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  • For those that have not seen it

    We apologize for the issues you have been experiencing with our website. Most recently, we had a database server outage Sunday night between 10 pm to 2 am Houston time, and as you probably know, there have been other times where the site has been either slow or non-responsive.

    Please know that this issue continues to be of paramount importance to us. We’ve already made a number of small changes that have helped, though not completely solved the issues, and we’re continuing to spend a great deal of time, energy, and money in a major effort to permanently resolve them.

    Here is an updated summary of the steps we are taking:

    We are planning a database server software upgrade which will require taking the website offline Tuesday morning for a short period of time, probably about two hours, around 6 am Houston time. Our research gives us reason to believe that a bug in Microsoft's server software is contributing to many of our database timeout issues. Microsoft issued a software patch that they say fixed the bug, so we are going to apply it.
    Within a couple of weeks, we will be rolling out a change to our software that re-engineers the way matches are calculated and stored. Match calculations require significant computing power, and our new process better distributes that workload.
    Over the next several months, we will continue the effort to re-engineer the way we process results and matches across all products. When we converted our Family Finder matching to the new process, data-processing speed increased to 100 times faster than it previously was.
    Within 3-4 months, we will be installing major upgrades to our servers, data storage, and networks, all of which will lead to better handling of the load placed on our servers. We’ve already begun the acquisition process, but delivery, installation and testing will take time.

    We totally understand your frustrations. We feel it here as well. We're doing everything we can to make the issues go away. When we're finished, we will have a much faster and more stable system.
    Please feel free to share the contents of this message with your project members.

    In other news

    Refund policy
    We’ve updated our Refund Policy effective immediately. You can read it here:
    https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/...efunds-policy/.
    The major differences you’ll note are:
    We can change tests ordered on a kit before a sample is returned to our office. Once a test has been checked in, we cannot change the order.
    For Family Finder tests purchased prior to the last 12 months or as an upgrade to a kit ordered over 12 months ago, if the secondary sample fails, you will be sent a new set of vials and swabs so that we can perform a new test for free.
    For Family Finder tests purchased at the $99 US price point during the last 12 months, if the secondary sample fails, you will be contacted regarding the possibility of a third testing attempt with a new sample for a $50 US lab fee. The lab fee is charged due to the fact that, for samples that are less than one-year old, the test generally only fails because of the poor quality of the collection.

    -Darren
    Family Tree DNA

  • #2
    Originally posted by Darren View Post
    Refund policy
    We’ve updated our Refund Policy effective immediately. You can read it here:
    https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/...efunds-policy/.
    The major differences you’ll note are:
    We can change tests ordered on a kit before a sample is returned to our office. Once a test has been checked in, we cannot change the order.
    My question is what is the definition of a test being "checked in." Does this refer to the point that FTDNA acknowledges receiving the test kit with the sameple? Or does it refer to the test kit being assigned to a batch and available to the lab for testing?

    The reason I ask is that up to this point, a test could be canceled or switched to another test (with appropriate refund to the customer or additional payment by the customer) up to the point that the order was assigned to a batch. I've had instances as a project administrator where I saw that a project member had ordered a test which would be useless - usually a SNP order that he would certainly be negative for. I would inform the customer and help desk of this and suggest that the test be canceled and another test takes its place. As long as this was done before the order was assigned to a batch, it could be done with no penalty to the customer.

    So, my question is more related to customers who already have their DNA sample at FTDNA and have had tests already done and completed, but are ordering an additional test. Can customers who order a completely useless test cancel the order as long as it's not yet batched without losing some money?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
      Can customers who order a completely useless test cancel the order as long as it's not yet batched without losing some money?
      Especially when the useless test was misleadingly advertised. I am referring, of course, to the so-called Z283 SNP Pack, which is actually designed specifically for the Z284 subclade.

      Comment


      • #4
        Let me check with management and see what there terminology is.

        -Darren

        Originally posted by MMaddi View Post
        My question is what is the definition of a test being "checked in." Does this refer to the point that FTDNA acknowledges receiving the test kit with the sameple? Or does it refer to the test kit being assigned to a batch and available to the lab for testing?

        The reason I ask is that up to this point, a test could be canceled or switched to another test (with appropriate refund to the customer or additional payment by the customer) up to the point that the order was assigned to a batch. I've had instances as a project administrator where I saw that a project member had ordered a test which would be useless - usually a SNP order that he would certainly be negative for. I would inform the customer and help desk of this and suggest that the test be canceled and another test takes its place. As long as this was done before the order was assigned to a batch, it could be done with no penalty to the customer.

        So, my question is more related to customers who already have their DNA sample at FTDNA and have had tests already done and completed, but are ordering an additional test. Can customers who order a completely useless test cancel the order as long as it's not yet batched without losing some money?

        Comment


        • #5
          I wonder if the fact that a significant number of old matches is dated now 17 July 2015 means that they were retested and parameters of matching segments have changed?

          And also will the results of our matches be amended in the consequence of all the upgrades and changes described by Darren?

          Is it safe to put a lot of work now into the analysis of matches with cousins using the excel table downloaded from the Chromosome browser or will these results change? (The matches with one of the cousins that I was studying did change, but this particular kit was probably retested).

          Comment


          • #6
            So all of the Chromosome Browser data should now work and be correct. If you still run into any where the data will not load, please let me know and these can be looked at on an individual basis.

            -Darren
            Family Tree DNA

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Darren View Post
              So all of the Chromosome Browser data should now work and be correct. If you still run into any where the data will not load, please let me know and these can be looked at on an individual basis.

              -Darren
              Family Tree DNA
              Matches seem to have been restored but with new dates which makes sorting difficult. Also downloading to DNAGedcom.com still a problem and new kits do not show in ADSA.

              Comment


              • #8
                Darren

                My kits still have June 3rd matches that will not load segment data in chromosome browser. I will PM you the ones I know off hand.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I know the IT department is aware of the DNAgedcom issue. I don't have a time frame as to when that may be resolved though. I am sorry for this inconvenience.

                  -Darren

                  Comment

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