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  • 1_mke
    replied
    You're welcome to differ but any quantitative or qualitative analysis would almost certainly disagree with you. 23andMe's had their data corruption issue with the Ancestry Composition tool recently. The root problem was identified and fixed in days, not weeks or months. Ancestry rolled out their raw DNA download service and ran into capacity issues. Again, in days rather than weeks or months the service was essentially offline and word is they'll be back on line sometime in the coming week. We’ll have to wait and see on that one but so far I have no complaints.

    The rest of the things you mention secondary issues involving functionality. If you want to go down that road I could go on for hours listing things that one or the other of the three has that the other two lack.

    FTDNA can’t even get simple things right like the “Remember Me” check box on the login screen. It’s never worked and should just be removed yet it sits there mocking us every time we go to the login page.

    I’ve been an IT professional for twenty three years and an MBA for four. FTDNA’s IT is clearly a freaking disaster right now and has been for the sixteen or so months I’ve been a customer. They roll out stuff that wouldn’t pass the most basic QA process and take weeks or months to fix it while setting dates for resolution that are completely fictitious. When I first came over it was by way of a 23andMe transfer. They had apparently tested the process with only data sets from the first generation 23andMe tests. It took a couple of months to fix that problem from what I recall. It’s been one thing after another since then.

    Bad stuff happens in IT. I’m willing to forgive it when it is infrequent, handled quickly and/or there is a clear positive trend in how things are being handled. To date that has NOT been the case here. If anything things have gotten steadily worse.

    As I’ve observed before FTDNA clearly has a lot of competence in the areas of business strategy and in their lab and science areas. Their inability to execute operationally and on the IT side is extremely frustrating though. This isn’t just a hobby for many of us. I have an eighty plus year old mother who was adopted. I’d like to discover who her birth parents are while she’s still around for me to share that information and FTDNA is one of the services I’m using to try to solve that mystery. Thank God it isn’t the only one and that I’m able to afford testing elsewhere.

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  • NYMark
    replied
    I beg to differ about the IT issues. All three companies have them; some get handled quickly, others definitely do not. For me, the issues at FTDNA are of less consequence than the issues at the competition. YMMV.

    As of now, Ancestry doesn't have a search function, doesn't have an algorithm for Ashkenazi Jewish matching (apparently they didn't even consider this issue during the development phase, which is kinda staggering), and has a lousy genetic ethnicity feature. All of this is supposedly going to be updated over the course of the year, but they went live (albeit in Beta) with these major flaws and have not corrected them as yet. I'm wondering if they'll get anywhere close to being accurate in identifying Ashkenazi ancestry, 'cause as of now it's missed an awful lot of the time. I haven't counted, but I'm confident I have several hundred matches who show no "European Jewish" descent despite having multiple Ashkenazi ancestors. The promised algorithm won't be of much use unless they make major improvements to the genetic ethnicity feature.

    FTDNA did miss my fully Ashkenazi half-brother's ethnicity, but I'm not aware of any similar cases. It's very interesting to see what the lack of an adjustment does, and even with phasing, I'd venture to say it makes Ancestry's results entirely unreliable for people of Jewish descent.

    I mentioned some IT issues at 23andMe in my previous post. I guess the mishandling of reference populations for Ancestry Composition is not IT in the strictest sense, but it was very bad science. They also have a very serious problem when it comes to people of partial Ashkenazi ancestry, a problem that renders the site virtually useless if you're looking for non-AJ matches as I am (no way to know what that percentage is, any more than there's a way to know how many people here have been affected by the glitch.) It's largely the cap, but there are other factors as well. Nothing has been done to address these issues; and complaints to the company, suggestions for workarounds, and ideas for long term solutions have been ignored or passed on to the "ambassadors" who have tried without success to advocate for those affected. Other endogamous groups are already starting to experience the same problem to some degree, and matters will only get worse as they push for 1,000,000 customers.

    That's not to say that I have no complaints about FTDNA. I do, and I've expressed them on more than one thread. In this case, there clearly have been multiple miscalculations about the complexity of the upgrade. There has been poor communication. There have been multiple missed deadlines. Still, I think some of the reactions have been over-the-top. Perhaps I'm more willing to forgive because for my purposes and despite some flaws, FTDNA has been by far the most useful of the sites and the most responsive to my concerns as a customer.


    Originally posted by 1_mke View Post
    I think the differnce is that the competition has fewer IT related problems and they get handled more quickly when they do. You can make up for a whole lot of communication issues if you seldom have to communicate.

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  • 1_mke
    replied
    I think the differnce is that the competition has fewer IT related problems and they get handled more quickly when they do. You can make up for a whole lot of communication issues if you seldom have to communicate.

    Leave a comment:


  • NYMark
    replied
    I think you're confusing apples and oranges here.

    The matches "lost" in the transition from Build 36 to Build 37 are (for the most part) remote ones, and in many cases were false positives. The purpose of the upgrade is to improve the signal to noise ratio.

    The people who lost pages of or all their matches due to the glitch are in a different category.

    I lost nearly 200, most of them Ashkenazi and distant. As far as I can tell, I lost one non-AJ match, and I suspect that's because we share one long segment and the total of the rest is not quite 20 cM. It will be interesting to see if the numbers change much when this all gets worked out.

    I want to echo what Vinnie has been saying about this and perhaps add to it. I understand the frustration that those affected are feeling, and they have a right to be frustrated, but this will pass. My experience with FTDNA in terms of customer service and communication has been, if anything, significantly better than with the competition (although it has not been problem free.) Ancestry's a black hole of unresponsiveness. The whole thing is still in Beta a year out; they have a dreadful ethnicity calculator, and as I pointed out above, a very unclear way of explaining their matching criteria that goes beyond just protecting proprietary information; I've gotten evasive or downright disingenuous responses from 23andMe about several issues – about their whole handling of AJ matches and about significant inconsistencies in Ancestry Finder, for example . . . and then there's the bungling of the Ancestry Composition reference populations (not sure if that's been ironed out even now, although I'm not one of those affected and am very satisfied with my results). I don't think FTDNA is perfect, but the same goes for the competition, and I don't think they would have handled the whole thing any better.

    Originally posted by ejmac68 View Post
    "After extensive review and testing, we've isolated the glitch that caused some people to not have matching results at all, and others to lose pages of matches. While not all matches will be restored since the new build refines matches, all filter ranges were affected by the glitch and those matches that were lost because of it, should return."

    What about the people who had new Family Finder tests who never had results/matches under build 36, but only build 37. How would we know if we lost matches???

    Leave a comment:


  • ejmac68
    replied
    "After extensive review and testing, we've isolated the glitch that caused some people to not have matching results at all, and others to lose pages of matches. While not all matches will be restored since the new build refines matches, all filter ranges were affected by the glitch and those matches that were lost because of it, should return."

    What about the people who had new Family Finder tests who never had results/matches under build 36, but only build 37. How would we know if we lost matches???

    Leave a comment:


  • T E Peterman
    replied
    My reading of this is that the glitch caused only "a few" people to lose matches (don't know how many a few is), but the main point that all of us can take away is that the glitch made all participants received incorrect centimorgan data & relationship estimates for our matches.

    They know how long it takes to run their database & how long it takes to do QC, so now they can talk about a realistic date for the next roll out.

    I suspect they will post another message when the roll out is complete on Thursday, Mar. 28. IF you still don't have matches, or if you are missing close relatives after that, by all means, don't just complain about it here, but report it through the Contact page. Be specific. Tell them which kit numbers you expect to match, but don't.

    Timothy Peterman

    Leave a comment:


  • Lincoln
    replied
    OK Vinnie. I don't disagree with them wanting to get this fixed, but given, as they say it only affects a few people (which they have stated more than once), I don't know if it is their number one priority. I don't know why they find the need to constantly say it is only a few people.

    Leave a comment:


  • Taz85
    replied
    I guess they will never learn to STOP giving dates.

    Leave a comment:


  • NYMark
    replied
    Brand New Update

    From my homepage:

    Update: March 22, 2013 - We cannot thank you enough for your patience during the process of fine-tuning the Family Finder program. We apologize for the delays and any inconvenience you've experienced during this process, which certainly has not gone the way we wanted it to go.

    After extensive review and testing, we've isolated the glitch that caused some people to not have matching results at all, and others to lose pages of matches. While not all matches will be restored since the new build refines matches, all filter ranges were affected by the glitch and those matches that were lost because of it, should return.

    We're re-running the database with this fix. We'll be doing QC on Tuesday and should be pushing the data to the public pages by late Wednesday, March 27th. The raw data should be available by Thursday.

    Again, we apologize for the confusion and inconvenience this process has caused. We appreciate your business.

    Bennett Greenspan
    Max Blankfeld

    Leave a comment:


  • NYMark
    replied
    Ancestry's explanation about "confidence" levels is somewhat perplexing. As I understand it, it's not confidence as to whether the match is 'actually related' to you; it's confidence about the accuracy of the estimated relationship range and possibly "confidence" about whether anything traceable will turn up.

    Originally posted by 1_mke View Post
    Some % of the matches you'll have when things get fixed are likely duds as well. Ancestry does a better job of setting expectations by putting a header on each level of matches that gives an idea of how likely (based on todays scientific understanding) it is for somebody in a particular grouping to actually be related to you.

    Leave a comment:


  • vinnie
    replied
    This is a customer crisis, if not a nightmare, for FTDNA. Given the economy and the competition, it would be insane to let this go on for one moment more than necessary vis-a-vis the IT problem they're dealing with. I guess that's why I'm willing to cut them so much slack. I believe they're smarter than that.

    Leave a comment:


  • 1_mke
    replied
    Some % of the matches you'll have when things get fixed are likely duds as well. Ancestry does a better job of setting expectations by putting a header on each level of matches that gives an idea of how likely (based on todays scientific understanding) it is for somebody in a particular grouping to actually be related to you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lincoln
    replied
    I don't know what I want, but I am not on a first name basis with Michelle, yet she is with me. Just seemed too little, too late. When all of this is suppsoedly over ( I hope by April), it might very well be 4 months since my FF matches were "OK," though apparently 1/3 of those matches were duds. I'll leave it at that.

    Leave a comment:


  • vinnie
    replied
    Originally posted by Lincoln View Post
    If you can't see a difference between my email and the other email posted just before, then we aren't reading the same things. EDIT- I only rec'd this email, 11 days after, after I sent another message.
    Lincoln, I see the difference, and I sincerely understand what you're expressing. You'd have to ask Michelle why she responded to you differently. I haven't e-mailed about my problems; I've made three calls over the last month instead. Each time the rep put me on hold, checked my accounts, and gave me no more information than what they gave you. As a former customer service rep for a utility company, I know that sometimes it's easier to give the short reply, especially if you've had to deal with the same problem over and over with a number of people; this was especially true at the end of the day. I am curious as to how many people are still having problems, because although it may be relatively few of us compared to the total number of FF accounts, we could still be a substantial number of customers that they're dealing with, relative to the number of reps they employ.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lincoln
    replied
    If you can't see a difference between my email and the other email posted just before, then we aren't reading the same things. EDIT- I only rec'd this email, 11 days after, after I sent another message.
    Last edited by Lincoln; 23 March 2013, 09:41 AM.

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