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Ancestry Renewal Policy - Note of Caution

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Ancestry Renewal Policy - Note of Caution

Postby Mick Loney » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:00 am

1. Ancestry have a policy of automatic subscription renewals by default - one has to opt-out, NOT opt-in.
2. They send a warning e-mail about a month before subscription is due to run out - but the notice they are going to automatically renew is put in the very small print at bottom of e-mail (who reads small print)
3. You normally have 30 days to cancel a yearly subscription, but this is reduced to 7 days when it is a renewal done automatically!
4. If you do cancel a subscription, they send you an e-mail confirmation within 30 seconds, but fail to let you know when they have renewed your subscription - poor form, as this is when the 7 days countdown starts. The first you'll know is when you see your credit card statement, by which time it may be too late!

Mike



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Re: Ancestry Renewal Policy - Note of Caution

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:50 am

A useful reminder.

In overall terms it is important to note that many of these points apply to virtually all online memberships of any commercial site. Automatic renewal is standard practice - indeed, I regard it as a plus point as I seriously don't want the hassle of doing something every year - not least because I will forget to pay the bill every so often and will lose access and any long term benefits (if there are any).

If you don't want automatic renewal, I quite understand - 6m on each major site in turn is an attractive method. But in all cases it is up to you the buyer, to understand what you are buying and to stick a note in the diary for when you need to cancel. Incidentally if you want limited membership it is worth looking at whether cancelling early will result in early loss of access or whether the access continues to the end of the year or whatever. You'd need to do this after the end of the cooling off period but this way you might remember in time or not have to hit a small time window. Of course, it may not be obvious from the small print whether you can do this.

So - caveat emptor - are you buying a recurring subscription or not? If you are and you don't want to renew, it's up to you to sort it. Use the diary.

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Re: Ancestry Renewal Policy - Note of Caution

Postby coopernicola » Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:04 pm

Over the last decade I've had various subscriptions to Ancestry, FMP, BNA etc. I find for my needs an annual Ancestry sub is fine, I always ensure this is NOT automatic (it's my treat as I don't have any magazine subscriptions other than WDYTYA now I'm retired) I then make use of monthly offers from FMP & BNA which usually occur every four months or so (I suspect they are looking to get my business back full time). These are often very cheap, BNA typically £1! I am quite organised (sad) and keep a log of things to look up when I get the opportunity. I'm currently on a trial with The Genealogist, thanks to an advertisement offer in the WDYTYA magazine, but it's not really offering the items/flexibility I get with Ancestry.
P.S. At the moment if you register for information about the upcoming 1939 register release you get a FMP offer for a month - shh it may be a secret!
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Re: Ancestry Renewal Policy - Note of Caution

Postby Mick Loney » Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:39 am

Coopernicola,

Like you, I ration my subscriptions, and tend to rotate them. I have just moved from Ancestry to FMP ( half price offer) and am surprised and pleased about their change of coverage since my last visit, especially parish registers. It has enabled me to strengthen my research quite a bit. One slight drawback is that they don't list spouses for marriages, nor parents for christening in their search results, just date and location. One needs to look at each transcription to find the correct one.

As for the Genealogist, I tried them last year, but found their searches were too relaxed, putting it mildly. For example, doing a general search for someone born in Worcester around 1820, they thought Cambridge Alumni from around 1600 matched my criteria! Furthermore, they just listed the document to look at, and didn't explain why they thought it useful I.e. No name or date in result list. Their newspaper search, whilst throwing up possible matches, left one to look for the relevant item on an image of a double page spread, with no clue as to where on the page it was!

My advice for others, is to switch occasionally. Different sites have vastly different coverage, especially parish registers, and sites do change/expand their coverage a lot over quite a short period of time.

Mike


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