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Put it to us the members!

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Porkie_Pie Report 27 Aug 2012 12:34

John, Whilst i do agree with all of what you say above,

I do very much disagree with these percentages that you continue to quote about those who are happy and those who are not,
Not forgetting those who have not expressed an opinion either way,

To say that We now have something that has been partially welcomed by the cleverest 3% totally baffles me

The site Rollo listed is a site that monitors and analyses other web sites and they list that GR pages have an average of 33,523 Views daily so to say that 97% are against the changes just does not stack up

For your analysis to be correct their would need to be 31,900 complaint per day assuming only 1 complaint per customer

for just 3% to be unhappy their would need to be 1,100 complaints per day on the boards and sent direct to GR which actually indicates the guess of 3% is nearer to the amount that are not happy, But even that is flawed because correct me if I'm wrong but your analysis is based on your experience whilst reading complaints on the boards and so has further room for error within that 3%


Edit, It also lists that each customer views on average 9 pages per day which would also have an affect on the stats which actually would have an affect in favour of 3% unhappy


SpanishEyes Report 27 Aug 2012 11:24

I have been with Genes Reunited for quite a few years and have a platinum status. However when this expires I will not be renewing my membership, due to the difficulty I have with the new style of the tree.

There is just one thing which may persuade me to keep to a minimal level is the amazing people who have helped me to develop my tree, who have shared happy and sad times and who helped in the last 2 or 3 years when I was so unwell.

I had absolutely no problem with the old style of tree, it was easy to use, and to share.

From a disillusioned member

Bridget in Spain / England :-(


JustJohn Report 27 Aug 2012 10:51

The simple rule for any company is to keep close to your customers and keep them on side. Doesn't matter if you are a small private company, a subsidiary of a larger company or a large public company.

You have a mission statement and an idea of how much surplus you are expected or need to generate through targetting and budgetting. Yes, you use expertise from the parent company (programming, finance, human resources) and the parent company keeps you legal and underwrites any losses.

I feel sure the team at Genes are expected simply to have a mission statement, to deliver good customer service and make adequate and increasing surpluses (or profits). I have never found customer service to be that bad until recently - they are always polite and usually find the right answer or help you in teh right way.

I think the programmer just did not understand his market. I rather feel I am a typical customer. Over 40 - average age probably somehere in 50-60 range. We had no computers or mobile phones till we were well past puberty (oops - R&R?. We are fairly intelligent and have worked out how to switch computers on and do interesting things with them.

All we need to do is log our trees on our computers, share with others who also spend more time with the dead than the living. And this small pleasure has been denied us by a progarmmer who was so keen to bring in his new layout that he/she forgot to test it properly or ask any of us if we liked it or even wanted it.

We now have something that has been partially welcomed by the cleverest 3% of membership (possibly a goodly number were involved in the trial and therefore have some sort of personal commitment). Whilst the rest of us are scratching our heads and wondering where else we can spend our family history money. And many of us do spend a lot of money on our passion. More than £1k a year would not be that rare, I suspect (don't tell OH) :-)


Porkie_Pie Report 27 Aug 2012 10:18

Scozz, You asked; Wondering where GR got their statistics?

The link i posted answered that question, They monitor and evaluate and supply data on web sites

I think that if GR was independent of bright solid then members views would have more relevance but as with large companies profits is the driving force and i suspect they have done their calculations and decided that this new site would be more profitable in the long run



LadyScozz Report 27 Aug 2012 03:23


That doesn't mean a thing to me.

I've never been asked for my opinion by GR and I've been a member for seven years.

I suggested GR ask MEMBERS what they think.


Porkie_Pie Report 26 Aug 2012 14:23

Scozz, The stats come from the Free web site report's site.

John, I doubt GR would bring back the old tree but i do agree that yet again GR got it wrong, the beta testing was not done as it should have been and the new version does still have some way to go,

Had GR done the testing (correctly) and listed to and acted on all the feedback I'm sure we would not have has the "unhappy members" postings on these boards

GR you cannot beta test a new site for only one week and expect to gain enough feedback to then analyze and make the changes required and even the changes would require further testing, marks out of 10 for that effort in my book would be 1 out of 10



JustJohn Report 26 Aug 2012 09:57

Since I have been knocked off my tree by the imposition of this new deLorean model that has been designed by a keen sixth former in a hurry to make her mark in life, I have strayed into these Community threads for last 4 weeks. Initially to complain about losing old tree, but then have joined in threads and actually started two as OP (Opening Prat, I think)

Quite enjoyed that new experience but frightened it will get addictive and I will soon become Mr Saddo with 50,000 posts to my name. I was called Saddo after about 30 posts, so they were a good judge.

It seems clear to me that Genes needs to go back to old tree immediately and start again. But I also fear they are reacting too late and the war has already been well lost.

Signs would be how many were using old layout and new layout in July when we still had the option, how many are unticking Auto Renew, how many new relatives are being added to trees each week compared to, say, June.

But I am sure I have also noticed a huge reduction in posts to the various threads on Community even in last 4 weeks. May be holidays, but some quite interesting threads have had no contribution for several days - even the Welsh and Australian chat threads fall off the front page occasionally, and they tend to kiss each other before they go to bed.


LadyScozz Report 26 Aug 2012 07:59

I've spent some time reading the Blog about the new tree.

Didn't see many postings from people who like the new version.

Wondering where GR got their statistics? It's not an impossible task for GR to send an email to EVERY member, and ask a question ~ do you like the new tree, Yes or No. Not enough staff? Get a Temp!! Can't afford it? "Millions" of members? That's not exactly peanuts!

I'll put up with the new one (no choice!) but I don't like it. I renewed my subs last week, but wondering if this site will even exist this time next year.


Francesca Report 26 Aug 2012 06:06

Only Genes Reunited have any idea how many of the 'silent majority' (i.e. those members who haven't yet expressed an opinion publicly on the Boards & Blogs about the New Tree) have complained privately directly to the Genes team about their difficulties with New tree and the nature of those complaints.
Also, only they know about the numbers who have recently departed from paid membership of the G.R. website altogether by not renewing their subscriptions.
Some will have let their feet do the talking by cancelling their subscriptions and leaving for pastures new without saying goodbye to the rest of us first.
I speculate that the 'silent majority' might be shedding numbers and shrinking just as rapidly as the 'vocal minority'.


JustJohn Report 25 Aug 2012 14:46

I was the silent majority till 3 weeks ago. Mine will be the last word on this thread because it is definitive and cultured. 93.17% don't like new tree. Yet only 86.15 hate it with an intensity. 7.02% are struggling to get to grips with new tree and most of that 7.02% (I include my cultured and urbane and banale self) are failing miserably and moving rapidly towards the 86.15% camp.

Some poor member has a hot match with me this morning. It is one I am very very interested in. I am having to check other records than what I have on Genes Reunited to reply to him and help. The info is somwhere on my Genes tree but cannot find what I want and my sunglasses are broken.

I have never felt so impotent in the nearly 10 years of membership of Genes. My dream has become a nightmare. I wake at 5am every morning thinking my future is to be terrorised by a pack of Amazonian warriors on fluffy chat threads.

20-1 this is not last word. £20 on the nose, Francesca dear:-)


Francesca Report 25 Aug 2012 10:27

Regarding the speculation about the views of the 'silent majority' (who haven't yet expressed them by writing to the website) there seems to be two schools of thought:

1) If they haven't complained they must be content with the New tree format.
Ergo it is only the several hundred members who have been vocal with their complaints, on the Boards & Blogs, who are actually unhappy with the New tree. Everyone else is quite happy. AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY ARE HAPPY WITH THE NEW TREE.

2) Roughly 9 out of 10 members, who have expressed an opinion on the Boards & Blogs, are unhappy with the New tree. Using these opinions as a small representative sample of the membership as a whole (as an opinion pollster might) it could be extrapolated that the opinions of the 'silent majority' are in similar proportions. Ergo 9 out of 10 members are unhappy with the New tree. AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY ARE UNHAPPY WITH THE NEW TREE.

Although there is some logic in both I am not yet totally convinced by either argument.
But there is at least some evidence that the truth is probably much closer to the second argument than the first.

Since these arguments were first put forward there has been a steady trickle of members who have left the silent group and joined the vocal one. Far from all being content they seem to have allied themselves in the main with the group described unkindly by some as the "Moaners". The longer this trend continues the less plausible theory No.1 becomes.

Also, if it is true that there are no silent dissatisfied customers and that aggrieved members always complain vociferously, why weren't the Boards and Blogs totally swamped with thousands upon thousands of complaints about the dreaded Doppelganger Bug (and others) before the fixes went in. Surely the bugs were quite widespread and weren't selective about whose trees they infested. Maybe no-one was using their GR trees and everyone was either away on holiday or happily watching the Olympics in blissful ignorance of the bugs in their trees. Maybe some members are content to have a tree full of bugs and clones, who knows.
Please don't tell me these multitudes all channelled their complaints to the proper recipients and inundated the team@genes with minimal overspill onto the Boards & Blogs. That would really crease me up.

Before the huge holes in my arguments are pointed out, my theories rightly torn to shreds, and my logic ridiculed with justifiable contempt just remember this is only A BIT OF FUN. Merely harmless speculation. I would never dare to suggest that I know the views of those who remain silent. I'll leave it to others to express their views. Preferably the 'silent majority' themselves.
I'll bet you 9 to 1 that I don't have the last word on this subject.


Porkie_Pie Report 22 Aug 2012 18:29

John, I agree that 2 out of 5 is a problem for any web site however that score of 2 out of 5 is actually an improvement,

The last time i checked which was in June so before the new site was launched, GR's score was 3.6 out of 10

correct me if I'm wrong but when i was at school that represents an improvement of 0.2% which would appear to give the impression that the majority of members are happier now than before the new site was launched

I did point the statistics out to GR at the time and Phil Moir did say that it was a concern and they would strive to improve

So if the states are to be taken seriously then the notion that a large portion of members silent or not are less happy now than before doesn't stack up,

This thread has become more of an argument than a debate which saddens me

We are all members and we are all entitled to our own opinions and no one should feel that their opinion is less valid than anyone else

The reality is that GR needed to change but its the way they have gone about changing things thats caused all these problems,

Jonesey posted a thread (Do one thing-Do it well-Then move on)
I agree with what he has said,

GR should only introduce one thing at a time and only launch that change after a full and prolonged period of beta testing

If GR had beta tested (correctly) then we would not be posting on threads like this one

They could have intoduced the different functions/changes one at a time to the tree so that all members only had one new issue to focus on at any one time this would have given them time to adjust instead of the multiple changes that have just confused some members

For those who say the site is slow then according to the states i would suggest that it's not all down to GR,

Performance says that Pages loads in 2 Seconds, which is faster than 52% of other sites, (so about average) for UK users and for au users its says Performance Page loads in 3 Seconds, faster than 17% of sites so not as good



Francesca Report 22 Aug 2012 11:23

Jax & 'Others': Read no further if my views are likely to cause offence!
If you don't like my opinions please choose not to read them. You ask who I am.
I'm a paid up member of Genes Reunited since 2006. I only started writing posts on this website in July 2012 when they withdrew the Old family tree format and replaced it with the New one which upset me greatly. Before then I was a contented GR member building my family tree and sharing information with other members. Now I've introduced myself here comes the good news.
Soon I won't be a paying member of Genes Reunited any more.
So you and your friends will not have to suffer my seditious views fouling up YOUR / OUR [?] 'General Chat' and 'Suggestions' threads for much longer.
Rest assured it wasn't your kind words of welcome that drove me away, Jax.
It was the sub-standard New Tree format and Genes Reunited's unusual customer care policies that persuaded me to leave. I won't let a lynch mob run me off the website (I know how overstretched and short-handed you are at present) but neither will I give another penny to a company that treats it's loyal customers with such contempt. When the time comes I'll wish you all a fond farewell. Until then I'll continue to express my views on the threads whenever I wish. I've still got a bit of catching up to do compared to you in terms of the numbers of posts we've both written. Surely you wouldn't begrudge me that ?
It would be impolite of me to disclose whose opinions I'm sick of reading, so I won't.
THE NEW TREE IS A USER-HOSTILE DISASTER... in my opinion (and 'others').


JustJohn Report 22 Aug 2012 10:51

I think 2 out of 5 for the website is a real problem. That would have been the catalyst for this major site overhaul.

I was attracted to Genes over 9 years ago, but it has always seemed to change things to suit abilities of programmers rather than needs of customers. Some put up with it, others have a moan and those moans blow away.

The basic idea is brilliant - and pretty unique. And, although we probably all thought Genes was not keeping pace with other sites, we enjoyed building our trees, chatting fluffily, asking questions and getting good and quick answers. I was unaware of all this chat and interaction, but was helping people every week via hot matches.

I had a quick look at the stats and it looks to me that Genes have a major opportunity to be a very successful and very profitable outfit. The jewel in the crown, so to speak. They have a young, friendly and knowledgeable small team and their proposition is still attracrtive and unique in the marketplace.

But I think they have got to strip out all the recent programming "improvements" and return to the very basic tree and layout they had. Then ask a random sample of members what they want, and develop slowly from that base.

I know the tree is free, but it is what draws us to the site, makes us want to chat to others and makes us want to invest further by upgrading our membership. And footfall brings more advertising and publicity.


RolloTheRed Report 22 Aug 2012 10:20

no need to guess


JustJohn Report 22 Aug 2012 10:05

As usual, Detective - very reasonable and persuasive. And factual (like I hope my "Mr Angry of Pontypandy" letter was).

I was very pleased to see that contribution from Estelle yesterday. First comment I have seen from any of teh team since we had the "new layout has good reception" announcemnt of 2nd August folloed by Phil Moir's "have adjusted this and that" on 9th Aug. And there seems to have been a lot of revolting customers like me since 2nd Aug.

BP has gone down from 160 to 140. Now wait for someone to send it back up :-S


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 22 Aug 2012 09:41

Now, now John – watch your blood pressure ;-)

OK – my post 21 Aug 2012 10:35

“GR don't spend time reading the Boards.”

In light of Estelle’s response, (Sadly we don't have the time to reply to everything. That really would be a full-time job and, as I am sure you all understand, the team are very busy.) and (I will try to look in and post whenever possible though. There is quite a lot going on right now and just not enough hours in the day!) I am happy to amend that to

“GR are unlikely to spend all of their time reading every single thread on the Boards”

If disgruntled members added to an existing thread, then Sylvia, I and others would not need to keep repeating GRs advice that they should >also< be contacting

There! I’ve said it!

As previously posted *Only GR know the true statistics. Only GR do......assuming that fellow members have used the correct link to express their opinion...*

Yes, the majority of people who have posted about the site/tree are disgruntled. That cannot be denied. If someone wants to work out the actual number of members who have posted, then they could create an excel table, and record the membership number for each poster every time they commented on the topic. That way multiple posts by the same person could be identified and ignored.

I use Firefox, and mine runs fine. If I wasn’t a regular on the Boards, I’d be quite happy adding to it, not realising that anyone else was having difficulties. So are people like me the silent majority, or are they the people who are disgruntled?


Bearing in mind that this is the holiday season in the UK, GR may well have to wait until well into the autumn to see what effect the site changes have had on their footfall.


JustJohn Report 22 Aug 2012 08:54

Yes, I am getting pretty angry about this. The point about percentages seems very simple.

97% against the tree (ref Francesca) is simply adding up all those who have opposed thread and all those for. Simple maths - anyone can do it. You can get a slightly different answer - I make it 93%. But that is FACT. Well over 90% against on Community.

Twenty friends like the new tree, says SylviainCanada. And most of those friends are on here telling us how much they like the tree, so we can work that out. That is probably the 7% that I have counted.

Staistical probability then comes into play for the silent majority. The idea that they like the tree and are all working with it is fanciful and not probable. It is probable that they hate it in roughly the same proportions as those who have been active and semi-active here in last month.

And if another innocent lister comes on and says "I don't like the new tree" or "am I the only one who cannot use the new tree", I will certainly join the discussion if they are told to "write to the team", clear their cache, look for the save button, change your browser. Anything to stop that thread, it seems to me.

With most of us who are anti this new tree, you are missing the point. We do not really want to fiddle about with this new tree. We want to have a collective go at getting Genes to repond to our unhappiness.

And if I get told once more that I am not welcome on a Genes thread, I will report that as bullying and you will then see my very angry. Genes can decide who is the aggressor.

At the moment, I am controlled. I have tried to contribute constructively to this wave of sentiment against the new tree. I hate even checking relatives on my tree now if there is a possible match. That tree has been a best friend for years. I wanted a makeover - not a change from Petula Clark to Lady Gaga.


LadyScozz Report 22 Aug 2012 02:09

I got an email this morning........... this is pasted......

Thank you for your email, If you choose to take out this renewal you will recieve $3.99 off of this subscription. I hope this helps.

I responded.....

How do I pay, and how much?

I haven't been on Auto Renew for years, but have always had an email up until now.

Must go look at My Account........... then check that it doesn't go on to Auto again (it's done that in the past!)


jax Report 22 Aug 2012 02:04

My subs run out at uk midnight 21st Aug two hours ago....I did'nt get an email either but I had turned off the auto I had more control over whether I subscribed and which card I used

I did get offered 20% discount though when I clicked subscribe