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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


SylviaInCanada Report 22 Jul 2012 00:06

Please do not keep posting complaints re trees not working on the Boards!

This Board, in particular, is meant to be for suggestions to GR on how to improve the site.

But MORE IMPORTANT is the fact that GR staff rarely have time to read these threads on any regular basis

and therefore they DO NOT SEE YOUR COMPLAINTS.

and thus do not know everything that is going wrong.

Please, for your own sanity, contact ............................

and let them know what is going wrong.

They may be able to help you immediately to correct whatever has gone wrong.

At the very least, it adds to the pressure on them to correct the obvious malfunctioning by the number of emails that they receive.

and I am in no way acting as Board Police with this email.

I do not use the tree facility .............. but I do understand that very many of you are having major major problems.

Inundate support with emails!



RolloTheRed Report 22 Jul 2012 08:49

Well if they are so busy what just what are they doing then?

Getting customer feedback is a no 1 target for most organisations and they spend a lot of time money and effort getting it. The idea that GRU are "too busy" to read the boards is risable.

To recap:

Once upon a time Q4 2011 we had a product that worked pretty well. For sure some felt it was getting a bit tired and needed a makeover, others liked it just the way it was. In any event it worked and there were very few negative posts.

Dec 2011 some members got a look at the first outing of the new tree - I posted about it under the heading "A new tree for Christmas" (since deleted) .

Soon after we experienced the fiasco of moving the servers onto BrightSolid network. As I remember GRU withdrew into their usual shell mode. Comments here went wild. I doubt they could have been "too busy" as the team have minimal networking expertise and the problems were sorted in the end by BrightSolid.

Concurrently GRU decided to roll out the new tree to which the overall reaction was yet more cries of pain and derision. Eventually GRU brought back the old tree in parallel and things calmed down. Despite this chaos the team head honcho had time to launch another can of worms at USA Roots Web. This US product remains a stub.

Little by little "new" features were introduced into the "old" tree such as broken photo support, broken map feature, broken messaging and of course the saga of "MyThreads". Estelle now maintains that the inability to delete a thread from MyThreads after all one's posts to it are deleted is a design feature and cannot be changed.

Nonetheless focus had moved away from GRU bugs and members just got on with their FH. It has been very obvious however that many long standing members no longer habituate the boards and overall posts are way down, even at the Whisteblowers and Shunters Social Club.

GRU issued an invite ( I had one too ) to visit their offices in Shoreditch and admire the new tree and maybe suggest shifting a deckchair or two. The recompense was minimal. I have no idea why they could not simply have established a beta url and let all paying members have their 2 cents. Indeed that is just what they have done with the latest beta. In case you have not seen it the main feature is glaring white backgrounds.

[ aside: if you have Firefox there is a free plugin called GreaseMonkey which gives you complete control over the look of any web site on yr own machine ]

Then the long suffering membership suddenly found itself back with the new tree, allegedly fixed, and the old tree no more at 2 hours notice. No doubt they wished to avoid a rush to export trees - which has happened anyway.

So now we are back to Q1 2012 with a flaky tree.

Only a tiny proportion of the paying membership ever posts on the boards, marginally more read them. The tree is the principal feature for most members especially those paying the most with platinum membership. A buggy tree is very serious. Comments that it does not matter 'cos free members can also use the tree / "I only use the boards" are way off beam.

Although this is a suggestions board in reality it is indeed a complaints forum. Why? Well from from the get go suggestions have been ignored. Complaints to support either end up in a purple error or if they actually go through are ignored or the response is some bromide or the other. "Your call is important to us. Please hold ...."

OTOH there has been some response to complaints on this board e.g. the removal of the brain dead slider from the new tree. So people go on posting their beefs here faut de mieux. Or they up sticks to other sites.

Which brings us back to how GRU spend their time. On the release of an updated version of any software user feedback is crucial. It beggars belief that they are too "busy" to pick up on this forum. Certainly PM and his crew have shown very little knowledge of CMS, product management and such while Estelle's idea of CRM is also a joke.

As for many others I have my main stuff on another site / offline (GRAMPS) and use GRU to share with other people. I can live with the current offering of the tree. I regret the very poor media support and ongoing non-support of 1st 2nd cousin marriages etc. I cannot see all the hassle has produced any net improvement from a commercial point of view as the very-easy-to-use feature is broken with no obvious upside for paying members, esp. platinum.

Overall it has the appeal of a UK Govt in house dept package created in Delphi running on some ancient piece of XP/IE6 and costing the taxpayer big buck$. PM has proved that the same thing can be done on a smaller budget. Take a look at , say, Geni or Trbal Pages and you can see what a pickle GRU are in.

GRU had a companion product, FRU, which was the forerunner to Facebook etc and once the market leader in its field. Under the tender care of ITV and BrightSolid a serious amount of shareholder value was reduced to nil. There is every sign that GRU will follow.

My suggestion is that GRU start by being a lot more open and responsive to members. I very much doubt they can.

My second suggestion is that CS is manned on Sundays, the most popular day even in summer as usually it is raining (tho not today). GRU should introduce and online chat style of support. Would also be a good feature P2P. Other boards have it.

My third suggestion is that apologists for GRUs failings put a sock in it.

Yes, I have posted a detailed list of problems to support. No response.



Porkie_Pie Report 22 Jul 2012 09:44

Mmmm Well GR have members of staff in today "Sunday" because this thread had been RR'd and now reinstated



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 22 Jul 2012 10:52

Well written Rollo, BUT Sylvia's point is that there is a recent plethora of new complaint threads from people who rarely use the Boards.

By all means vent, *as long as* the feedback button has *also* been used!

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 22 Jul 2012 11:12

I've had several responses to my feedback, both re the beta test and a problem with the new tree. As have several other members I know of. The staff cannot, imo, be expected to be reading this board and at the same time studying and answering the feedback, which is why I agree with Sylvia that sending feedback as requested is the best thing to do.

I think they are aware that a 'standard' reply eg "we are looking into it" just annoys people so are replying when they can give reasonably specific answers to the points raised .


DazedConfused Report 22 Jul 2012 11:17

I do wonder just how many staff they have?

We know Phil is their chief computer bod - but is he the only one?

And we know of Estelle and a few others who post on here to 'update' (hehehe).

By my rough counting I do not think that in London they have more than about 15-20 staff.

What do you think - a lack of staff equating insufficient staff to do all the work required to keep site working etc. :-(

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 22 Jul 2012 11:37

Piglets Pal, you can see the main 12 (only?) members of the staff at 'Meet the Team' in menu at bottom of page nr T & Cs.

Probably not enough to do everything that is being required of them.


DazedConfused Report 22 Jul 2012 12:04

Rambling Rose - you know I have never looked there - so my assumption of the amount of staff is vastly overrated - that explains a lot!!

I would imagine that any other staff over the main 12 would be general admin such as reception etc. and then not too many of those.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 22 Jul 2012 12:13

Piglets Pal, probably 12 is enough for the times when GR is just 'ticking over' but not for when major changes are undertaken?

I don't envy them really, however frustrating it is from this side there must be days when they would rather just stay at home :-D


Catherine Report 22 Jul 2012 14:59

Hello +++DetEcTive+++
I'm sorry to read what you have to say - i.e. that complaint threads are coming in from people who rarely use the Boards and you go on to say " By all means vent, *as long as* the feedback button has *also* been used! "

I don't know if you're a tree builder or a team worker but I take offence at what you are saying. I have rarely posted on a Board but I often look on them for confirmation or help via ?s of others.
At the moment I am 'venting' because I see that I have not been the only person (over the years) to be ignored or waved off with an 'automatic' reply from the team whenever i have had a problem or a question.
There was a time I subscribed as Gold or whatever to be able to read everything inc. the 1911 transcripts and even then found the Help provided by the Genes team both sparse and spartan. Don't ask for examples - I am now just a regular standard member with a beef about remaining standard for something which no longer gives satisfaction.

Get down off your high horse and forget the caricatural terminology about 'never use' and 'use the feedback'. I'm sorry but you made me cross Mr. asterisked before & after Detective.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 22 Jul 2012 15:37

DET is a paying member of the site Catherine, just like yourself, and one who gives a lot of help to members. She is pointing out that posting on here may well give one a 'chance to vent' but will probably NOT be read by the people who can do something about it, ie GR staff.

It therefore makes sense to remind everyone, new and old,
( and there is no way of knowing other than post counts whether someone is new to the boards and might not realise they are not routinely read by staff) that to complain here without also using the proper channel is a waste of time :-D I don't think that amounts to 'being on a high horse'...just common sense I think.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 22 Jul 2012 15:39

Catherine, it might help you to note that "team members" have been using a yellow star next to their names for some time now.


Catherine Report 22 Jul 2012 15:55

I now as little about you as I do about DET and frankly that suits me fine. I see you have to get on youyr high horse too. Unfortunately I have understood DETs post but have you mine because in fact I have moaned, grumbled, posted, complained to the 'staff' and I was telling DET I did not like her attitude. Nor do I like yours and it is very obvious that you don't like mine but I'm not interested. I am interested in MY tree and I need it to work.
BTW the number of posts do NOT indicate how new you are to the Boards as I said in my last post.

PS As for "it might help you to note that "team members" have been using a yellow star next to their names for some time now." I do not know what you are talking about.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 22 Jul 2012 16:09

Catherine I am sorry you do not like my attitude I was trying to be 'helpful' , may I quote you

"don't know if you're a tree builder or a team worker "

The "team worker" you mention I took to be a reference to Detective perhaps being a member of GR one of the team, some of whom eg Phil Moir and Estelle post irregularly on these boards. There is a yellow star next to their names denoting they ARE members of staff.

i completely agree the number of posts does not imply that you or anyone else, is new to the boards or genealogy as a whole.

Unfortunately if people who like to help do not make a guess that this 'might sometimes' be the case they will then assume that anyone who posts whether they have a post count of 1 or 1001 will know what they are talking about when they refer to IGI , BMD etc. that could mean that very new members don't get the help they need?


Porkie_Pie Report 22 Jul 2012 16:16

Catherine, "it might help you to note that "team members" have been using a yellow star next to their names for some time now." I do not know what you are talking about

more than 99.9999% of post's on these community boards are from members just as you are a member and very rarely are they from "team members" such as GR staff

The yellow star on a post donates that that member is a member of staff employed by GR

If as you say you rarely post but visit the boards regularly then you should no this



Catherine Report 22 Jul 2012 17:20

So there! Yes Roy that is telling me, thank you.

I (have) notice(d) yellow stars from time to time but as a Yellow Star is NOT in the "Icon Legend" I guessed it was more a personal choice than a GR thing - but oops! Wrong again!
Anyway I think this is me off these Boards; I'll just plod along as before. The repetition, the people unable to read posts (Roy read Rambling Rose's above yours), the condecension.
I'm very sorry to have misused the GR-specific use of 'team member' as opposed to 'member'; I do hope no-one else will for their sake.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 22 Jul 2012 17:26

Glad that's been cleared up then :-D

As long as we are polite and do not break T&C we are all free to express our opposing views, just as you and I have done.

Good luck with your research, and Happy Hunting.


SylviaInCanada Report 22 Jul 2012 21:38

Stephen ......................

I did not mention the blog ................. for the simple reason that I knew nothing about it!

As I said in my OP, and have said on many occasions previously ................ I have a very small tree (132 names) on this site, and have rarely even looked at it for the last 2 or 3 years.

I have a much larger Private tree on ancestry (and have hidden it from view on Mundia), plus a very much larger tree on my home computer.

I have never intended to have a larger tree on GR ............ GR is the place where I have fun helping other people.

I have to admit that I did open the tree on here on Friday, after reading that the old tree had gone. I even tried changing a couple of names.

It worked just fine for me.

I know I must be lucky ...................... and that many of you (thousands, millions??) are having major problems.

.......... and, I agree, that the tree MUST be fixed.

BUT, in all honesty, I do not see how complaining on the Boards does anything except a) ease your frustration by venting your anger, b) give you some sort of satisfaction in knowing that you are not alone, and c) possibly get some ideas on how to circumvent some of the problems by what others have done.

GR just does not seem to read the Boards or threads with any frequency ................. apart from Phil and Estelle occasionally having time to take a look

I think that sending email after email, and inundating Support with them, MIGHT just possibly result in some sort of faster action.

I'm sorry that Catherine so badly misunderstood what I was saying ............ and was so very rude to DET and RR. The only reason that I can see is that she is so frustrated with the inability to use her tree as it should be able to be used, that she mis-read what we were saying.

I hope that her dislike of us does not carry over into the future.

Interesting to note that this thread was apparently RR'd while I was asleep!

I was very much aware that I might be setting the cat among the pigeons by posting it ....................... but there is a feeling of frustration when we, the members who help, are constantly seeing postings asking for help that we cannot give .......... except by saying "use the feedback button or send an email to ...."

and those constant answers are obviously equally disliked by the recipients.

Yet, WE are not to blame for the problem!

Contact the people who are responsible, by using the feedback or by sending email after email after email



Cynthia Report 22 Jul 2012 22:09

Catherine, it would be a shame if you didn't look at the boards any more as there are so many helpful members ready and willing to help others. They are very experienced and can help break down those 'brick walls' which we all hit at some time.

Basically, Sylvia is just advising folk to contact GR direct rather than just post their tree complaints on the boards. The complaints are more likely to be seen by GR staff that way.

No one has been getting on their 'high horse' - none of this lot could get on a horse anyway- they have just been trying to give you some help and advice.

Give the boards another chance. :-D


Porkie_Pie Report 23 Jul 2012 00:01

Stephen, Just be clear about one thing

THE old tree is still available?

The link to the old tree HAS been removed from the main GR web site and their beta site

The tree has NOT been removed from the GR system

they only removed the LINK

If people saved that link possibly in their favourite they will still be able to access it using that link until GR remove it from their system

Most members never saved the link and now that it has been removed they will not be able to gain access

So if as you say THE old tree is still available it would be better to prove this rather than telling people a bedtime story

So the moral go’s – Think before you jump in otherwise you may make a fool of your self ;-)

If i have it wont be the last time, :-D How about you?

Roy :-D