After years of having a full membership to Ancestry.com's global sites, I have cancelled my membership.
When I first joined Ancestry, I found the site to be helpful, easy to navigate and the cost of the membership was reasonable. However, at $299.40 for an annual membership that allows a member to find and review data from their global databases, I find the price to be rather steep. There are less expensive memberships that you can purchase, such as the Canada Discovery Membership for $119.88 a year, but for this price you will only receive access to Canadian records. If you are like most Canadians, your ancestors have originated from another country, and this membership blocks you from seeing any information contained in Ancestry's databases outside of Canada.
For myself, my ancestors are primarily from the United Kingdom and the United States. In the case of the latter country, my ancestral heritage predates the Pilgrim's so having access to the USA records is of paramount importance to me, as is accessing the U.K. records. For the last year I paid the expensive membership price of $299.40 to have access to Ancestry's global records, but for the past several months I have been annoyed by the poor performance of the service.
My own experiences have included:
- Incorrect links to ancestor information, such as taking me to a completely different record from the one to which it was to link.
- Having to make multiple attempts to view and/or save a record to my tree, only to receive error messages time and again.
- Unsatisfactory, or worse, no response from Ancestry's customer service department when I contacted them (or responses days or weeks later).
- Poor response time from Ancestry's online platform.
After months of frustration trying to use Ancestry's website, I decided against renewing my global membership and maintained only my basic membership. I still had hundreds of unverified "hints" on my family tree to work through, so I thought I would wait and upgrade my membership after I had a chance to review all of those hints. That's when the final shoe dropped...although my hints remained, and they had been received when I had paid full price for a global membership, any hints for records outside of Canada were now no longer available to be viewed! I was not, and still am not, impressed.
Ancestry.com may be one of, if not the largest family tree website, so I guess they can get away with charging what they want and limiting what members can access at their whim. In my case though, such actions combined with poor customer service and poor site performance, are simply not acceptable. I have cancelled my membership and it will remain cancelled until Ancestry lowers their outrageous prices and upgrade their site performance. Until then, it is good-bye Ancestry.com!