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Failed quality control

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  • Failed quality control

    I have ordered an upgrade from Y37 to Big Y on November 4th 2020. Deadline for completion of analysis was on 10th of February. I had no notification whatsoever from the FTDNA stuff that something is wrong. Few days after that I contacted the Customer support and found out that my sample have "failed quality control". What is that all about?
    Anyway, they have to run analysis again now and they expect it to be over by the end of May 2021. That is almost 7 months!!! What a hack....

  • #2
    This is not like ordering a new shirt from Amazon. An enormous number of highly technical steps is required to get to the end result. Everybody agrees that FTDNA could do a better job of communicating with its customers, but the quality control process appears to be robust.


    • #3
      I totaly agree. I just think that 7 months is way too long to get a result


      • #4
        In your case, 14 weeks (3.5 months) is how long it took for your sample to complete testing, go through quality control, and to let you know that your sample failed to pass said quality control. The Web Archive saved the page showing the same estimate on Oct. 28, 2020, so apparently it was taking the same 3-3.5 months to complete back in early November, as it is taking currently. If the Big Y-700 was taking 12-14 weeks back in early November, then 10 February was about the end of that period.

        Here's what FTDNA says on its "FamilyTreeDNA Test Process" page in the Learning Center:
        Why are you rerunning my results? Does this mean I need to submit a new DNA sample?

        We will run your sample again if the first test does not provide clear and unambiguous results. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as a poor scrape or unclear results on one or more markers.

        In most cases, we will not need to request additional samples. This is only necessary if we have exhausted the samples that you have already provided. If additional samples are needed, we will send a new collection kit to the primary address on the account.
        Note that the Big Y usually needs a fresh sample, preferably a new vial (from storage, or replacement kit); there are cases when this is not so, though.
        And from the same page:
        Why aren’t my results back? What has caused the delay? Why are you re-running my results?

        If we have updated your estimated completion date or if it is more than a week past the target date without your results being posted, it most often means that we did not get a quality result during the sequencing process, and we need to rerun your test.

        From our lab’s experience, this happens about 10 to 15% of the time and is part of the normal DNA process. When it does happen, the first extracted swab is rerun. The results should be available in two or three weeks.
        Note: regarding the very last sentence about "two or three weeks": I do NOT think they are talking about Big Y-700 or mtDNA results!

        Instead, it will take another 12 to 14 weeks to re-run the test, and if it fails again, they may ask for a new sample, and start all over again! You may want to contact FTDNA again, and ask if it might be best for them to send you a replacement kit now (if so, make sure you swab very well). I know all this is of little solace, and will probably add to your frustration (as it has to many others - you are not alone); but this is how things happen sometimes in DNA testing. Samples fail, and extreme patience is needed. It is not a "hack," or other failure of FTDNA; it is the way things work, or don't work, with DNA.

        You may find it interesting to view the process for testing in FTDNA's lab, shown in the 2015 webinar video "The Ideal Life of a Family Tree DNA Kit." To get to the part covering the testing process in the lab, it starts at about the 20:26 min. mark, and ends at about 32:15. Note what is described at about the 24 min. mark: how your sample, once extracted, is put in temporary frozen storage until the lab is ready to do the test you ordered, when it is then retrieved. Your second vial was sent to long-term storage when you sent your original kit back, so if they need it to re-do your Big Y-700, they would need to retrieve it. Also, starting in minute 30, the quality control step and re-running tests are explained.


        • #5
          Thanks for your elaborate explanation. It helps a lot. I hope that the second vial would be sufficient, because the first was used only for Y37 analysis.


          • #6
            I do tend to elaborate a lot , but glad it helped you. Yes, it sounds like you should be okay with the vial situation. I hope the lab will get good results for you on the second try.


            • #7
              Hopefully this time, it would be successful!