" read "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." Let the buyer (or gift recipient) beware!

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41 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 31, 2017

Since on one side I can trace my family back to the 1700 hundreds their analysis was 100% WRONG. The side I could trace was English and Italian. The results from the test said I was 90% Irish when at best it would be 50. However, I do drink wine and maybe it has changed my DNA. No wait. The Irish drink whiskey and Guinness.

18 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 28, 2017

I signed up for "free" membership to do a school project with my son. Cancelled the membership 3 times over last two months - but they keep on charging us every month. I cancelled online through my account. I also tried to email twice but they were kicked back as not deliverable. I have tried to call several times but keep getting disconnected after lengthy waiting and have not yet gotten to a human being. I suggest staying away from the company unless you want a never ending membership.

If you need to talk to them I just discovered calling and saying you want a new membership gets you to a person almost instantly. Then they have to deal with you. I think I finally am getting canceled and refunded! I guess the proof will be next month if the charges finally stop! Still suggest avoiding any company like this that doesn't answer your emails, phone calls and doesn't follow through with canceling memberships & auto payments when you request it. A person should be able to cancel with one attempt not multiple failed attempts.

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34 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 19, 2017

I tried to reach the customer service department on the phone six times in one day and each time, I had a hold time of no less than 35 minutes so I kept hanging up because I couldn't just be on hold for hours just to ask if I can view my entire family tree instead of bits and pieces and of course I couldn't. Their DNA RESULTS are vague at best and they don't even tell you that your results are ready. You get a random email and not even on Ancestry.com so if you're not really looking out for it you'd surely miss it. I'm starting to regret my membership.

16 people found this review helpful
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 19, 2017

Their "minimal fee" adds up quickly! Even if you do not select to receive all of their emails, you will still receive emails from them. I have been on hold for 10 minutes already (another 10 to go according to the message machine) just to get them to stop sending me emails. Unlike most all other businesses, they do not have a simple "Unsubscribe" button. You have to call and wait on hold forever to speak to someone to get them to stop sending emails. When I finally spoke to someone to stop the emails, she wanted my current address. Seriously. So that I can now receive all their mailings? No thank you.

13 people found this review helpful

Ancestry expert review by Jami Barnett, Ph.D.

Ancestry launched Ancestry.com in 1997 and started doing DNA tests in 2002. Now, it offers subscriptions to a database of genealogy records and DNA testing for a genetic ancestry information. Subscriptions start at $19.99 per month, and DNA testing costs $99.

  • Historical records: Ancestry subscriptions let you access many databases to learn about your family’s history and potential ancestors. All memberships provide access to U.S.census records, birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates. Some subscriptions also include records from the United Kingdom dating back to the 16th century.

  • DNA testing: Ancestry uses microarray-based autosomal DNA testing, which looks at your entire genome at over 700,000 locations. You don’t need an Ancestry membership to get their DNA test. Regardless of whether you have an Ancestry membership, DNA testing costs $99.

  • Find relatives: If you link your DNA results to the family tree that you create with your Ancestry membership, you may be able to find people who share an ancestor or DNA with you. To learn about family matches, visit the Support Center on their website.

  • Hints: When you make a family tree, Ancestry offers suggestions to help you find additional records and add more people to your tree. These hints will show up as little green leaves, and they help you get a fuller picture of who your relatives are and what your family history is.

  • Gift subscription: Ancestry sells gift memberships. They range from $99 to $299 and last either six months or one year. You’ll save 10 percent on the regular price when you buy a gift membership.

  • Best for: historians, people doing genealogy research and people looking for genetic information about their ancestry.

Profile picture of Jami Barnett, Ph.D.
Jami Barnett, Ph.D.

ConsumerAffairs Research Team

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Jami Barnett, Ph.D., is an experienced researcher, and she believes consumers have a right to clear and honest information about products. In her role at ConsumerAffairs, she thoroughly researches products and companies by interviewing experts, reviewing research studies, reading governmental regulations and investigating customer service responses. Her work gives consumers the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions.

Ancestry Company Information

Company Name:
Ancestry
Website:
www.ancestry.com

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