Ancestry's Drastic Changes Dash Hopes of Finding Connections #dna


Teewinot
 

Seven days ago, AncestryDNA make a drastic unannounced change to the way
they report shared DNA matches. They stopped showing *any* matches
below 20 cM. This is devastating to many people, because many important
matches occur right below 20 cM.

Also, as of September 1st, they removed *all* matches below 8.0 cM.
This action was announced on the website. They said that if you starred
a match, created groups and put the matches in them or sent them a note,
those matches would be preserved.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one who began frantically trying to save
every match they could, because, for the past week, the servers were
sluggish, kept crashing, and often went down for two hours or so at a
time. Ancestry finally had to post an apology and said they were
working on the problem. As of September 1st, when the change went into
effect, the servers were fully back to normal. I managed to save just
under 7,500 matches. I know there were many more I was unable to save
before the deadline, and wonder just what discoveries I've missed out on.

I had called AncestryDNA customer service to complain. The young man I
spoke to was shocked when I told him about the 20 cM limit on shared
matches. He told me that was never announced (no kidding!) and that the
customer service people weren't told about it either. (Unreal!) I also
told him that without the ability to see shared matches below 20 cM and
without the matches below 8.0 cM, I, and others, have very little hope
of being able to find out how more distant cousins are connected.

I told him I think I figured out a bit of a workaround, but it involves
an enormous amount more work, and both parties have to work together,
which means you'd have to contact every single person and gain their
cooperation for hours of work. This is totally insane!

I just discovered two distant cousins with many surnames in common, but
with these changes to AncestryDNA, we may never be able to find the
connection between us, and we really want to find it.

In all my years, I have never seen a business do such a thing. We all
paid for the data they gave us. Then they go and take the data away
from us!! No one asked *me* if I agreed to that! If they wanted to
make a change, they should have done it with new customers, and left us
old customers and our data and matching system alone!!

The young man in customer service filed two complaints for me. He also
gave me an email address to write to find out if the data was dumped or
stored somewhere. If it's stored, I want my data back!!

I wrote to the email address and got a "canned" response this morning.
I wrote them again, telling them I didn't appreciate that, and want my
questions answered.

I've also tried calling the corporate HQ, but no one answers. Probably
due to the pandemic. I will call again today.

I wanted to let you all know about this, because I'm discovering many
people had no idea these changes happened. They're quite upset when
they find out. AncestryDNA is nowhere near as useful as it was.

Jeri Friedman
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
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