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Very poor site

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


James Report 14 Aug 2012 20:38

Hi Guys - thought you might like to see the message my wife has just sent to the site. - wonder if it will do any good?



This Site Does Not Work!!!!!!

Dear Sirs,
This account is in my husband's name but this is a joint venture. My husband had been very patient with you BUT NOW YOU GOT ME! We took out the Premium membership in 21st July 2012 at a cost of £109.85. So far we have been able to use the full site for a measly 6 DAYS!! For the last 18 days we have been fobbed off with excuses and platitudes of 'please be patient, we are fixing it' Would you have accepted our plea of 'we are fixing it - please be patient' if our payment had not gone through?? This product we have been sold is not fit for purpose and is a disgrace. READ YOUR FORUM - it is not our computer, IT IS YOUR SITE. Why have you spent time and resourses tarting up the colour, which by the way is horrible, when there are serious issues here which means we cannot use the site? I am so angry, disappointed, and sick and tired of not being able to use what we have paid for, and at your inability to fix what is broken that I will be informing everyone I know to use another site for their family tree building, and lets face it there are plenty around, which are run by competent staff who actually know what they are doing and can keep the thing running! Are we going to get any allowance for the time this site has been down, or are you just another load of cowboys whose motto is stick the suckers, take the mone and run???? FIX THE DAMN THING! Yvonne McLoughlin


GlitterBaby Report 14 Aug 2012 21:00

Whether the site is working properly or not I would not have paid over £100 for membership of this site.

Other sites offer better records for a similar price.


RolloTheRed Report 14 Aug 2012 21:07

I have used the site most days since 21 July 2012 ( currently looking after very poorly OH and not much else to do ) and it has not been down. Another well known site had a recent flaky day but I am not allowed to say anything about that.
Back in Q1 this year it sure had some problems but being "down" and ultra slow but none of this is a problem and in general the site is more than quick enough for purpose.

Sure there have been some issues with the current makeover which may or may not be to everyone's liking but most of the time most of it works. I have not been exactly one of the makeover cheerleaders but to be fair the site is faster, more stable and a better product than a year ago even if the way they got here was like a journey with the ice road truckers. Sure it is a heck of a way from perfect but it is up and does work.

Why do you say it has been "down" for 3 weeks ? In what respect ? Among all the bricks thrown in the last month the site being "down" was rarely mentioned, if at all.

I have tried it on a variety of browsers (*), OS, computers of very little oomph and connections of very little speed. All ok except for USB over the air modems and one ISP who cannot be named.

(*) IE8 /9/ 10,. FFox 14.01, FF Nightly, Safari, Opera, Chrome, Dolphin, PaleMoon


SylviaInCanada Report 15 Aug 2012 01:30

By "down" do you mean that the tree is not working properly for you?

Like Rollo and GB, I have had no problem accessing the site, and working on the Boards ....... and have also found it much faster.

I have seen no other complaints about the site being down, even from people who have been having problems upgrading their tree.

It has been found by many people that using Google Chrome as your browser may result in better functioning of the tree.

Like GB, I also would not have paid over £100 for the premier membership on here.

You can build your tree for free on here

or pay approximately £20 per year to build your tree, participate on these baords, and send pms to possible contacts.

Records are much better from other sites ...... some of them even free!



jax Report 15 Aug 2012 02:19

The annual sub for premium is £80 a year so you must have purchased something else with it?

Also no problems with the site not working


Cynthia Report 15 Aug 2012 13:38

James, I almost hate to admit that, having had continuous membership since 2003, it costs me a measly £9.75 per annum. Great value - good friendships - pity about some of the probs people are having.

Stick with standard membership and ask for help on the boards.

If you hover your cursor over people's avatars, you can see how long they have been members and how much experience of using the boards they have. Hope this helps.


James Report 15 Aug 2012 22:31

HI all - thanks for your replies. When we first took out platinum membership in early July the site worked fine, we spent hours building our trees and researching in the census forms and birth/death/marriages etc. After 6 days we could no longer see our full tree but could see our immediate ancestors and our decendents - in separate windows. Now we can only see our immediate family! This co-incided with the change in the look of the tree. We can still view the whole of the tree of a lady with whom we found a good connection but we can't see ours. We can still research the census forms and the other certs, but cannot see any of the people we have put in. I take your point about the cost, but as the site was, for the first 6 days, we were happy with it. I do not like the idea of just paying the standard rate and then picking the brains of people who possibly have paid full membership and I feel it is unfair to do so, and hovering over the avatar of others does not tell you if they have paid the full rate or not. I have tried to access our tree on another computer using Googe chrome and it is exactly the same as this. So no joy there. We have had replies from GU saying they know there is a proplem and they are working on it and to please be patient, but honestly this is frustrating the hell out of me now. In five weeks we have been able to access our full tree for only 6 days! :-( :-P


Porkie_Pie Report 15 Aug 2012 23:51

James, see my post on the link below



RolloTheRed Report 16 Aug 2012 07:14

Most of the people who post regularly on this forum have basic membership. Some have a copy of their tree on this site, some do not. Quite a lot of people keep their main / reference tree copy off line using a program such as FTM. Others keep parallel trees on various other products.

Regarding yr current problem try this:

a. use either Firefox 14.01 (current stable release) or Chrome or Opera.
b. flush the cache, ensure any adblocker or popup permits the gru site
c. make sure your version of Flash is up to date
d. try the app in any of the above
e. if you still have problems export the tree to a GEDCOM file (it will arrive in yr email box) and then re-import it from the GEDCOM. Photos are not retained by GEDCOM.

At this point you will not be able to get a refund from Gru - they are extremely sticky on the matter so you may as well give the above a try. GRu are usually quite helpful and quick at fixing tree errors.

Gru has only a small developer team. Internet Explorer is an endless mishmash created from the gyrations and contradictions of MS policy over the last 10 years. There is a limit to how much of this mess any small team working from scratch can support.

Thus IE6 and IE7 should not be considered as apart from compat issues with many sites they have quite bad security problems. fwiw IE6 is widely used by UKGov for internal apps. on various intranets.

IE8 is somewhat better and I have run Gru on it ok in both compat and standard mode albeit with an existing tree not one created from scratch. IE9 is ok (ish) but not available on XP. IE10 is cool in beta but may not be released for Win7 let alone XP or Vista. MS appear to be considering moving the whole user base to Metro at one go by dint of a very cheap upgrade option which would include IE10. £ 25, anybody ?

good luck


Cynthia Report 16 Aug 2012 10:06

Good to see you James. :-D

Please don't be afraid to pick the brains of the people on the boards - many of us are here daily to see how we can help fellow members.

Some of those who help are very experienced and talented researchers and would be pleased to see if they can knock down any brick walls you may have.

Hope some of the above advice helps you to solve a few of your tree problems. Cx


JustJohn Report 16 Aug 2012 11:16


Maybe they will refund if it is not "fit for purpose". I think they have a legal requiremnet to do that, and may be worth pursuing via Trading Standards.

I am a basic member, have been for 9 years and it has been excellent value and have not realised the extent of the support available via community till I got very frustrated when old tree was removed finally a couple of weeks ago. "Community" is good fun and I would happily pay £20 rather than £9 something.

Not sure if you subscribe to other sites, but they are all fairly expensive but such good value (and I speak as one who spent the first 10 years of family history without a computer, travelling round all the graveyards, pouring through micro-fish in days before you dipped your feet in water, visiting all the Family History Centres in many towns. Cost me vastly more than, say, £200 pa, and I found out an awful lot less in those days.


KenSE Report 16 Aug 2012 11:42

John, the tree is free so there is nothing to refund.


JustJohn Report 16 Aug 2012 20:14

KenSE. Not sure James and Yvonne paid sub for tree - that was part of their package. They were researching and trying to get value for their sub. And if you pay for something that is not fit for purpose, I think there may be a legal requirement to refund their £109.85.

I have not been following everybody's problems with site, but it does sound as if quite a few now feel they should be offered compensation for problems encountered.

There are some exceptionally helpful people on here who are trying to manage customer dissatisfaction on behalf of Genes. They are not paid by Genes and I really think they should be - what have Genes done to help customers with all these glitches?


Porkie_Pie Report 16 Aug 2012 20:38

The tree on GR is free,

you pay for additional services and not for the tree

It is free to register with Genes Reunited. You can build your family tree, use the search facilities to find possible matches to your family name, add notes against relations in your tree, post photos on your family tree and receive emails from other members and reply to these emails. Also, if you already have experience in researching your family history you can import your Gedcom file in to your Genes Reunited family tree.

They offer 2 types of subscription these are an addition to the free membership

1). Standard

2). Platinum

to see what these packages offer in addition to the free membership see




RolloTheRed Report 16 Aug 2012 21:18

Exactly as Roy says you have paid for the census records etc not the tree and thus any tree bugs cannot be used to get a refund Q.E.D.. Of course you can demand compensation even for a free product if you can prove it caused you material loss or injury but other than frustration I doubt you'd get very far with gru...

BTW if you cancel yr sub then ALL the census records etc you have accessed will no longer be available so make sure you keep a copy outside of yr tree.

D C Thompson publisher of the Beano, People's Friend and Dandy have decided that Dandy will be terminated end 2012. D C Thompson also publish the web site GenesReunited.


SylviaInCanada Report 16 Aug 2012 22:56

Also .......................

I believe there is something in the T&Cs that you will not get a refund IF you have accessed the site and used the records (or posted on the Boards)

There seems to be a 2 day period during which you can ask for a refund as long as you have not accessed the site.

This has been stated by GR several times in the past

And the guys are quite right ............

the tree is free ...................... anyone who pays a subscription pays for the extras that are ascribed to each subscription level.



RolloTheRed Report 19 Aug 2012 21:06

No they are not quite right.

A rellie who is a lawyer has advised me that where somebody buys a service (eg access to census records) and gets with it as part of the package another element (eg family tree) then the deal for that person eg a platinum member is for the package as a whole, not just the bit that is nominally chargeable. Thus if a platinum member finds the tree not-fit-for-purpose then he . she can demand a refund. If Gru won't play then it is easy enough to file in the small claims court.

OTOH proving that the product does not work could be difficult as many people seem quite happy with it, The relevant group though would be platinum members not the generality of free/basic users and maybe they are less enamored having paid more.

In any case the current deadline to pull out for online selling is 28 days without giving a reason. No company can change this unilaterally. Thus if the demand for a refund was before 28 days and Gru won't pay then again the Small Claim Court with proof of demanding refund. Ay conform to the 28 day rule in the UK.

I personally feel I get reasonable value at £ 9 / 6 months basic. I don't feel that Gru other offers are value, but that is just my 2c.

Don't be surprised if this post gets squashed.


wisechild Report 20 Aug 2012 07:31

How do you know it´s not working if you haven´t accessed it :-S


James Report 20 Aug 2012 20:02

Thanks for your help and advice Rollo and others. Not being picky about the refund, it is just maddening that it worked perfectly for 6 days and then didn't.

Wisechild, there is a button on the top which says FULL TREE - when we clicked on this during the first 6 days we got to see our full tree, now when we click on it it does nothing ergo we cannot access it ergo it is not working properly!


Porkie_Pie Report 20 Aug 2012 20:16

If you click FULL the full tree should open but you will still need to navigate the tree using either the navigation tool (bottom left of the page) or by clicking on the page and dragging it to the relation your looking for

If it does not work then contact GR with details of exactly what you are doing and exactly what is or is not happening,

They cannot pinpoint your problem without a full explanation