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  • Originally posted by mkdexter View Post
    On the Affy conversion here's another twist. On DNA-forums there are some saying they have not seen their FF results converted yet. Doug McDonald is one. He has an Affy kit and no Illumina replacement for it.
    Me neither. My guess is a small percentage has not yet been processed, I don't know, maybe 2-3%.

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    • I've lost all but five of my Affy matches. As many of you will remember, I was upset and contacted FTDNA this year when cousins I had been working with here for MONTHS didn't show up as matches on 23andMe. I had a few experts look at the raw DNA and FTDNA had reported an area with a decent sized mismatch in the middle of it as one solid piece. I spoke to Mr. Greenspan about it and he, and his son, insisted that the person I was specifically enquiring about, was indeed my cousin. They said they 'ignore' mismatches in that area. IF that's the case, then on what basis dare they remove the AFFY chip cousins? I paid them to find me cousins, it's called FAMILY FINDER, not TEMPORARY FAMILY FINDER.

      It is my suspicion, that these cousins that have not translated to cousins on the Illumina chip are not cousins at all. Or only very distant ones, and that 'compensating for' the error rate on the Affy chip has led to creating too wide a window and allowing too much chaffe in with the wheat. (and I will remind everyone that I have said this was the case and worried about this for months-long before they decided to convert to Illumina). Further I think that they are burying these results under the rug as quickly as they can in the hopes we'll forget or not have the reach to affect their future sales because the Affy chip was just so flawed that the relations are shotgun results. That being the case, I feel that Mr. Greenspan lied to me on the phone, which I take very personally.

      The thing is, if it was just a mistake, they should come out and say it. "We didn't realize how big a difference that error rate would make. We apologize to all our customers." There how hard is that? Would I be pissed. Oh yeah. Would I get over it? Yep. Will I get over the feeling that I can't TRUST them now? No. Trust is EVERYTHING in this game. OMG, the number of hours I've spent... The number of people I've inconvenienced and the time they've spent pouring over their family trees, looking in old boxes for information, contacting other people in their family...it's just crushing. I specifically mentioned to Mr. Greenspan that I was very concerned that one day I would approach someone and say, "Hi, you may be my brother, can I get a cheek swab?" based on the information he was providing and that if he said he was certain, I would trust him. Now what do I think?

      Comment


      • Originally posted by eastara View Post
        Recent graduates are encouraged to apply!
        Yep, as I suspected: lowest rank on the totem pole.

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        • Originally posted by AngeliaR View Post
          it would be nice if the "softer" support services were seen as just as necessary to the overall mission and customer satisfaction.
          Fully agree. Has FTDNA ever commissioned a professional customer satisfaction survey covering all aspects of its service including communication?

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          • I've lost more than half of my matches.

            One thing we have to give them credit for. If Illumina is really more accurate, they did at least upgrade everyone at their expense! And, if I understand correctly, the Family Finder test is still in the beta phase. Doesn't that mean we're the "guinea pigs" and they have the right to change or scrap things as they think best?

            But how hard is it to send out mass emailings informing their customers about what is going on (especially the beta testers, if that is what they consider us)? Other companies do it all the time. I think I get email from Ancestry.com almost every day, to say nothing of any online business I happen to have ordered from! One person should be able to compose the message and send it out to all customers at very little expense, one would think.

            Carol Anne

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            • A little bird tells me that after a project admin conferred with FTDNA about lack of matches, FTDNA discovered that there is a software bug with the new Family Finder tests which results in kits being compared to only half of the database. Apparently a fix is being implemented today.

              I have no more information other than that, so let's see what eventuates ...

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              • Need to do more

                I ordered the FF and mT testing in Oct. hoping to beat the big chip-switch. Unfortunately, FTDNA sat on my request until Feb. to utilize the new chip, which I too have evidence of being less than accurate. Realizing most groups and individuals all used the same method for testing, I had my autosomal results run through DNA T****S SNP test to narrow down the regions and groups I am more closely affiliated with (genetically.) I found this analysis to be much more helpful to my paper trail hunting because those odd admixtures can be seen and their relative regions more carefully researched for ancestry. There is no use in having more FF/autosomal tests rerun if all the groups discussed here are using the same chips and/or methods: insanity has been defined as repeating the same action but expecting different results.
                We do have to keep searching for different tools and methods to extract that which we cannot find, but know exists. Nothing is perfect, but don't stop reaching for other means of testing, paper trailing and creating those GEDCOM files to check against each others'. Now, that is the biggest time consumer I have encountered so far, but I suspect my own missing ancestors will finally be found that way.
                Last edited by Darkwriter; 28 April 2011, 10:01 PM.

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                • Missing Matches/Too Many Matches

                  I have a current business project where we finally decided we needed three algorithms to evaluate the final result - sparse data, rich data and in between. It feels like the algorithm for FF should be the same. Too many matches and you do not know where to start. Too few and you wish the algorithm was looser. They are all cousins, some more distant.

                  I had some known relationships based on the Affymetrix results - 6th cousins and 8th cousins for example. The 6th cousin match gave us a major way around a dead end and eventually linked to a paper trail. The 8th proved a paper trail too. These were real matches and the algorithm for the Illumina seems to have sent them away. I think we may need those options. For me having a couple hundred distant cousins is interesting and useful, for someone else it is not. For someone else having even a few matches is the issue.

                  John

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                  • Complaining!

                    It occurs to me that if we keep complaining on this bulletin board the way we always do, we're going to chase away the people we need to make the database grow so that it will be more useful to us! I'd like to have the Family Finder database a hundred times it's present size.

                    I did the test hoping to break down some brick walls. No luck yet!!! BUT between this company and 23andMe, I match 3 different people descended from my 7th great-grandparents. That tells me the test actually works! It also tells me that my research was correct, that none of the documents in my paperwork were wrong (forged, for instance), and that there were no non-paternity events in my direct line (or in those of the people I matched). Pretty good!

                    I may be wrong, but I'm not sure 23andMe is all that interested in developing the genealogy side of it's operations. I think they are more interested in the health aspects of DNA. I'm hoping for major improvements in tools for interpreting autosomal results from FTDNA because genealogy IS their business.

                    So maybe we should complain less and try to recruit more people to take the Family Finder test.

                    All that said, I still think their communications department needs a major overhaul!

                    Carol Anne

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                    • Interestingly enough, *if* the news in the post by "gtc" 3 messages prior to yours turns out to be true, then it would seem that our "complaining" (and i would characterize most of it as simply asking for clarity, looking for explanations, and, yes, expressing some frustration with the lack of either) actually paid off in stirring the FTDNA team into examining their processes and finding a glitch - a glitch that may explain the rather large portion of Affy matches many of us were reporting as AWOL...


                      Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
                      It occurs to me that if we keep complaining on this bulletin board the way we always do, we're going to chase away the people we need to make the database grow so that it will be more useful to us! I'd like to have the Family Finder database a hundred times it's present size.

                      I did the test hoping to break down some brick walls. No luck yet!!! BUT between this company and 23andMe, I match 3 different people descended from my 7th great-grandparents. That tells me the test actually works! It also tells me that my research was correct, that none of the documents in my paperwork were wrong (forged, for instance), and that there were no non-paternity events in my direct line (or in those of the people I matched). Pretty good!

                      I may be wrong, but I'm not sure 23andMe is all that interested in developing the genealogy side of it's operations. I think they are more interested in the health aspects of DNA. I'm hoping for major improvements in tools for interpreting autosomal results from FTDNA because genealogy IS their business.

                      So maybe we should complain less and try to recruit more people to take the Family Finder test.

                      All that said, I still think their communications department needs a major overhaul!

                      Carol Anne

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
                        So maybe we should complain less and try to recruit more people to take the Family Finder test.

                        All that said, I still think their communications department needs a major overhaul!

                        Carol Anne
                        I agree on both counts. I joined the DNA revolution to find a way thrugh brick walls, too. Unfortunately for me and other adoptees, DNA is often the only hammer available to break through the wall. Therefore a greatly increased database size could really help us.

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                        • I don't think any of us here would disagree with this statement in the least!
                          Originally posted by JPHutchins View Post
                          Therefore a greatly increased database size could really help us.

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                          • Originally posted by JohnG View Post
                            I have a current business project where we finally decided we needed three algorithms to evaluate the final result - sparse data, rich data and in between. It feels like the algorithm for FF should be the same. Too many matches and you do not know where to start. Too few and you wish the algorithm was looser. They are all cousins, some more distant.

                            I had some known relationships based on the Affymetrix results - 6th cousins and 8th cousins for example. The 6th cousin match gave us a major way around a dead end and eventually linked to a paper trail. The 8th proved a paper trail too. These were real matches and the algorithm for the Illumina seems to have sent them away. I think we may need those options. For me having a couple hundred distant cousins is interesting and useful, for someone else it is not. For someone else having even a few matches is the issue.

                            John
                            I like the idea from your business. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't seem to be working so hot for FF. It's possible there was a bug like gtc posted above; if so I hope they fix it quickly.

                            Your example of tracing the paper trail to distant cousins is exactly what I was asking about before. If they don't want to adjust the criteria for matches, the least they could do is provide a way to manually enter known relationships that aren't showing up. It shouldn't be that hard: enter the two kit numbers and known relationship. FTDNA could then compare both FF results internally, to verify there's some shared DNA, just not enough to meet the normal match threshold.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by AngeliaR View Post
                              My suggestion would be to give direct feedback, starting now since we have been given some pretty clear responses... email the contact numbers given as a start, call reps, etc...

                              But, there could be some power in the use of social media to let concerns be known. Afterall, there are 10,000+ "likes" in the mix and a certain degree of public awareness/pressure to respond in an appropriately sensitive and thoughtful manner. This could impact potential future customers as well as existing ones who may not know about the bumps that have been experienced as a part of the transition. Maybe now is the time to use FB for something other than a "like" count and state the issue publicly.

                              The beauty of that last option is that we have been encouraged to use it by FTDNA themselves... as their chosen means of communication with us.
                              __________________________

                              The upgrade and free testing to existing Affy customers to convert to the new platform should have been a HUGE positive PR move. It had the potential power to create enthusiastic supporters and good will going forward indefinitely... So, what happened? Why are people STILL grumbling about a free upgrade?

                              What analysis was done on what the customers wanted/needed/expected from the move? How was it communicated? Even now, how do the customers FEEL about the changes being made?

                              When you put a lot of work and personal effort into a project like family research, you want to know it's going somewhere. This loss of data without any official recognition or explanation FEELS somewhat like a betrayal of trust.



                              .
                              I agree, and for me, I am annoyed because a year ago I paid for the FF Affy test information which also comes with the supporting technical tools (FTDNA personal page DNA results/data, compare DNA, etc), and it has become a resource for me, and the focus of my genealogical research. Sure I can download the data, but I will loose the ability to apply the FTDNA tools to my Affy data, and supposedly Affy matches are real matches, so I believe that FTDNA should leave the information there for us to continue using, UNLESS, they know that the Affy results were inaccurate or severely flawed. If they are truly "real matches", then they need to stay where we can continue to use the FTDNA tools to work with them. If not, I think a lot of people are going to assume that all the Affy data was wrong since FTDNA is removing it, and our matches in Affy may no longer think our match was real and pull away from communicating. And, a year of communications with these Affy relatives who we thought we were related to, goes down the drain.

                              Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate the free upgrade, but unless the old data is now null and void, it needs to remain somewhere where we can still use it as long as the Affy results are also viable, because the two results appear to compliment each other. Remember, back when the conversion was first underway, we were told by some that we may loose "a few" Affy matches, but we were never told that we would loose such a high percentage and cause us to question our original Affy matches. So, are they real, or are they Memorex???!! If real, then they remain important since it looks like most of them will not be available to us in Illumina.

                              As of now, still only 7 of my Affy matches have shown up in Illumina, and 26 are still Affy only. That big final dump of matches I have been dreaming about has not happened to me yet!

                              Judy
                              Last edited by nolnacsj; 29 April 2011, 02:29 AM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by nathanm View Post
                                Your example of tracing the paper trail to distant cousins is exactly what I was asking about before. If they don't want to adjust the criteria for matches, the least they could do is provide a way to manually enter known relationships that aren't showing up. It shouldn't be that hard: enter the two kit numbers and known relationship. FTDNA could then compare both FF results internally, to verify there's some shared DNA, just not enough to meet the normal match threshold.
                                You should put this on "Which features would you be nice to have at FTDNA" so they see it at the company. I've been wishing for this, too. I paid for what I thought would be a distant cousin's test and didn't get a match. Now I don't know if my research was correct, but DNA was below the threshhold, or if I was completely wrong.

                                Susan

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