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Unhappy project member

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  • Unhappy project member

    Hello everyone, I am new to the forum. I am the project administrator for the Manley family "Y" study. Our project was begun last July with a current group of 18 members.

    The resaon I'm writing this is because one of the project members fired off a rather nasty message to FTDNA after they sent him (his requested) copy of their newletter, which mentioned the 37 marker test. This gentleman was angery that FTDNA had the NERVE to ask him to upgrade when they had only been able to provide him with 1, 1 step match!

    I replied to his message, at first thinking he was referring to our group newsletter I send out. Thinking that he thought I was suggesting he upgrade.

    After deep consideration, I removed his name from the message he sent me and sent it along with my own message to the group. I wanted to make certain that they all understood that testing, be it 12 markers or 37, is done on a strictly individual choice basis. I have NEVER insisted that anyone upgrade or for that matter, even join the project. Additionally, there are no guarentees in this, not from me nor from FTDNA. I requested that any member of the project who had concerns please e-mail me and if they had something they'd like to share with the entire group to use the reply to all option in the mail program. I am usually pretty good at "reading" people and have a bit of skill at wording things inoffensively. Evidently not so in this case, even though I maitained his confidentiality by not giving any indication as to which member had the concerns.

    Well, now I've done it! The angry project member is no longer communicating with me. To make matters even worse, the member he had a 1 step match with wanted them both to upgrade. I have warned the other member to think carefully about suggesting this to him. I had to let her know (her uncle is the donor) that the "mystery" message I had sent out was from this matching member.

    I'm not quite sure if I should suggest that he is free to remove his results from the project or simply let things ride as they are.

    Anyone have any siggestions out there?

  • #2
    I think you should wait a week or two to give the person a chance to cool down. Then email and ask him if he would like his data removed from the study. You can point out how important it is to the study as a whole, and how much you would prefer to keep it in, but I think you need to make this person feel that you are paying attention, that he can bail out of the project if he wishes. That being said, I am not sure I would delete the information. The person may reconsider at a later date and it will give you a better picture of your family, but you must not publish (or post publicly) the information ,even disguised, if the person asks to be removed. Every family has its volatile, even unbalanced, members. Since this is a voluntary project, it is important for your credibility that you allow people to opt out.

    Hope this is helpful.


    • #3
      how about an apology? For possibly a misunderstanding or miscommunication.


      • #4
        Problem is, I DID apologize, not once but twice.


        • #5
          Originally posted by cjms
          Problem is, I DID apologize, not once but twice.
          I believe someone once said, "You can't please all of the people all of the time." I think this is a very good example of that.

          You have gone out of your way to please this member, where nothing should have been required. FTDNA is a company with a product to sell. They encourage customers to buy additional products. I'll bet they didn't tell you unhappy project member that they needed to upgrade. They may have why not upgrade, or an upgrade could be informative. I have never received a personal message from FTDNA suggesting I purchase additional products. To my knowledge none of my members have. I don't classify “Facts and Genes from Family Tree DNA” a personal message.

          No matter how fair a company is or how hard they work to please all of their customers, there will always be dissatisfied customers. Seems like some people look for something to complain about. You have spent enough time worrying about this member. It is time to move on! Good luck with the rest of your members.


          • #6
            Thanks Jim, I guess that's what I needed to hear! We both know that neither FTDNA nor I hunted this member down and twisted his arm to join in the begining. Nor was he ever promised a family history back to Adam & Eve. I just felt badly for the member who is a 1 step match and wanted to try to upgrade. Hopefully that member will find matches among the unreturned results or future members.


            • #7
              "I just felt badly for the member who is a 1 step match and wanted to try to upgrade."

              The obvious solution is for the member wanting the upgrade to pay for both test upgrades. - Joy


              • #8
                It is a thought, but aside from the financial considerations of suggesting she do so, it is impossible since the angry member is no longer speaking to the entire project list. Guess when he's mad, he's REALY mad!

                She's just going to have to wait and see if any of the outstanding tests prove a match. Hopefully she will find that there is a 12/12 match in there for her, rather than the 11/12 of the dissatisfied member.


                • #9
                  I read the original message and the various replies and felt I had to put my 2 cents in. I do not agree with giving him the option to pull his results from the test. He is unhappy about the upgrade but initially signed on for the first test results. I think everyone agrees he definitely over-reacted to the email newsletter from FTDNA. I think the idea of letting him cool down for awhile is a good one, but I don't think asking him if he wants to opt out is a good solution. If he comes up with the idea of opting out on his own, that's fine. But to bring it up to him just adds more fuel to the fire. My suggestion would be to keep his tests results in, let him cool down and wait to see what his reaction is in the meantime. You have been more than kind in considering his feelings and trying to resolve the issue. He would hate me as an administrator as I have not only had my participants start out with the 25 marker test, but I have asked, begged, cajoled all of them to upgrade to the 37 marker test giving them my reasons for doing it. I am near getting 100% participation in the upgrade. I am just sorry to hear of a group administrator being treated this way. He may have taken the test but it is you who have done the lion's share of the work!


                  • #10
                    Hi Nora. When I first started the project in July, I had no idea what we were getting into. Understanding the differences between the 12 vs 25 marker tests were rather vauge (to say the least).

                    I had the general idea that if 12 was "good" for the research than 25 would be "better", but that was about it. I'm (slowly) learning more as we go along. Several of our members have either upgraded to the 25 or (newer members) started out that way.

                    I guess I'm just happy to be generating any interest and participation as we go along. One of our members (who has the 12 marker test for himself) has paid for 3 additional memebers to join. While I would love to have the full 25 from each of them, I am grateful for his bringing in (at his own expense) the three additional members.

                    We've even joined a couple of well suited "affiliates" programs for the project, hoping to earn a little to help defray expenses for those who would like to join, but can't or who would like to upgrade, but likewise find the additional cost something they can't afford.

                    I'm also holding out hope that with the holidays behind us some will be able to find the extra money for the upgrades.

                    As for the grumpy one, I haven't heard a word from him since I first posted to the board, so perhaps he'll end up a distant memory!

                    Thanks for the support and feedback. It feels a lot less "lonely" out here in "administrator's land".

                    Meanwhile, it's back to the charts and graphs for me~

                    Cathy Manly Sockol
                    Manley/Manly DNA Family Tree project