Ancestry Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
Ancestry.com LLC is a privately held online company based in Lehi, Utah. The largest for-profit genealogy company in the world, it operates a network of genealogical, historical records, and related genetic genealogy websites.
Tom shares his disappointing experience on Amazon, "My ancestors were from Korea. One of our daughters submitted her saliva to the 23 and me and discovered that she had Korean, Chinese and Japanese genes which wasn't surprising. Mine from the AncestryDNA, however, declared that I am 100% East Asian with a huge circled region encompassing Siberia to the north, Japan to the east, Indonesia to the south, and Bangladesh to the west. The map is attached. What a waste of money and effort! The Ancestry DNA should have a big warning that their test isn't for East Asians."
Former Employee - Software Engineer says"A lot of backstabbing going on in the engineering department. Some take credit for work they’ve never done and get promoted. A lot of incompetent engineering managers who are blind and political"
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says"Read the other reviews closely, most are clearly talking from experience. This company had a promising product but due to a combination of poor leadership and ownership by private equity firms whose only goal seems to be to milk the company financially its been on a downward spiral. This company seems to have frequent mass layoffs, apart from the one in 2020 there was one back in 2016-2017, the reviews from then are still on here as well. Apart from this it is also plagued by several other problems, poor pay in the SF bay area office, below average facilities and worst of all a very shaky business model. Due to the unstable work environment and dim long term prospects I wouldn't recommend this place to anybody. Ancestry's performance seems to be linked to how many DNA kits they sell, this became apparent during the recent layoffs. The problem here is 2 fold, the DNA kits are a one time sale, nobody is going to buy a kit more than once for themselves and due to the shifting DNA results and privacy concerns the number of customers buying the kits started dropping precipitously in the year 2019 (with little hopes of recovering again). Institutions like the US army have also come out with guidelines for their recruits to not buy such DNA kits due to privacy concerns. This was inevitable and leads me to believe companies in this space including Ancestry don't have a business model that is viable over the long term. Finally the senior leadership's callous attitude towards the lower ranks became apparent during the lay offs. Ancestry threw a company wide extravagant New Year gala for everybody in San Francisco at an offsite location in January and couple weeks later had a mass lay off saying they were financially strapped. Affected employees were given no notice (they were asked to not come back the next day) and I was thinking how bad it must have been for all of the employees with families or those who were on work visas to be sent home at such short notice!!"
Former Employee - Software Engineer says"Pay is 40% to 50 % below market rate in San Francisco. No career advancement. Not interested in diversity or inclusion. Below average benefits for the area."
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says"Upper management has no idea what they are doing.Culture is messed up.There is minimum co-ordination between teams."
Software Developer says"Very poor leadership. Top down decision making. Leaders not holding themselves accountable for poor decisions. Blaming employees when things don’t go their way. Lack of vision."
Current Employee - Software Development Engineer says"Poor senior management who have no sense of direction Recently laid off ~100 employees that includes some of the very recent hires."
Former Employee - Genealogist says"Salaried but had to punch a time clock and got nagged incessantly about billable hours. Minimum required billable hours increased mid-year because Ancestry, the parent company, was struggling financially and "we need to do our part." Sales of research sessions were down but we were still hounded to work more hours. Very top-heavy with non-genealogists who know (and care) nothing about best practices. If you struggle with the pace, you will be ostracized right out of there. Very clique-y atmosphere; some teams are better than others."
Current Employee - Senior Software Engineer says"For those reading, please take into consideration other negative views very seriously. This is one of many reviews which also highlights terrible senior leadership with no sense of innovation, product roadmap and accountability. This was not always the case. Once upon a time, this company used to care about its products, customers, and employees. This changed with the current cancer in senior leadership who are in place today. All Senior executive leadership is based out of San Francisco, many of whom are woefully disconnected to their respective teams and the product. They had no clear direction and no winning strategy. They were unable to even utilize the potential of some of the teams. They are responsible for the recent failures of this company, and fail to hold themselves accountable. This includes the declining revenue, professional atmosphere, and ultimately, downsizing its workforce. Lack of diversity. This manifested itself very badly in a racially-insensitive commercial which was aired on April 2019, which resulted in a huge backlash. The people who approved of this commercial are apparently still working for this organization. This speaks volumes regarding senior leadership. Below average pay for San Francisco. Advancement from within this company is a pipe dream. Most of the top talent who actually built this company have already left the company. Some were forced out, while others left on their own free will. Roughly 100 employees were recently laid off, some of whom were hired only a few short weeks earlier. Made no sense. Anticipate another wave of exodus of the remaining top talent away from this organization, which has been a direct result of poor senior leadership."
Current Employee - Manager says"Exec team can’t/won’t align. Top down company direction changes with the wind in a never ending game to appease greedy PE overlords. Large company verticals are marching to different orders and priorities, making cross functional collaboration a major uphill battle. Director and above levels are a revolving door of overrated “talent”. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on beefy signing bonuses and severance packages as the company has fired or forced out long standing UT leadership and replaced it with short sighted talking heads from big brands that play well on a pre-IPO roadshow. The heads all attempt to build out their empires by hiring more heads. When they fail to get results they are given golden parachutes and replaced externally - leading to a very top heavy company with very little chance of internal advancement into any serious leadership position. This company used to care about its products, customers, and employees. That is no longer the case, and I don’t see things getting better. There’s a reason the best and brightest in the company are getting out."
Current Employee - Senior Product Manager says"Complete lack of executive accountability Failed attempts at transparency, ignoring glaring issues by dismissing problematic comments as "disgruntled" or "misinformed" opinions No ability to hire needed team members without intense approval process from top executives and no desire to restructure teams to get work done more effectively. Way too political and no real forum for letting the best ideas win."
operator (Former Employee) says"just don't like it answering to many phone calls in a short time frame and try solving a problem that the customer was having with ancestry product"
Manager (Former Employee) says"One of the most unfriendly, political places I've ever worked in my career. Management is full of "yes-man" mentalities with blind-sides left and right. Product is amazing, management - not so much."
Solutions specialist (Former Employee) says"They only care about money. They make everyone work all but two days per year. Ok, it's a business, but it's a lot of trash saying you have to work everyday to support people about their pointless ancestry questions and listening to complaints about hey are Native American when heir DNA says the aren't. I hate this job. They also really just don't care. RPM- the people who are over scheduling and what not are lazy, but when there is an actual family emergency they laugh and say you can leave unless you talk an attendance point- dumb! My manager was great though, but his manager wasn't worth much. Good thing I had a night job at the local cat walk.Free cereal and hot chocolateBad work life balance, management that only wants to look for negatives and not acknowledge the positive things, bad environment, management gets in trouble and others have to pay for it"
Senior Manager, Consumer Public Relations (Current Employee) says"The company operates out of fear. Everyone is scared of their supervisor and as a result, the work suffers. Ancestry has had massive staff turnover. Management does nothing to empower their staff, teams are super-cliquey, and everyone is trying stab others in the back. This is one of the least professional and most draining jobs I’ve ever experienced.Super talented people and an industry-leading product.Everything else."
Sales Every Month (Former Employee) says"No one wants to be there, no advancement, all you do is cancel subscriptions for over priced subscriptions"
Archival Digitization Specialist (Current Employee) says"The work environment is incredibly high paced. I've learned how history and technology work together for the greater good. My one major complaint is company culture and lack of communication between Ancestry's head quarters in Utah and it's satellite sites all over the country. There is a large disconnect which in turn causes negative company culture and confusion."
Engineer (Former Employee) says"Director level management is terrible. They don't support employees or try to help them grow. If they think that they can meet their personal goals by harassing you they will. Don't count on much help from HR when you or others talk with them about it. Most co-workers are intelligent, hard working and easy going. Managers are about 50/50.CafeDirectors"
Sales & Support (Former Employee) says"A Typical day at work is very stressful and some customers are rude and abusive towards employees. They will make the issues personal towards you and then claim that you hung up on them. In all my years of call center experience they are the worst bunch of customers I have ever dealt with. I have learned a lot of important information on my ancestors. A plus is my family loves that I'm working for them, but on the other hand, not so much. I am not happy there. Management could use a serious overhaul!! They're not on the same page. I don't like feeling as if I'm being micromanaged by senior management. Employees get told that they have never fired anyone for their call time, but they write you up for it and put you on a final and tell you to improve or you're gone. Doesn't make any sense at all. They lie & cheat their employees out of their dignity and expect too much from them in a 3 week training and then slam them with everything you need to work on your own. They tell you they have only fired employees for attendance problems, another lie! Great coworkers. But the turnover is ridiculously high!!! They pack up your desk into a box while your super is firing you and escort you out the door like a criminal leaving a prison. The hardest part of the job, lack of support from the so called supervisors and they hold you accountable for the long hold time to reach support!!! The hold time goes against your call time, as if it's your fault in the first place for needing help. I have personally waited more than 10 minutes for any supervisor or support department to answerCafeteria food, never enough for all employees!H/R is not available unless you want to send an email."
Core member (Former Employee) says"Cool and contemporary work area. Can be a demanding and stressful environment. Many people are happy there, but they also have a high turnover rate. Good benefits and perks. Semi annual outings, free lunch on Mondays, and happy hour outings ever few months.Free lunch on Monday, company outings and happy hoursCan be a stressful and demanding environment"
Member Services (Former Employee) says"I worked here for five years. When first employed, Ancestry was a great company to work for. Management valued Member Services and created a great atmosphere for their employees. Over the years, they have turned member services into a typical 'call center' atmosphere with very scripted responses to their customers. It has since had a steady decline with over all satisfaction. There is no job security and no way of moving up within the company (other than staying just within member services).HealthcareMore of a typical 'call center' approach"
Customer Service (Former Employee) says"Its 40 hours a week and the calls do not stop. 90% of the calls are cancel calls and we do not give refunds for monthly subs so customers yell most of the time. Ancestry does not verify email so if a customer enters .coom instead of .com its impossible to look up there account so the calls take forever. why they don't verify emails i do not know. the sales calls are alright and the support calls i like but like i said its mostly cancel calls.free ancestry account, i get to work from homethe pay is very low, not enough to live on, i get to work from home so i end up rarely leaving the house"
Sr Software Engineer (Former Employee) says"Ancestry used to be a great place to work for software engineers. But is has continually gone downhill. They used to give stock. Now they don't. The management said that stock was only for "people like them." Management doesn't care about the people. They are all just waiting to cash out. Why do you think there are so many job openings at Ancestry?new buildingno career advancement"
Customer Service Representative (Former Employee) says"They want you to do a ton of work, but not really compensate you for it. Its really hard to get hired on in the first place, but once you do, forget raises and advancements."
Administrative Services (Former Employee) says"Loved working for Ancestry there were some changes in leadership which impacted the culture, it just wasn't the same after that. Ancestry is a leader in DNA and genealogical services. Overall my time at Ancestry was positive."
Operations Specialist/Senior CSA (Former Employee) says"There wasn't a lot of freedom for agents to help the customers in difficult situations. Almost every exception or option had to go through a supervisor, which made for a less than stellar experience for the customers, and didn't inspire much confidence in the abilities of the frontline agents. While the company policy surrounding diversity in the workplace was pretty outstanding, the call center was not quite as up-to-date. Their attendance policy and time-off request process were actually some of the best I've experienced for a call center, and it was fairly easy to switch shifts with another agent, when necessary."
Customer Service Rep (Former Employee) says"I felt I wasn't given the help needed for me to grow in this job. The management didn't want to be bothered with helping or answering questions to a problem."
Senior Operations Specialist (Current Employee) says"In my 7 years employment with this company, I saw many large changes in the products/services offered to customers, and internal company structure. Consistantly there were mass layoffs in many departments such as Product Development, Member Services, oand ProGenealogists. Sometimes these changess were not communicated to employees in a timely manner and forced them to scramble to find new employment. Internal company communications were not consistant. However, benefits were some of the best I've ever seen."
Customer Solution Agent (Current Employee) says"I loved my position as a work at home agent. Now that position has been eliminated. All agents are now called in. When I first began working with the company it was a breath of fresh air for a large corporation. None of the back stabbing, very high energy and positivity.Since growing, through the work of its agents, it's now cold, lacking in care of its employees and customers who literally make their business.we had free bagle thursday, and video games in customer support to relieve the stressall the above is gone, employee morale is low, job reviews batter worker morale. seem to guarantee worker will fail. you do nothing right."
Operations Specialist (Current Employee) says"Learned a lot in this high pressure environment. The passion behind the product Ancestry offers is visible in all who work there."
Support Specialist (Former Employee) says"I worked for an entity that was purchased by Ancestry. Received great benefits and work life balance. The company I was working for is experiencing troubled times so do your homework when applying at Ancestry. Ancestry recently restructured and eliminated about 125 jobs."
Linda says"They must have a hiring problem. All I could get on the phone were people that I could not understand and I literally heard chickens in the background. Not kidding or joking. Very unprofessional. Canceled my account. Said my inf needed to be updated. It had been updated. Unbelievable."
Robert Geehreng says"my experience is simply being ripped off."
Johanna Rijkelijkhuizen says"Barry from customer service said he would help three days ago, 15/01/21 but never came back after I did what he asked, i.e. send a screenshot of the response I got when trying to activate my kit for the second time. I can't activate my kit to fill in my family tree data as I get the message (in Dutch) that my kit has already been activated (yes, by me). I've sent 5 emails with no response, (I got two useless case numbers) and one "human" (Barry) response when I posted here (Trustpilot). Now we have silence again."
Jay says"Outside of the website being hilariously non-functional, it also gives very little information on absolutely anything you'd expect. It's exorbitantly expensive for doing basically nothing."
Elizabeth says"I ordered a kit back in Nov 2020 to do a DNA test. Completed all steps and sent as per instructions the tube back on NOV23rd 2020. And thats it, nothing more has happened, the loggin in tells me the kit was activated which I know, I activated it. Soke to customer services last week via chat box, they said "Oh yes the kit was received back, yesterday" but how they knew that when they asked me for no details I don't know. They told me it would be another 4 weeks before I would hear anything. Basically I feel ripped off, they have my money and I have nothing to show for it. Also the website account I have with them is a free one but I cannot now do anything with it as any clicks take me to a page asking me for money to proceed. Seems you basically give them your family tree data for nothing and they then hold on to it giving nothing in return. Really should have kept my money in my pocket because I expected far better service than this, I know there is a pandemic on, fully understand how that can put limits etc, but Ancestry have offered no information updates or even a polite email apologising explaining delays."
Leigha says"I sent this kit as a gift and received a defective kit. They have yet to send me a replacement kit after I have talked to customer service 3 times. They tell me it’s shipped and I never received. Waste of money and time."
SCONNER says"FALSE PROMOTION AND ADVERTISING TO LURE NEW PEOPLE IN DURING CHRISTMAS MAKING THEM THINK THE GIFT THEY ARE BUYING WILL BE FOR THAT PERSON BUT IT TURNS OUT IT IS ONLY FOR THE PURCHASER"
Joan Moran says"My husband and I went to cancel our subscriptions on Jan. 16,2021 and was informed our subscription would end July 15,2021. That means they get an extra $400 from us.What a racket that is. Joan/Dave Moran."
Linda Thurston says"So many problems, too many surveys and not enough solutions. Sure wish Ancestry would fix it's relationship calculator and set tighter filters on hints to cut out those for people with different names living in different centuries on different continents. Huge wast of time ignoring hints."
L the Penguin says"I did that Ancestry DNA thing. Got the results back. I'm 1% Cameroon/Congo. So the government has my DNA now which… https://t.co/sinAZikRpR"
too fuckin tired says"@oatmatcha it’s okay i have european ancestry too it sucks"
Please Criticize Me When I'm Wrong?⚧️☭ says"@authlefttrash I feel your pain. I'm a direct descendent of a lieutenant in the confederate army. It sucks but als… https://t.co/RADdDdmETf"
@LatinxZoomer (Refollow) says"I have Mexican ancestry on both sides of my family, but I always get mistaken for being Middle Eastern. Shit sucks… https://t.co/RyVVnGFDJW"
In The News
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports"Gross overreach: Ancestry.com was right to block access to DNA database"
Baptist Health South Florida reports"Five Things Every Woman Should Know About Ovarian Cancer"
The Washington Post reports"After I discovered that my ancestors had enslaved people, I connected with a descendant of those who were enslaved"
FierceHealthcare reports"Ancestry rolls out more advanced DNA testing to flag risk of heart disease, breast cancer"