15 April 2013

The Price is Right

Since today is the day all of us procrastinators in the U.S. are frantically doing our taxes I thought a post about money would be appropriate. Like the "Fixing What's Not Broken" posts the comments below are taken from Ancestry.com's Facebook page. Some of the threads these were posted to asked, "Would you recommend Ancestry.com?" Other threads asked for an opinion of the site.
As always my (usually sarcastic) comments are in red.

✿ The research takes a very long time and more time is needed for the trial period...I keep telling myself, when I am able to focus on it for a daily two week period, I will join for the trial. I have about 30 leaves waiting to be explored. PLEASE MAKE THE TRIAL PERIOD LONGER AND GIVE US SOME FREE DAYS EACH YEAR.
✿ Translation: I can't be bothered to become a paying customer but you should cater to my needs anyway.

✿ I'd like to join but friends say it's too expensive
✿ I haven't joined because I've heard from too many people that it is way too expensive.
✿ Translation: I'd like to join but I can't think for myself so I just believe everything other people tell me.

✿ I would like to see the money that is spent on celebrities used to lower the subscriber price.
✿ It's called advertising and it brings in more subscribers. If they quit advertising prices will go up because they won't be getting as many new subscribers. Besides, Ancestry advertises with Who Do You Think You Are? it does not produce it. It would be great if people knew the difference.

✿ I remember when you could find things on there site for free but not any more.
✿ I know someone who remembers when Ancestry didn't have any of the U.S. federal censuses. The site has evolved. Parts of it are free. Currently there are over 800 free collections. To find out which ones go to the card catalog, type FREE into the keyword box and click search. 

✿ Make it possible to get world information for a month or 3 months so its not so expensive
✿ You can already subscribe a month at a time.

✿ It would be a much better value if the membership was for BOTH US AND International records. The price nearly doubles for the International Membership. $60 a MONTH may not be a lot of money to some .. but is much more difficult to budget than the $30 we sacrifice for only US Records.
If Ancestry took your advice (they won't) the Facebook page would be flooded with a different whining: "I only need US records. Why can't there be a less expensive subscription so I don't have to pay for world records that I don't need yet?" Besides, the most expensive World subscription in the U.S. is $35/month not $60. If you're paying that much you must be talking about another site.

✿ I am very disappointed with Ancestry.com your fees keep going up and now documents we used to get have to be paid for through another company, we used to get Kentucky death certificates now if we want them we have to fork out more money!!!!
✿ I don't know what this person is complaining about. Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1983 are still on Ancestry.com. Images are viewable if you have a subscription. I picked a record at random. The screen shot of the index is below. I was able to view it the new viewer (first arrow) and the old viewer (second arrow). The last link (third arrow) is to VitalChek. It's included on every vital (birth, marriage & death) record. The VitalChek link was in the top space for a while but apparently it caused blindness in some people. They couldn't see the "view image" link that was as clear as day below it. The VitalChek link does not mean you are required to order the record. It doesn't even mean that the record is available to order. It means that IF that record is available to order you can do so from the link for a fee. A fee that will most likely be more than you would pay if you went directly to the county or state source. 

✿ I don't like clicking on a hint and having to buy something to see it. I realize you need to make money, but if I am taking the time to put my family history in and being accurate as I can, its not fair I have to pay a significant amount of cash if I was a year or two in my tree.
✿ I'm going to ignore the last part since I have no earthly idea what they are trying to say. I think the first part is again referring to the VitalChek link. If you order a record the money will go to VitalChek, not Ancestry.com. 

✿ Lower your prices. I pay monthly & Some months I don't even use it. Thinking about canceling but don't really want to.
✿ You pay monthly, the most expensive payment option, and you're willing to pay even in months when you don't use it. They should lower their prices why?

✿ Would like a cheaper way to search international records since I have only limited need. Perhaps some form of per occasion fee. Presently not worth it to buy the whole package.
✿ So get a World subscription for a month or see if the records you want are available on ALE (Ancestry Library Edition). No one is forcing you to pay for an entire year.

✿ Reduce the cost of membership and you will make it up in the amount of new subscribers.
✿ Make it more affordable. Really, if you think about it, if you made it more affordable, more people would sign up! That could make more money and expand your database. The more connections that can be made, the happier people will be and therefore be more likely to continue and recommend it to their friends. There is a lot of information you can get out there from free sites, so you really have provide extra incentive for people to sign up.
✿ How wonderful that you two have this figured out. After all, a multimillion dollar company would never invest time and money into researching price points. They don't need to factor in the cost of server upkeep or new record acquisitions or the number of employees. I'm sure they just pulled a number out of thin air and went with it but thanks to your thorough analysis I'm sure they will lower their prices.

✿ Ya know ancestry was good til I couldn't see extra links or suggestions to family tree history the cost should be free and ancestry could still earn plenty of money by selling framed family tree information to its users. Posters of extensive trees etc could be great gifts. But I stopped researching and finding family when the free trial ran out and I could not see things that would have helped finish my tree. Hence no orders of framed trees for gifts to family members.
(same person a few minutes later)
✿ Ancestry could also earn money by charging for books of complete family history with records etc included even further items such as advertising and helping reunite lost family members. The membership fee is costing more loss of sales and users than anything since it is a very good program!
✿ Yet another solid business plan. Sigh.

✿ Give year subscription free when product is purchased ...can't afford membership fee so can't further my research
✿ TOO COSTLY!! Geneology shouldn't be just for the wealthy!
✿ And since Ancestry.com owns absolutely everything you couldn't possibly do "geneology" research without it. Ever.

After the jump: Freeloaders & Freebies

ⓑⓐⓡⓚⓘⓝⓖ  ⓤⓟ  ⓣⓗⓔ  ⓦⓡⓞⓝⓖ  ⓣⓡⓔⓔ


✿ Get rid of your subscription fees.
✿ What a brilliant business strategy! I don't know why other companies haven't thought of it. Kraft should give everyone free food. The Gap should give everyone free clothing. Nike should give everyone free shoes.

✿ Allow more records to be able to be viewed by those who don't have a subscription on the site.
✿ Being a guest member is at best, ok. Need to open up more access to records, ability to view hints, public trees, photos,etc
✿ You can view public trees for free on Mundia.com and 800+ collections are already free. If they make everything free how do you suggest they stay in business?

✿ Is it true that you now can check on your ancestry information for free? I have been a member for a while now. And it is time for me to renew membership. But, I saw on TV it is free! True or False?
✿ Translation: The commercial said "free TRIAL" or "free [insert name of collection being promoted]" for a limited number of days but I stopped listening after the word "free" so it's free right? I think that might be what I heard, maybe, so it must be true.

✿ It is not free like they say it is
✿ Ah, the all knowing "they." "They" who tell you exactly what you want to hear. "They" who give fake credibility to what you want to be true.

✿ Why is your Free trial not free???
✿ It is free. You do have to enter a credit card number though. Just as you would for any other free trial. Ever tried the Netflix free trial? The reasons they need your credit card number: 
  1. You're signing up for a subscription, the first two weeks of which are free.
  2. If you didn't enter a card number you'd be able to sign up for a free trial over and over again.
✿ Allow acceptance of a hint without charging $! I have tones of hints, but can't afford to accept them all!
Ancestry does not charge per hint accepted. To accept hints you need to review the records. To review records you need a subscription. You can sign up for a month or 6 months. I know you'd love to just accept hints without reviewing them but take this time to learn how to research properly.

✿ It's way too expensive and after paying for a few months subscription, I found out the records I paid to view are free on the LDS family search website!
✿ SOME of those records you found on Ancestry.com are free on FamilySearch. Some of those records are free on Ancestry too. And some of those records are exclusively for paying Ancestry.com customers. No one has ever said that records on Ancestry.com can't be found anywhere else.

✿ Make it free. What right has the LDS church to hold my ancestry hostage?
✿ First of all, Ancestry.com is not associated with the LDS church. Second, the LDS church has their own site. Their site is FREE. Who's holding anything hostage?

✿ Make it free to all those who have done their trees and have added so much to the tree.
✿ Translation: I've gone all the way back to Adam and Eve [or Noah or Charlemagne or 200 BCE] so working on the rest of my lines should be free. All my great work clicking for a week straight should be rewarded. 

✿ I love Ancestry.com! It is difficult to afford on a retirement income, would like to see a break for Senior Citizens.
✿ It appears to me that most of the people that use and support Ancestry.com are older people that understand the value of documenting family for future generations. Wouldn't it be good business sense for Ancestry to lower their rates for their retired supporters? They are so successful now, they could give us a break
✿ Don't grocery stores realize we'll buy more food if we live longer? They should give us a break on groceries. Of course younger customers will be more attracted by a lower price and they'll be customers much longer. You should have a discount to bring in younger customers. So you know there's going to be someone making an argument for discounts for...

✿ I would LOVE for Ancesty.com to offer a student membership rate. It always saddens me that I cannot use your site for research that is so important in my academic field because as a student, I can barely afford food let alone a membership to Ancestry.com. Please, please bring on a student rate.
✿ You want a break on subscription costs? See if your local library has ALE (Ancestry Library Edition). It's free. It's also available at your local FamilySearch Center. Want to research in your pajamas at midnight or access collections not in ALE? You're gonna have to pony up the dough. The same amount as everyone else.

✿ Of course there are those who have been working on their family history much longer than I have who know the value of Ancestry.com. The following comment is from Mark:
To those who incessantly complain about the cost -- I can only assume that you were never involved in family history research before home computers, the internet, and Ancestry.com. It used to be that you first had to locate a family history library or public library with a genealogy desk and order microfilms that you thought might contain information about your family. Then you waited...and waited. Once it arrived you had to go back to the library (when it was open) and search the film on a reader ...slowly turning page by page (rarely was there any index) and, if you were lucky, you found information pertaining to your family. If you mistakenly had the wrong town, county, state, year, etc., then too bad...you had to keep searching. This was certainly not cheap either, but mostly it was very, very time consuming. I used to go weeks and even months without finding anything ... now I can make numerous discoveries every day! Oh, and it was also rare that you ever got to collaborate with others working on your lines like you can today with the touch of a button. Ancestry.com is nothing short of a godsend!
✿ And just when you think there's hope the very next comment is...
✿ Well Mark not all of use can afford the cost. There are free sites out there that do about the same thing. Such as wikitree and wikipedia where I found a lot of my history sitting at for free.
✿ Records vs. member contributed data? Yeah, that's exactly the same.

PREVIOUS POST: Lions and Tigers and Bears
NEXT POST: Call of Duty

No comments:

Post a Comment