Introducing Geni Plus

Posted September 13, 2011 by George | 190 Comments

Update March 2014: For current membership offers and subscription pricing, please visit the Geni Help Center.

Today we are introducing a new subscription package called Geni Plus. The Plus account offers many of the perks of Geni Pro at a fraction of the cost.  Geni Plus is a monthly offering priced at $4.95 USD, or about 40% of the cost of a monthly Geni Pro subscription.

Among the many benefits of Geni Plus are:

  • No size restrictions on your tree - This means that you can add an unlimited number of ancestors and relatives onto the profiles you manage.
  • Unlimited Gifts - Celebrate family birthdays and anniversaries with unlimited virtual gifts!
  • Relationship paths - See how you are related to your friends, historical figures, and celebrities.
  • Enhanced GEDCOM Export - Export a GEDCOM for anyone in your family..
  • Priority support ** - Geni Plus members can submit tickets and receive personal help from Geni’s Customer Service Team.

The chart below demonstrates how Geni Plus ($4.95/mo) compares with the Basic (free) and Pro ($12.95/mo) memberships:

 

Click here to sign up for Geni Plus

 

** Note: Customer Service Changes – Earlier this year, we transitioned to a new customer service platform, available at http://help.geni.com, that provides self-help tools such as a knowledge base, FAQs, community help boards and video tutorials. Moving forward, only Plus and Pro subscribers will be able to submit trouble tickets and communicate directly with our expert customer service staff.

Post written by George

George joined the Geni team in September, 2010 as Geni's marketing director. You can find him on Twitter where he never posts but is happy to respond: @georgegeni

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  • Carol

    Over 1 year it’s no better priced than Geni Pro and gives you a fraction of the Pro benefits.

    • Geni George

      One of the primary complaints about Pro is that people cannot afford to pay for it in a yearly sum and that $12.95/month is too much as a monthly fee.  This package is aimed to allow that section of users to contribute more to the site.

      • Carol

        If $12.95/month is too much as a monthly fee, an alternative would be to reduce it to something more like the annual fee?  Did you think of that?

        So essentially this Geni Plus is being marketed only to those who can’t afford 59.40 upfront?

        • Geni George

          It’s also a good intermediary account for people who aren’t sure if they want to commit to Geni Pro, but they would like the ability to continue to build their tree and find relationship paths.

          • Carol

            Wouldn’t they be better off taking a 14 day trial FREE OF CHARGE on Pro?  Or is that no longer going to be available?

          • Carol

            I am definitely missing something here.  What is the target market for this new product.  You are Geni’s marketing guy right?

      • heni

        George – the Pro is it still 95 USD for 2-years?

        • Geni George

          That’s correct.

      • heni

        The complaints was not only about prices. You have an example on Attention Curaters at the moment. About merging without asking the profilemanager.

      • Tom

        The truth about Pro, Plus, and all other speciel tiers is that they are all designed to restrict the activities of loyal users who now must pay big bucks if we wiush to continue to build our family trees as we have from the first day when we joined! None of us were offered trial memberships with the understanding that eventually we would be required to pay. Had Geni chosen to continue to grant all members who joined before a certain date, full priviledges, they could have implimented the same member levels for all new members, and no one would have been ant the wiser! Instead of that Geni chose to anger it’s entire membership, save a few who paid in order to screw with everyone else’s trees! Seems all of this crap began about one year ago!  

  • Carol

    Did you notice: “Moving forward, only Plus and Pro subscribers will be able to submit trouble tickets and communicate directly with our expert customer service staff.”

    Is that another Geni service improvement?

    • Geni George

      When we started using Zendesk earlier this year our goal was to create a help portal that would allow users to be self-sufficient, and we feel that the help content that has been built in Zendesk allows us to take this step.Among the many benefits we expect with these changes are: 
      - Faster response time for tickets for subscribers
      - More resources to help with Claimed Historical Profiles, Fraud, Abandoned Tree and Vandalism reports 
      - More resources to increase the self help tools and content, including FAQs and videos-George

      • Carol

        How do you report vandalism?  It’s not one of the options on reporting a profile.

      • Carol

        Will Basics still be able to use help pages to propose features or report bugs.

        • Geni George

          Only Curators can report vandalism.  Geni Basic users can still propose features and report bugs.

          • Carol

            So whether you are Basic or Plus or Pro you have to report vandalism to a curator, who then reports to Geni staff. Why the two-stage process?

          • Geni George

            Curators have the ability to report vandalism, which suspends the user until CS can review.  That’s why it’s a Curator-only tool.

          • Carol

            OK – and what’s the process for reporting vandalism to a curator?  Public discussion?  Something more private might be appropriate particularly if the reporter and the vandal are known to each other.  Family feuds, etc.

          • Geni George

            You can private message the Curator who curates the profile; add a comment the Attn Curators Please Help thread, etc.

          • Carol

            And if it isn’t a curated profile?

            If you want the message to be private, I guess you just pick a curator and message them privately.

            Can curators help with vandalism on private profiles, or only public profiles?

          • Geni George

            We’re going to quickly get to the point where I don’t know all of the answers to your questions.  It would be best to move over to http://help.geni.com and create a Community Help discussion to determine the answer to this question.  You may want to search around first, because I wouldn’t be surprised if someone hasn’t already answered it.

          • Carol

            Thanks.  If anyone else reading this can help, they should chime in!  Especially since the change not to allow Basics to submit help tickets is supposed to help deal with vandalism.

          • Greenecoingennut

            as matkketing manager  you should  KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS – if not  don’t admit it -  behind the scenes and ask and then post an answer   as marketing manager that is a part of your “job discription’ to know the complete in and outs  of  GENI  and if your unwiling to learn and find out the answeres to consumers questions maybe you should just step down from your post as marketing manager and find another position that fits you capabilities within GENI.  I was alwasy taught that the ‘customer is always  right  and regarded as number 1 above everything else and everyone else’ – and  and the non-pros are just as much a customer  to GENI as they are providing  free data and databasing  for  GENI’s big tree which they are the only ones who are monetarily profiting  from it. I know my experience witht he help desk has been somewhat  discouraging and not impressive -   when having trouble to make my tree come together properly – all  I got was  “dump your tree’ start over under a new e-mail -  that is one  reason possibley of the “big crash of august’  “dumping’ a unworkable tree only compounded the problems on GENI – as does the many abandoned trees of  fustrated disgruntled former users.    hopefully the help desk is also geting more informative as to the ins and outs and working of GENI  At least I questioned untill i got somewhat of a working answer and  did not ‘dump’ my tree 

    • Exagranat

      Ridiculous!

  • Carol

    I can’t see why you would go Plus rather than Pro unless you were really cash flow constrained.  And the solution for that is for Geni to reduce the monthly Pro price.

    Looks like a complete waste of time and resource to create this new product that is not really worth buying except in very limited circumstances, which could have been addressed far more simply by reducing the monthly PRO price.

    Why didn’t you put your talent to something more worthwhile?

  • heni

    Geni – you are lucky you operate in the American market ;-)

    • Carol

      What does that mean?

  • Freeloader

    I miss using Geni. Basic users don’t get to do that anymore.

  • Ausdmr

    Once again Geni is tone deaf to what a majority of non pro users complained about. The reason I used this site was because of the ui on the tree. But to add more to my own family past the leash you have imposed I now can pay less then pro a month but more then I did for three and a half years? Ancestry.com will shortly release the 1940 census data and now have a tree ui that is comparable to yours. Your site will now be a backup and I will spare you anymore of my free of charge researching for people I don’t know and your sorry money hungry site.

    • Geni George

      Ausdmr,

      We certainly aren’t tone deaf.  Businesses change, and unfortunately Geni changed in a way that some people don’t agree with.  From what I can tell, things aren’t going to go back to how they were before, so it might be time to agree to disagree.

      -George

      • Tom

        i.e. ” things aren’t going to go back to how they were before, so…”  {So, Get over it!  Don’t like it?  Too damn bad! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!}

      • Paddy Trehy

        If you say you are NOT tone deaf, then you do not say in the next line that “things aren’t going to go back to how they were before”  
        If enough customers are not happy with the changes imposed then you must re-visit the issue or lose your customer base forever.

      • JudyBaum1

        I am a geni lifetime pro and I understand the frustration of users who received features for free and now have to pay for them.  I also understand why Geni needs to charge for those features.  It’s an uncomforable situation, which I’m not really sure how to resolve, but maybe you can address this related problem that I just posted under a discussion:

        I no longer feel comfortable inviting others to join my tree or recommending Geni to others because here is what happens now when you join: you start entering your immediate family and every profile you enter defaults to private, so only 3rd cousins and closer are able to see the profiles. So, then if the profiles already exist, a notice is sent that a duplicate profile exists in the system and requests that the two profiles be merged. Chances are, the new user doesn’t understand what to do (who of us understood this when we first started with Geni?), those of us who “own” the duplicate profile also get a message and if we are a pro user, we try to complete the merge, but what happens? We cannot do the merge because the duplicate profile is by default private. So we send the new user messages asking him/her to either make the profile public or join our family group. Chances are the new user has either lost interest at this point, or doesn’t trust the request or doesn’t understand it, so now we have more duplicate files just hanging out there. Why doesn’t Geni get that this is a problem? At least make it a choice to make profiles public or private so that the new user understands what they are doing? And of course, the 99 year rule should apply — make profiles public by default if they are likely to be deceased. There. I said what we have all been complaining about for weeks now. Will it make a difference? Doubt it.

        Would love to get genuine Geni feedback.  I also find myself going back to Ancestry.com because Geni is no longer providing me with additional info anymore.  You have created more problems than you have solved.

        Judy (Kornfeld) Baumgarten

        • David

          Hi Judy
          I am a somewhat experienced Geni user and I also appreciate the problem of merging private profiles.  I have mentioned it just above in response to a comment from Harrysme.I can also emphasise with your comment about new users not understanding requests to join family group.  I well remember when I joined Geni and started getting messages from people asking to join my Family Group or be my collaborator or “friend” [that "friend" functionality later got removed].  I had no clue what they meant, they never explained themselves, and I thought they were all just spam at best or malevolent at worst.  Took me a while to work out what really was what.  I persevered; I am sure many do not.  I am sure there is more that Geni could do to “hold the hand” of new users.  But now I think new users are more likely to be put off by the “paywall”, which they will hit every time they try a search.

          Yes I agree Judy these are issues that Geni should be addressing.

  • Synnest

    So the only real difference to basic users is ability to add all relatives D)
    Geni, you already are a laughing stock of Internet, why did you have to make it worse?

    • Carol

      No – there’s another real difference = $4.95 per month.

      And as Plus what you can add for that are not your family – you can do that anyway as Basic – but rather people outside your family so that others can merge them but you can’t.

      • Carol

        And as has been pointed out in public discussions, you don’t need Plus to add people to the tree.  You just add them within your family, and then get a Pro or curator to move them for you.

        I think one of the curators called the last changes “Idiot New Rules”.  I wonder what he thinks of this today?

  • Carol

    Quote from this blog post above by Geni George: “The Plus account offers many of the perks of Geni Pro at a fraction of the cost.”

    But take a look at http://www.geni.com/pro/comparison_chart_plus

    Looks to me like Plus costs more than Pro.  Or am I seeing things?

    What was that about laughing stock of the Internet?

    • Synnest

      Geni was very quick to delete my post about them being laughing stock of the Internet, I wish their support were that quick as well.

      • Geni George

        Synnest, it has not been deleted.  It’s still here.  We only delete posts when there is vulgar language or inappropriate content.

        • Stephenntly

          I guess that’s why my comment about chopping the tree down as it’s rotten to the core was removed? – As will this be no doubt?

    • Synnest

      I’d like to add to this discussion but Geni would delete it anyway so what’s the point.

    • Ken

      Carol – I just tried that.

      If $3.96 per month for Geni Pro is too much, why not try Geni Plus at $4.95 per month?

      Thanks for pointing it out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507062820 Maria Edmonds-Zediker

    The side-by-side comparison chart is excellent. 

    • Geni George

      Thanks Maria, I’ll pass it along the compliment to Natalie!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507062820 Maria Edmonds-Zediker

        I thought you guys would like ONE positive comment in this barrage.

        • Geni Natalie

          It’s much appreciated!

          • Tom

            Maybe Geni blog would have two positive remarks IF there would be two happy Geni user/subscribers. You folks didn’t seriously expect anyone to be happy with your new restrictions, Did you? Be serious.

    • Hope this helps

      I like the chart too, but could you add a column that shows what the Free account were getting prior to August?  Isn’t is basically what you are now calling the Plus account?  All I can see that is an improvement over the pre-August Free account is the ability to generate a GEDCOM for any specific individual.

  • Greenecoingennut

    truthfully the unlimited number of gift  stuf doe snot appeal ot me a true genealogists -  to me that is  just a money maker for you and yours -   it really has nothing to do with  genealogy -   the gedcoms yes, maybe print reports 9but i can’t afford the dam ink) everythign i do is on computer and comutper edit so hope it don’t fail knoc on wood -  my sheet of cheap plywood table over file cabinets and my head… -  don’t care about the fancy charts  for utting on walls, birthday gifts et. of the other gimicks your are promoting - etc.

  • Harrysme

    No tree size restrictions for Plus. So it means, that there is now a size restriction for Basic ? How many profiles and what happens if I allready have more ?

    It seems that Basic members are no longer able to merge or approve merges even in their family group. Is that true, or did I something wrong. It means, that even Pro members can no longer merge trees if the connection is in the family group of a Basic member

    • Geni George

      Harrysme,

      The size restrictions have been in place for about a month.  If you already have more, you still manage all of the profiles you’ve added.

      -George

    • David

      I think the word “size” may not have been a good one for Geni to choose in making the release.  My understanding is that the number of profiles is not an issue.  So I think you can rest assured that you haven’t exceeded a quota on the number of profiles you have.
      There is an issue with private profiles and the inability to merge them.  If there is a private profile that family members want to merge, it is not possible to do so if there is no Pro member in the family group.  I think the advice to get round this has been for the manager of the private profile to add a Pro temporarily as manager or to make the profile temporarily public or to add a Pro temporarily to their family group to allow the merge to proceed.  Understandably, not everyone is comfortable to do this, so I think this remains an outstanding issue.  This also is not a new issue that has been caused by the introduction of Plus.  It has been there since the changes in August.

  • Paul

    HELP!  A relative I added and whose profile I manage has a birthday coming up.  I tried sending her a birthday message and the new system won’t let me.  Every time I try I get an advertisement for Geni Plus.  Most of my family are not genealogists.  They are on Geni at my invitation and use it mainly for birthday and anniversary cards.  If you try to force everyone to buy a subscription just for birthday greetings, you really will drive people away.  My family has not been involved in the Geni Pro/Basic controversy because of their limited use; this will hit everyone and my several hundred casual members will abandon the system as will I.

    • Carol

      Aha.  So that’s another change that wasn’t clear in the announcement.  Not only can non-paying members no longer create help tickets.  Now they also can’t send any birthday or anniversary greetings either.  George – why wasn’t that made clear in your blog post?

      • Barbara

        No answer, George?  This is an example of why I am concerned about the future of Geni.  I question whether or not Geni is being honest and up-front about their actions.  I started to feel uneasy about what was happening over a year ago.  I saw too many bugs in new releases and also saw problems in the response of the help desk.  I really liked this site in the beginning, but am afraid I see Geni crossing ethical boundaries. Any business that chooses to ignore the customers they courted when they started their business is flirting with danger. You deserve to make a profit, but choosing to belittle the people who helped build the tree you are now trying to promote as a “world tree” is a shameful step in the wrong direction. I am afraid your callousness will come back you haunt you, and, unfortunately, that would be quite sad for all the people who have poured their time and energy into building family trees (which all come together to make up the world tree Geni envisions).  

        • Geni George

          Sorry Barbara and Carol.  I’m looking into this right now.

          • Geni George

            Regarding the reminder/gift flow, it seems to be complicated and the intent was for “gifts” to be part of the Plus account.  This (from what I understand) means that there should be a way to send a message without the paywall, but that might not be the case right now.

            This will take a little effort for us to sort out, so please stay tuned.  Most of my colleagues are asleep so it’ll probably sometime tomorrow before we can provide more insight.

          • Tom

            Hey, George!  Where is Lance?  I have a few comments to make, about comments which he made! Awaiting your response,  Tom

          • Paul

            I was just notified that my third cousin is having a birthday in 7 days.  This is a blood relative, not an in-law/spouse.  I get the pay wall when I want to to follow the link for sending a gift/message.  My non-genealogist relatives will not have the patience that the people like me who have invited hundreds and built the tree might happen.  If this outcome isn’t Geni’s intent, I would clarify that as soon as possible while implementing the technical fix.

  • julie

    I have a problem with the ad for Geni Plus popping up every time i try to give a birthday or anniversary greeting from a profile or an email. If i click on no thanks, continue,the page goes back to the ad or to the person’s page but isn’t redirecting to the gift page. Also, several people in my family have complained to me about the constant ads, (like I have something to do with them). Please fix.

    • Geni George

      Julie, I think this might be a bug, I’m working on figuring it out.

  • Ladydiane4

    All I want is the basic package…just give me back control of the in excess of 18,000 profiles I created!
    “Pro’s” are into MY tree making merges that aren’t correct and adding 3 wives all with the same name to one individual.  They don’t care that their information is incorrect………..It’s just forge forward with the One World Tree!
    I don’t want a 14 day trial.  I don’t want to discover new relatives while I browse.  I don’t want to merge with other trees.  I don’t want to join the One World Tree (but you have forced me to anyway!).  I don’t want to search your how ever many files for anything!  And, I don’t want to create PUBLIC profiles for others to mess up!
    I really don’t want anything that Plus offers either.
    Just give me back MY tree as I created it!  You might also want to give me back all the relatives who are now angry with me.  Can you fix that?

    • Tom

      I AGREE 100% !! What a CRAPPY way to treat founding members, without whose contributions Geni would have NO content to market! They got us Hooked and now they’re socking it to us! Shameful! Smacks of Greed! Am I angry? Naaaaw!

    • Exagranat

      Very well said! I’m actually sorry I did so much work only to find I’m unable to add to certain parts of the tree and cannot correct mistakes that others have inserted.

      • Barb

        Heck, I can’t even correct the mistakes I made.  Geni let me make the mistakes, but they won’t let me go back and correct the mistake.  They give me a screen and prompt me for an answer and when I make a choice they send me to the screen to “pay.” They also give me the choice to “continue”  if I don’t want to pay. When I click on “continue” they send me back to the same screen that gives me an option to fix my mistake.  It just keeps going through the same screens in an endless loop. 

        Geni, if you’re not going to let me correct my mistakes, at least you could give me a message saying just that instead of putting me in an endless loop.  When I was a programmer, I would have been fired for programming something that ridiculous.

  • Tesimmers

    I do not care at all about “The World Family Tree!” I am not impressed with Cureators, Pros, Pluses, Marketeers, Discussion Groups, Mergers that I can no longer veto! I have target marketed Geni.com to 720 individuals, most of whom have joined Geni! And, now Geni (George) wants to collect $50, $100, $150.00 from all of them for the FREE website that I invited them to join (And, from me, too)? And, at the same time tell me that if I don’t like it I should just grow up? Thank you very much Geni.com, but get your hands out of my pockets! 

    • Tom

      Folks!  The owners of Geni are not stupid! Well, actually, That remains to be seen! The truth is, by limiting you to managing your immediate family, while restricting your access to your older ancestors who cannot possibly join Geni and pay for a membership (they are all dead), Geni expects that those we add to the tree, going forward, are almost all, potential, cash paying customers! They need for us to continue to plug in email addresses and invite our family members to join the tree! Considering what Geni has just taken away from us, I’d say they have a lot of Nerve! Hutzpah! Balls! If you Will Not be inviting any new members, CLICK LIKE!

      Folks! 

    • Tom

      Well Folks, It’s working! Geni.com’s new restrictive policies are taking their toll! Few of the more than 720 persons that I have invited to join Geni, are bothering to visit the site! With little, if any incentive to continue visiting, with the new restrictions & system of class warfare, together with the insult of the maddening pop-up page & withheld editing rights, even members with paid memberships are staying away or visiting far less often! You might expect that with more than 140 comments here, at the very least 10 % might be offerring cudos and compliments. But alas, such is not the case! Geni can only hope that the thousands of new members who are surely signing up daily, will bring about the success that it envisages.  Good Luck, Geni.com. 

    • Herve Panetto

      +1
      Please, Geni come back to the previous way of engaging my familly.

  • Ladydiane4

    George…..Geni would be NOTHING if not for those of us you are hurting the most…those of us who have spent countless hours perfecting the tree that is now unavailable to us.

    • Hospel

      What are you refering to: “unavailable to us”

      • Ladydiane4

        I can’t add profiles to the 18,000 plus tree that”I” created!
        I tried to add a son to my great uncles profile…….pop up
        I tried to add a son to my uncle’s brother’s profile…pop up

        Those people are profiles I added but I seem to be the only one who can not have access to them.  “Pro” members are into MY tree making changes all the time.  They are screwing up MY years of work.  I can only sit and laugh at the mistakes being made to Geni’s worshiped “One World Tree”.

  • Terje

    I am not satisfied with the new “Geni Plus”. Seems to be more expensive than Pro and almost no additional operations I can do with Basic.”Send unlimited virtual gifts …” Its ridiculous.
    I understood that you had plan to offer something cheaper for Basic users.

  • AllynT

     Why do I need to be sent event reminders if I can’t act out on sending wishes to them as a basic user?

  • Gintrater

    @5a49adc5e48a670b370a6b2ac2b10a71:disqus Did you fix the problem where basic users could not complete merges?

    • Gintrater

      Seriously @5a49adc5e48a670b370a6b2ac2b10a71:disqus , did you ever use Geni for real? Geni is not only about obscure 14th century nobels.  The beauty of Geni was that my great aunt who is 91 years old could update the system and help me with creating parts of the tree that no one else could.   The power was with the masses where an occasional user would insert a piece of the family tree and reveal by that segments that were not known to others.  I am sure that this is hard for a US-centric marketer to understand that during WWII tons of records disappeared and families were broken in Europe.  The result is that Genealogical research for many of us is still possible only with the help of peers that compare records with each other.  I personally got connected with third cousins that I did not know existed.  I connected with a family member, a son of  a Holocaust survivor, who thought that he was the only surviving member of the family only to find that he has a bunch of second and third-cousins.  A lot of the great capabilities of Geni got lost over the last couple of years, but the last straw was the change that does not allow basic users to complete mergers.  Geny George, when can you get this fixed? 

  • LS

    RE: No size restrictions on your tree - This means that you can add an unlimited number of ancestors and relatives onto the profiles you manage.

    So if I pay for  the Plus account, & add hundreds of more people to help your vision of the world tree,  will the non-paying users on my tree be able to SEE everyone I add without being hounded for money? 

     I see no reason I should pay money to help your tree, if the family members I invited to my tree on the “free Geni website” are unable to reap the benefits of MY hard work.

    • Geni George

      Yes, they’ll be able to see the relatives.  They’d only be asked to upgrade if they try to edit or add onto the profiles outside of their 3rd great grandparents and 4th cousins.

      • LS

        Thank you for your reply.  However, will they be able to see everybody I add or just the people directly related to them by blood.  The reason I am asking is that somebody on my tree was already asked to upgrade while trying to visit one of my managed profiles on a different part of the tree.  This person being asked to upgrade is already listed as part of my “family group”, so in theory shouldn’t they already be able to see all the profiles I manage?

        • Geni George

          It depends on how they are trying to view the profile, I believe.  If they are simply browsing around the tree, I don’t think they should have any trouble viewing it.  If it is via search, then they’ll probably run into an upgrade wall, as search is a premium feature now.

          • Ken

            As previously mentioned, search within Geni is available to anyone in the world via Google, but not to basic members. Weird.

          • LS

            So, I seem to be able to search the people I manage, but members of my tree are not able to search the people on our own tree without being asked for money?  That’s both odd & extremely inconvenient.

          • Ken

            You can search across all public profiles via Google – just add ‘Geni’ as part of the search. Why pay for this?

  • Ben

    My problem: I indicate I don’t want Genieplus, and then get back to the greeting card I want to send, but I go back to the Genie plus item, and the same cycle keeps repeating. How can you or I stop the cycle?

    • julie

      have the same problem and it’s making me mad. i have invited almost everyone on my tree to join and now they’re all complaining to me!

    • Paul

      I agree with you Ben.  I just tried sending a birthday greeting to the husband of my SECOND COUSIN ONCE REMOVED and I couldn’t get past the sales wall.  Is it ok to send to my second cousin, but not their spouse?  Unbelievable.

    • Tom

      Face it folks! Geni.com is playing major games with us! It is obviously intentional on their part! They apparently don’t want postings on their Facebook Page! I believed they would like the Public to remain unaware of their internal problems and general unhappiness with their newly retooled product. 

  • ThomasO

    I expected something from Geni to rectify what was destroyed in the August bomb change.
    But not, this plus thing changes little, since the major base of user input, the basic users, are affected slightly, and mostly mostly negatively what I can see.

    My perspective is this:
    As a Pro I pay Geni (money to Geni) to work for Geni, buy I do not anymore.
    Geni can then sell (money to Geni) what I have done.
    It may sound like the perfect business plan (money to Geni x 2!) but it is not, the scam is too obvious. Geni acts greedy, users have now started disliking Geni, not good if you want to make money, which you absolutely should and deserve to do.

    My work in the tree is mainly for my relatives, now living and for future joiners.
    I can only expect that they are basic users and not interested in paying at all, they want to know and see their close relatives and explore remote ancestry. Now the can’t see the really old history anymore. They loose interest. And if they can’t see it and get hooked why then should I bother creating or merging historical profiles.

    If neither pros nor basics creates profiles, the tree won’t grow and the Mission of One Big Tree will fail! I really like the idea, and am sad that Geni may fail in that great mission.

    Some ideas:
    Basic users should see all their blood relatives or at least all ancestors.
    Basic users should be able to some merging, like profiles they manage and approve merge requests.
    Plus users should have extended search capabilities, like pro was once, basic users should not.
    As non paying, basic users should not have the benefit of gedcom export, prioritized support or gifts, and some ads wont hurt them nor the plus users.

    To make money and succeed in the mission, it is all about making people loving the building process.
    If Geni do not fix this (mainly basic user rights) the involvement of your users will cease, the site will die,the big tree will fail, Geni will die. And as an employee your CV:s could look better than “Worked at Geni.com, great but now a dead site. Died due to greedy and uncommitted investors”

    I do believe that Geni could be as fantastic and fun as it once was.
    Most people writing are angry, that is understandable, but this a suicide so I am more sad than angry.

    A response from Geni is appreciated.

    • Greenecoingennut

      Amen -  the non-pros made  GENI what it is – just as much as the pros -  and those who became cutators    they are at FAULT for the bad merges too  they  done alot of bad merging in the past -  but  the blame was all laid on to the non-pro users

      it is hell when we have to pay  to data base our information into the system and  GENI is the only one profiting $ wise from it not us -  those that we are trying to reach-out to are locked out  beyond their 3/4 generations of helping combining research where it is much needed –

      It is not our fault that  GENI accepted GEDCOMS and did not  setup  a cleanup-merge process   they need some one who has the knowledge and skill to   do  24/7   work on this besides the  GENI users  -  also there merging  criteria  is not the best as they present  alot of very  very bad merges that do not even come close tho the known dates and locations  if the exist  some are as much as 100 – 200 years off  others do not even come close to matching  parent sets let alone the location

      you know its like i told another geni users   its humiliating, degrading, infuriating  and what ever else you call it to have to keep asking  either a pro or curator to  help you maintain your profiles -  its as if  geni  ‘hiarchy’ is call anyone who does not subscribe to their  service ‘stupid’ ‘inadequate’ etc.;  
       
      i for one  hated to ask for any help to maintain my own profiles when a no-pro user – unless i was afraid i would screw up something – -
       
      it is truly to me an insult that one  if not a pro-member  has to ask another   to add to their tree, merge,  and do general maintenance – -

      yes GENI was once fun -  and fantastic – - it is becoming more more more  less fun  

      i am sadden that so many people  just like  GENI  when the find that  “big money” can be made off of  genealogy go for it and   they were committed  to free genealogy and sharing and building of the big tree -  in the begining   or where they really  was that just a  lure to  suck all us ‘suckers’ into  GENI – give them our information and data for free   

      I had said  they way they were goign about it – that   GENI would one day  crash big time -  and it did  and now they are making us pay for the mistakes their errors etc.  they have forgot the  purpose  rather their ‘trap ad bait’  free access, free sharing  and  building a free  community big tree!

    • Tom

      Sorry Thomas, but I think you are all wet! I don’t appreciate you speaking for me and labeling me as a basic user! How many people have you invited to join Geni? Now be careful to tell the truth. The average is about 20! 

  • Paul

    “From what I can tell, things aren’t going to go back to how they were before, so it might be time to agree to disagree.”  Geni George, those are your words.  It is certainly Geni’s right to make the decisions it sees as necessary to meet its business objectives.  However, if you really think that it’s not going to change any further, than it is time for me to put out an announcement to my several hundred relatives on my tree and instead to move them to Ancestry.com  I have made so much progress in getting extended family members to reconnect, I can’t let that progress fall apart because of the premium walls.  I will also go back to Facebook and remove my “like” of your product.

    • Carol

      In that same post, Geni George said: “unfortunately Geni changed in a way that some people don’t agree with”

      No George, it is not “unfortunate”.  Fortune does not come into it.  This was a deliberate policy that you apparently devised and implemented.  You did this even though you knew that the previous changes were so badly received by many.  You surely knew that this Plus thing would not satisfy those who were already unhappy and angry.

      Tell us George – how many of the comments so far are positive.  How many have said: “We are excited by Geni Plus.  We are buying it now.”

      How many Geni Plus subscriptions have you sold so far?  How many did you think you would sell?  How are you tracking against targets?  If the figures are confidential, give us some indication?  When will you rip this all up and go back to the drawing board?

  • DisgruntledYetUnheard

    Ugh.  This is supremely frustrating.  Sure, I understand you want to monetize the site — monetize FEATURES then, and not the work that people did to build their own trees.  Allow people to add profiles to their own lineages for crying out loud.  The trees folks added to your site provide your site its very value – you are robbing people by stealing their work product (yes I know the user agreement we checked allows you to screw us in precisely that way), and in the end shooting yourselves in the foot by angering a large segment of your user base, and poisoning the wells of future users.  Did you ever stop to think that every one of the loud complainers, and all their family members, just a couple short months ago were singing the praises of Geni, and now we all think you suck, and proclaim as much to our friends and co-workers?  Everyone at my office knows how little Geni thinks of their users because I’ve complained so much.  Three months ago, my boss was asking me to show her how I use Geni because of how I talked about it at work.  Now she won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole.  Truly stellar marketing guys — gives a new twist to the word “viral”; it makes people sick and causes folks to stay away.  Let us add all our profiles to our own trees again and we’ll all shut up, I wager… 

  • Simp7522

    I am probably the only member of my family that inputs information on a regular basis, you have now seriously impacted my ability to add information to my family tree. I joined Geni because it was free and I was able to share the information that I had gathered on my computer family tree program, with my other family members. So much so that Geni.com was my computer home page, and it was the first page I went to every time I signed onto the internet. That will change now and I will go back to using my Family Tree maker program on my computer. Check my stats and you will see what you are losing, I have uploaded over 6,000 photos, added over 1000 family members and other supporting documents. I guess that’s the thanks I and others like me get. I guess all I have to say is so long Geni, it’s been nice knowing you. I will be changing my home page effective immediately and I don’t know when, or if I will ever add anything else to this program. So disappointed!! 

    • Drneutrino

      So you and all the other WHINER FREELOADERS have been using this for free for all these years while PRO users like me support the company,  Why don’t all you CRY babies go and write your own software graphics genealogical package and see how easy it is.

      Retired Software Architect.

      • Q-Bert

        You don’t get it.  Geni.com contributes nothing to the greater research community as a whole.  They are a leech off of everyone else’s time and effort to establish credible and accurate trees.  Paying for this doesn’t make you more right than the next person, in fact for what you get, you’re the sucker.  My hope at this point, is GENi gets bought-out by Ancestry, or Ancestry creates a comparable visual experience, because there is no value to this site anymore.  At least with Ancestry I can create a tree (multiple actually), and not pay a thing; I just don’t get access to the research part of the site, which by right they’re perfectly entitled to charge for their work.

  • Akshay Bangera

    why does Geni simply not put ads on it’s pages rather that putting up such tamasha!! I’m already on the hunt for a viable free alternative.

    • Geni George

      It doesn’t create enough revenue because not enough of you click on ads.  We have tried.

      • Carol

        How about giving everyone a quota of ads per day they have to click?  If you click enough you get promoted to Pro.

        • Geni George

          Hahahaha.

          • Carol

            Don’t know why you are laughing.  You said, apparently seriously: “It doesn’t create enough revenue because not enough of you click on ads”

            So tell us how many ads we need to click and then we can go back to the old Geni that we liked before everything changed in August soon after the great crash, and then everyone will be happy.  Right George?

          • Geni George

            You know why I’m laughing.

          • Carol

            Cos it’s been a long day and you are tired like me.

  • Sallybruc

    So Geni Pro is only $5/month, while Geni Plus is only $5/month but includes less.  Geni used to be free for most of what you want money for.  And $5/month is $5/month.  What a scam to make up two different levels at the same price.

  • Mbrich422

    I like, many others, are stunned that a free site that enticed me to produce a family tree has now decided to go the way of Ancestry.com and charge. I was simply recording my knowledge of family history and others within the family were adding their information.  You now want to charge us for our labor.  Like many others on this blog, I have no desire to search for celebrities, connect with other trees nor create unlimited public profiles…..I simply want to keep my family tree updated.

  • Greta

    I have placed a lot of personal information and pictures of living relatives on this site as I felt that only invited persons could have access to it.  I am also a member of ancestry but REFUSE to put personal information there since I am concerned about privacy.  Lately I see more and more people try to get access to my information that are not related – and I am not sure of their motives.  This is not the site where I would hope people would “search” for my family.  I may have to remove all my information for living individuals – since those are who I am concerned about contacting with – not finding out if I am related to royalty or celebrities.  As family historian my concern is collecting and distributing information – not playing games and building numbers of “relatives”

    • Geni George

      Greta,

      All of your private data is inaccessible to anyone outside of your family, unless you specifically grant them permission to be part of your family group.

      -George

      • David

        George (and Greta)
        As a user with some Geni experience I think there is more to this one. There are ways to get family group access through inappropriate merging that have been discussed in public discussion. It would be good for Geni to address these. This is unrelated to the Geni Plus release so not an issue for this blog.
        It is an issue for the blog to the extent that the Geni Plus release takes away the Basic user’s ability to raise help tickets. I am not sure how Basic users are supposed in future to get help regarding private profiles / privacy concerns that are not appropriate for listing on the public help platform or in public discussion.  I think an answer to that question could usefully be given in this blog.
        Other matters of privacy I am happy to discuss with Geni staff separately. I hope Greta can find an avenue to do that too.

        • Geni George

          Here is the response: “We’re adding Privacy as a reason for reporting a profile/user.”
          It may be live now, not sure.

          • David

            George

            That might be a good start.

            But there are all sorts of issues with the “Report” function.  See for example http://help.geni.com/entries/507614-reporting-of-profilesThis was raised by a Geni user six months ago, with no apparent response as yet from Geni to any of the points raised.  I agree with the points raised by that user.  In particular, Reporting needs priority feedback.

            Geni Basic users don’t get one-to-one feedback any more.  But they need it when they have serious issues that need Reporting.  This I believe remains to be addressed.

          • David

            That URL got mangled.  It should be

            http://help.geni.com/entries/507614-reporting-of-profiles

  • Nefie

    You are moving in the right direction but at the wrong totally the PRICE!  Also do no limited merging capabilities of Geni Plus members.  Clearly you remain bent on the money making exercise - no matter what.  DO NOT FORSAKE YOUR TRIBE – FOR THEY WILL FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO FOLLOW AND THEN WON’T COME BACK TO YOU AT ANY OFFER!

  • Dabruins1999

    Is There Any Way To Unmerge From Someone That Doesnt Have A Clue What They Are Doing To My Tree?????

    • Geni George

      Not yet, but we’ll be releasing Undo Merge in the near future.

      • Dabruins1999

        This is a problem with Geni, I now have over 10 double profiles I cannot get rid of

      • David

        Geni took care to ensure that Pros could not edit all profile fields until each field had an “undo edit” capability.  I was therefore quite surprised that Pros were allowed to merge all public profiles before an Undo merge capability was available.  I think it should have been done the other way round.

        Best I think we can do now is encourage Geni to implement Undo Merge asap!

  • helium

    I discovered this post when trying to figure out why I could no longer post a virtual gift / anniversary greeting.  Instead of the usual smooth user experience, I was seeing a large spammy pop-up urging me to Upgrade to Geni Plus.  It is really not evident why features and actions that used to work in a Free account are no longer working as expected.  Its clear that you are trying to monetize the website, but removing functionality from the free account is a poor way to generate happy paying customers.  Try enticing me with new features that would make my current experience even better. 

  • Karen

    I am not happy with the sudden change of not being able to merge our profiles that were already connected with other family members.  There was no warning, just like what happened when the format of the picture requirement changed and lots of my pictures disappeared with a big black X in it’s place.  I feel like this is just another scam to make money.  We have put countless hours of time and effort and paid money to buy access to pictures and obituaries in order to share our pictures and information with what we thought was a free access genealogy site, similar to Facebook.  What do you suppose would happen if all of a sudden Facebook decided to stop you from connecting to friends unless you pay $12 a month?  I think the changes are deceitful because you changed the rules after we have already invested so much time and effort and we thought were for free!  Now Geni is using all of this information “we” put together to make money!  :(  

  • Daskrstd

    How do I send an anniversary greeting with Geni Basic?  When I try, all I get is an ad for Geni Plus or Pro?

    • David

      Good question, Daskrstd.  I can think of a few possibilities.

      1. Send a Geni message rather than an anniversary greeting.

      2. Take the hint and upgrade to Geni Plus or Pro.

      3. If you know their email address, send an email.

      4. Leave a message on their Facebook page (if you and they have one)

      5. Send a Twitter message if you and they have an account.

      6. Use an instant messaging system such as MSN or Skype.

      7. Phone them and say “Happy anniversary”

      8. Buy a card and mail it.

      9. Go round in person if they are not far away – maybe take a gift or some flowers.

      10. Invite them round to your place for a celebration or go out somewhere to celebrate.

      I wonder if other readers of this blog can think of other ways to send an anniversary greeting.

      • David

        Also no 11.

        11. Write a message directly in the ceberants’ guestbook on Geni.  That’s where an anniversary greeting would appear anyway.

        • David

          Oops – “ceberants” should read “celebrants”.

  • B G Nilsson

    Hallo GENI!It has been pretty some “excitement” and irritation on the blog in the past!My little question is, are there any statistics on how many more merges, how many more new users and how many more added profiles in general there is, after the introduction of the new rules for the use of GENI, which took place in August? Compared to previous?Is this something you want to report?

  • Stephenntly

    Hi to all you other unhappy Geni users.

    It’s clear to me from the comments by George in this blog, that we have lost the Geni that we new and loved forever. Community has been taken over by greed and dictatorship. My suggestion to all the unhappy people is that its time for you to do, as I have, and start deleting records and removing as much of your tree as you can. What you can’t delete change the information so that it is no longer correct. Tell all the people that you invited to do the same and lets bring the one world tree crashing down. (Or at least do it as much damage as we can). It clearly has become rotten to the core and needs to be given the chop!

     

    • Greenecoiingennut

      It sure seems that way – &  truthfully it will just be a wasted effort – - for I do not care what they says they have back-ups especially better ones after the big crash, blow-out &  they will & can will put back deleted profiles – do not let them fool you – i am not that stupid that it can’t be done – If one can allow the crash to happen &  then benefit from it then they can re-build what ever any of the GENI users take off without any great effort – that old saying ‘where there is a will there is a way’ &  GENI is  bent on having the biggest &  best “Big Tree, World tree” that they will not loose any of the material/ profiles that has been data based in plus its all free labor for them on our part & at our expense we were so gullible – because we were willing to share, some us went out invited as many relatives into our tree – - with me it is they who found me &  I let them into my tree but the same result – they gained  data for free at our expense – - To hell with the virtual gifts, birthday, anniversary cards the in memory crap that’s not genealogy that’s just a nice money making gimmick on GENI’s part ; as for the nice wall charts – I would not make one from geni with all the erroneous info still in the profiles – those can be made from many of our own computer programs &  hand done by each of use. Oh well so much for believing &  trusting like many ancestry.com looks better &  better as you get more for you money there (records & databases as a part of their package) – the records are at hand – you have control of what data is imputed into your tree & if wrong data occurs you can disconnect/delete the trouble profiles without the out cry – you can even delete your whole tree &  start all over from scratch &  there is no fighting, bickering etc amongst the users & snide uncalled remarks from the management such as Geni George has made just keep on laughing dear old man – it will be you last laugh & many of us may just be laughing at you & all of GENI in the end..I!!!!!!!!

  • Student user

    The biggest loss from the arsenal of the free user was the option to request and accept merges. By requesting a merge, the free user was able to initiate contact and debate the issue with the profile’s manager and the owner of the profile was able to accept the merge. By removing this tool you have stunted the growth of many a tree. I have downloaded my forest tree and have moved to myheritage.com – the management there offered me two years free subscription due to the quality and quantity of my research. Your loss, Geni.

  • Jim

    WTF!  This is completely UNACCEPTABLE.  Through my Geni experiences, I have found a distant cousin I never knew about who is now living in France.  He has given me a ton of information about my Italian ancestry which we both share.  I have been spending months working to load in the profiles he shared with me.  Now — today — I am locked out of his branch of the tree and I can no longer enter profiles!!!!!    Are you F’n kidding me, Geni??  Really??  Are you telling me it’s time to find a better application?  One that screw it’s customers in order to make a buck?

  • Esgrand4

    I can’t even send birthday and anniversary wishes to family anymore without paying a monthly fee! What’s with all this?

    • David

      Esgrand4, this is a great question.  How do you send birthday and anniversary wishes to family anymore without paying a monthly fee? Daskrstd asked a similar question below.  I think so far we have come up with 11 answers.  I am sure there are more – I would love to be able to extend the answers beyond 11.

      The 11 so far are:

      1. Send a Geni message rather than an anniversary greeting.2. Take the hint and upgrade to Geni Plus or Pro.3. If you know their email address, send an email.4. Leave a message on their Facebook page (if you and they have one)5. Send a Twitter message if you and they have an account.6. Use an instant messaging system such as MSN or Skype.7. Phone them and say “Happy anniversary”8. Buy a card and mail it.9. Go round in person if they are not far away – maybe take a gift or some flowers.10. Invite them round to your place for a celebration or go out somewhere to celebrate.

      11. Write a message directly in the celebrants’ guestbook on Geni.  That’s where an anniversary greeting would appear anyway.

      • Paul

        David, you are missing the point.  I thought your first comment humorous, but now I think you are serious.  For a certain niche of people, large in my family, Geni made it easy to remember a birthday, to send a message in advance knowing it would be delivered on the right day, to avoid having to do extra clicks to get into the guestbook as easy as that is to some of us….. I could probably come up with 11 good reasons why this simple tool was an effective way of reminding people of EXTENDED family and staying connected to them.  What will even bring these casual users to the Geni site now?

        • David

          Paul – I intended to be humorous.

          Anyway the good news at http://www.geni.com/discussions/99441?msg=738968 is that Geni may well be reinstating birthday and anniversary greetings for Basic users.
          There is so much more that Geni can and does do besides greetings.But hey – if greetings get people to the site and maybe then gets some of them more interested in genealogy and Geni’s other functions – that’s great too.I think the serious point is that there are many different Geni user types, and I do wonder if the Geni staff making changes always think about the effects of the changes they introduce on all the different types, and the longer term effects on Geni of ignoring some.Thanks for reading and commenting on my post.

  • Andypendex85

    what happened now everything is money for nothing this world is free and we must have our rights we are paying my friends this not a tyrany is a democracy so better think about your future company money thing is one way ticket so don´t mess up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=691352756 Jason Kennedy

    Genealogy is a collaborative effort. By implementing the new fee based system, you have inadvertently damaged that important aspect.  The key to the “one world tree” is allowing ALL users to freely and easily, unhampered by restrictions, add information that they may have in their possession. Requiring users to pay after a certain number of “levels” does nothing but discourage some of them from continuing to add critical research information that may help to close holes further up the line. The result is that LESS people will be adding new information to the tree! That is the problem as I see it. Focus on that “collaborative effort” idea, and figure out some other pay scheme. Most of us understand the need to charge. I am a PRO user. I upgraded because it allowed me more flexibility.  However, isolating data between users that pay verses users that don’t pay, hurts everyone (the one world tree)! In the end you will have a “one world tree” that is missing a lot of input and isolated users who never connect to the tree…..and that means we all loose…

  • Gail

    It was fun while it lasted. Our family used Geni to send Birthday and Anniversary greetings. Oh well, everyone is on Facebook anyway. Goodbye Geni!

    • David

      There is a lot more to Geni than birthday and anniversary greetings

      • Ken

        There isn’t now.

        • David

          I disagree.

          There is.Less than there used to be for non-paying members.A bit more for Plus members.Even more for Pro members.

          • Ken

            A Pro used to be able to merge with a basic member. Now there is an ever-increasing number of incomplete merges. Unless a Pro finds another Pro, the membership is useless.

            There’s so few Pro’s, I liken it to owning the only telephone in the world.

          • David

            Ken

            I have read some of your earlier posts, and I largely agree with what you have written re Google vs. Basic search, should have grandfathered in, etc.
            However, there are quite a few curators and Pros willing and able to help.  Yes there are also mistakes made, and people who make messes.  Isn’t that true of real life too?

            If you have had bad experiences, I can appreciate that you have more negative views.

            The point I am trying to make is that there is still a lot of good in Geni.  Some of that can be got as a Basic user, but less than before, and life on Geni is increasingly frustrating for Basic users.  Some of us are trying through various means to change Geni’s mind on various things.  You have also contributed well to that cause in your previous earlier posts.

          • Ken

            It is not a basic versus pro member problem.

            Geni has changed the concept so that there are no managers. Previously, whether basic or Pro, changes to the tree needed to be verified by the managers concerned. This mechanism provided the safeguard to prevent the problems that are occurring now. Yes, it slowed things down – and in some cases stopped things altogether if a manager didn’t respond, but it gave that level of assurance to the data integrity of the tree.

            Right now, any Geni Pro member (probably on the free trial offer) can cause irretrievable damage.    Even as a Pro, I would like my changes verified by someone ‘in the know’ of that part of the tree as I can make mistakes too.

            I’ve had data changed, that was gathered from original research and supported by documentation, simply because differing data was found on another website. Previously, this would have caused a discussion, and we both would have learnt something. Now it just ‘happens’ as a fait accompli.

          • David

            Ken

            I also agree that everyone should ideally keep to best practice.  But we live in a non-ideal world.  Even people ‘in the know’ make mistakes too.

            Data changes can at least be reversed reasonably easily, though it would be better that incorrect data changes were not made in the first place.

            See my previous comment below about bad merges:

            —————————

            Geni took care to ensure that Pros could not edit all profile fields until each field had an “undo edit” capability.  I was therefore quite surprised that Pros were allowed to merge all public profiles before an Undo merge capability was available.  I think it should have been done the other way round.

            Best I think we can do now is encourage Geni to implement Undo Merge asap!

  • PAULJELLETT

    PLEASE NOTE I  WANT ONE MONTH SUBSCRIPTION  ONLY TO GENIE PLUS.
    I DO NOT WISH TO BECOME  A REGULAR SUBSCRIBER.
    PLEASE CONFIRM RECEIPT OF THIS INSTRUCTION.
    BEST REGARDS
    PAUL JELLETT

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=656041887 Damon Eisenach

      Absolutely ridiculous that you are making sending birthday and anniversary messages pay features. the gift was fine but just to send a message…… you really are desperate for money.
    sad to see this among the other recent changes, when do you plan to charge to log in to the site??? 

    • JEB

      I think they changed back the birthday/anniversary message feature — it is now free again, I believe.

    • Anonymous

      Every time I click on send a birthday message I get the ad for Geni plus. I click “no thanks” but I can’t seem to get a box for the special birthday greetings. What’s up with this, Geni?

  • Ken

    I took a GEDCOM copy of my tree a while ago, and am now really thankful that I did.

    I just looked at my ancestral trees and discovered that I’m now connected to thousands of people that have nothing to do with me. This is not the result of a single errant merge, but several.

    Also, a large swathe of events, with related documentation have been removed. I tracked down the person, who stated that they were ‘unnecessary, and cluttering up the tree’. A further message stated that she had the wrong people and the trees didn’t match after all. This isn’t surprising as the merged ‘same’ people were born centuries apart, on different continents. She was just trying out the Geni Pro free trial offer.

    I now have a valid copy of my tree on my PC. I can use it using myheritage.com (for free), but is there anyway I can apply this back to Geni – or do I just stay with myheritage.com? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Ken

    I took a GEDCOM copy of my tree a while ago, and am now really thankful that I did.

    I just looked at my ancestral trees and discovered that I’m now connected to thousands of people that have nothing to do with me. This is not the result of a single errant merge, but several.

    Also, a large swathe of events, with related documentation have been removed. I tracked down the person, who stated that they were ‘unnecessary, and cluttering up the tree’. A further message stated that she had the wrong people and the trees didn’t match after all. This isn’t surprising as the merged ‘same’ people were born centuries apart, on different continents. She was just trying out the Geni Pro free trial offer.

    I now have a valid copy of my tree on my PC. I can use it using myheritage.com (for free), but is there anyway I can apply this back to Geni – or do I just stay with myheritage.com? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Kgplum

    I’m not happy with the changes either!  Like many, I have entered many family members on all lines of my family and my husband’s.  I just joined Geni Pro mainly so I could use the GedCom feature in order to have a back-up and not lose all the hours and hours worth of work.  Thus far, I have not been able to find how to access that feature.  Can anyone tell me?

  • Mememymymomo

    ok, Geni, u got my money, and i have, like a dummy, invited my family to fork over more $$ to join my venture.. well, here is my problem, RESEARCH site.. huh-duh, come on– the best site i have found, use and recommed is FAMILYSEARCH.  what they offer== you dont… i want more bang for my bucks.. more FREE research sites.. not look at me, then to view it=sign up for free trial 2 weeks, but supply cerdit card information.. NOT, looks like duck, smells like duck- costs money for me to kill that duck..RESEARCH, ERROR CORRECTION, and a better HELP site.. over 75% of questions not answered.. GENI, time to BLInk!

  • Gert Yacoub

    Do not wish to participate…… I do feel you are invading my privacy…..We, the family are providing the info. You are not required any participation on this site. If you insist on meddling and charge for it…I am out….

  • Jsilvers31

    I am very disappointed in having our family members required to join Geni Plus to send birthday greetings and adding family members. This was a terrible marketing decision on your part. The freedom allowed family members to participate creating the family tree has been lost. Please go back to the original basic program or I guarantee you will lose your customer base.
    Jerry Silvers

  • me

    I personally would like to see someone monitor the actions of the ‘curators’. 

  • Daustin

    Too bad that you were just referred to in Readers Digest as a “free site”. I hope that they print a retraction soon. 

    • David

      Daustin

      I am confused why you think a retraction is appropriate.
      I am also curious why you think there are five ticks for functionality for free users in the comparison table at the top of this page.  Are they wrong?  Do they need to be retracted?

  • Ken

    The whole point of Geni’s existence has gone.

    Now that there are no managers or collaborators, and that a Geni Pro can alter the tree unilaterally without regard to anyone else, the enjoyment of working with other people to establish the tree has gone.

    I enjoyed the swapping of information, and the collaboration with an ever-growing team of people to find out more about our ancestors. Now, those same people that I would otherwise have been working with simply put info (right or wrong) on the tree. I have no idea who these people are, and I’ve lost the opportunity to make contact and ‘grow’ our team.

    The concept of collaboration (which Geni extols in all its literature) has vanished completely.

    • David

      Ken
      It’s simply not true that there are now no managers or collaborators.  The concept of collaboration has not vanished completely.You have not lost the opportunity to identify and make contact with those who put info (right or wrong) on the tree.  The revisions tab tells you who they are, and Send Message enables you to contact them.
      It is true that Pro users can do more than ever previously without collaboration, and there are opinions that this is not a good thing.

      Please let’s keep the facts accurate.

      • Ken

        If a Pro can change the tree unilaterally, then there is no collaboration.

        The ‘new’ Geni would best be described as a communal repository, nothing more.

        • David

          I for one would still encourage all users (Pro or not) to collaborate and contact others.  The functionality really does still exist.

          Many Geni users still value collaboration and contact, which still exists and is used, even though you seem to be denying that.

          • Ken

            The bulk of genealogical research is held in the Event records. This is also the information that cannot easily be replicated. Immigration details, special events, newspaper clippings,  and the related documents are held here.

            Geni does not advise when these have changed. Geni does not let me know who changed them. Geni does not let me know that they have been deleted. Geni has no revision material available, so I haven’t a clue how they originally looked. 

            Have I got my facts straight?

            The only way I can find out what’s going on is to call up the hundreds/thousands of events that have been entered, and see if they’re the same as I remembered them. How do I collaborate?

            Regarding managers, an earlier post had Geni George wanting to know why Stig Roar Bye still wanted them displayed as they were now irrelevant.

          • David

            Thanks Ken.

            Regarding events and documents, I think you are making very good points here that I hadn’t thought of. I suggest we ask Geni for stronger revision data and reversion of changes in events and documents.  Maybe tighter restrictions on editing and changing of events and documents.  If George is still reading posts in this blog, perhaps he could respond to this.  I think it’s an important issue that you are raising, that I have not heard or seen articulated previously.Regarding your last sentence, I can’t find that previous exchange in this blog post.  Maybe it was in a different one.  I disagree that managers are now irrelevant, and would be happy to discuss that one with Geni George to try to understand why he might think they are now irrelevant, if that is what he said.

          • Ken

            Geni George’s response was as follows. It seems that Geni was making collaboration as difficult as possible…

            We’re looking into the visibility of Managers.  In an ideal world, managers would be irrelevant.  Can you explain exactly how you are using managers so that our user experience team has a better understanding?

          • David

            Thanks Ken.

            It certainly sounds from this that Geni George was looking to encourage people to work independently rather than through collaboration.  That is not how I see Geni working at its best.

          • Ken

            Geni is now a communal repository, nothing more.

          • David

            Ken, if I were to respond to this, I would be joining you in going round in a circle – which would not be productive.  Anyone interested can read my response above when you previously made that assertion.

          • Ken

            That was my point. There’s nothing left for me in Geni. I’ve joined myheritage.com and am in collaboration with interested people already.

            I won’t be making any further posts.

          • David

            Further posts are now at http://www.geni.com/discussions/99057?msg=740467 and following pages.

  • Jmtanner

    Why did you choose to change the basis and functionality of the Geni site, and alienate your “customer” base, instead of allowing advertising, and advertisers to pay you? That would have allowed your customer base to grow, and enhance the value of the advertising. 

    • Carol

      Geni George answered this last week.  He said: “It doesn’t create enough revenue because not enough of you click on ads.  We have tried.”

      But he didn’t tell us how many clicks would be enough.

  • Srinivas

    Sorry Geni, I don’t like where you’re taking the service. There are new announcements like this every month, clearly it’s no longer about adding value to us users, but figuring out how to make us pay. I moved my tree to myheritage.com a few months ago and it looks like I won’t be looking back.

    • JEB

      Funny, I checked out myheritage.com and it looks like Geni did a year ago.  Don’t be surprised if eventually myheritage.com starts changing its pricing structure as well.  That’s what happens in life — companies grow and they charge more, based on their popularity.  (-:

  • Drneutrino

    All you WHINER FREELOADERS have been using this for
    free for all these years while PRO users like me support the company, 
    Why don’t all you cry babies go and write your own software graphics
    genealogical package and see how easy it is.

    Retired Software Architect.

    • Freeloader

      With all due respect to DRneutrino, whose status as a retired software architect should obviously make us all bow and scrape, you’re wrong. Nobody denies that its Geni’s right to charge for the software that they developed. We do think its wrong to entice users to use your site by making it free, then, once they’ve given you terabytes of their info, to turn around and stab them in the back. Geni would be worthless without the free users. Get that through your head.

      I don’t know how long you’ve been a user of the site, but I’ll tell you something. Geni didn’t always have a Pro user option. It only added that once they had sufficient data from *freeloaders* to make the site worth paying for. So essentially, its the original freeloading users, who gave all their data to Geni, that support the site./*As a retired software architect, perhaps you can find something more useful to do with your time than sounding like a blowhard and an immature sycophant. Some of the lowest category of flame warriors.*/

    • Basicuser

       Drneutrino, maybe you need to look in a dictionary “The term “Freeloader” is someone who exploits chances to get free stuff whenever possible.” On the contrary I’ve spent countless hours researching, adding profiles, pictures, events and well over 750 BMD documents to my Tree. I paid for all the documents that I’ve added to Geni.  Its obvious to me that geni is receiving a lot of free info/stuff from it’s users.

      Personally I tried the Pro and Cancelled my subscription. How many profiles, pictures, events and documents have you manually added to your tree? I’m betting that you are one of these Pro users that merges with other users to quickly grow your tree. Letting everyone else (the basic users) do all the research and hard work for you?

      The (basic users) “founding members” of this site certainly have the right to express our opinions and concerns in having more basic features taken away from us. Unfortunately now any Tom, Dick or Harry can pay a fee and have the ability to totally damage thousands of public profiles. Geni decides which profiles I have to keep public in my tree, not me!.

    • Greenecoingennut

      Damit we may have been using if for free – but GENI got all our info that we have paid for, researched  etc.  for FREE also and they got all the data bsaing of it if  for FREE also so now who in the heck are the FREELOADERS????? Seems as if it is  the GENI EXECS as they  gfot all the info for FREE by enticing us all in  this was to be a free sharing site for  genealogy – not a  restricted paid site – oh well think that was geni MO all along as som of the others belives this too in see below – we were not the FREELOADER we willing gave our info so we could connect to others geni is the greeloADER in this case they took from us no they demand we pay up for  entering it into their database using our time and effort …. GENI would not of had a thing if it were not for us  gulliable people  sharing our information to what wat to be a FREE site for  sharing  to connect to other family memebrs = stick that in your  bonnet -  we are not whinners – we were just  bambozzled  to by GENI

  • Mechonyochsen

    geni entices you to put up info and then changes rules on you without notifying you and giving you the right to remove before the change i believe this constitutes fraud to get info that people worked hard to accumulate and with a stroke of a button they lose control
     

  • B G Nilsson

    If all the Pro’s excuse me, I do not mind GENI earning money but, I think we’re all losing an awful lot of information by “excluding” free users. Information that are essential for all of us – paying or not!
    Moreover, I am now worried that the business plan alone is to make money, which may mean that future improvements of GENI will cost all users even more, whether you are a life-long member or not?
    … and I´m not whining – I´m only worried… !

  • Ltdix

    I Can’t believe Geni is now limiting me from how many ancestors i add to my tree? Anything above the 4th generation I have to pay for Geni Pro or Plus.

    Geni should take a look a all the negative blogs in reference to this change, on the Introducing Geni Plus page.

    If any thing Geni should be giving me a free geni plus package for all the profiles, pictures, info and documents that I’ve added to my tree

    without our input and contributions, Geni would have nothing to market
    If this is how you treat your founding members, be prepared to loose numerous members as well as their family trees.

    The alternative to Geni is Ancestry.com or ca. you can have a free account and add as many profiles/generations as you want , doc, pic and info, as you so desire without any cost. I can make the choice of a public or private tree ( I’m am not told what generation I have to keep public)

    The biggest advantage is there are no issues accessing your tree, adding ancestors or any other problems that Geni seem to have every time i log-in!!!!!!!

    not to mention the profiles i have lost access to in my Geni tree, because i have invited a family member or tried to collaborate with a distant relative

    Give me a break, you expect me to pay for this, not likely
    Truly disappointed in Geni

  • SoMadRightNow

    I’m so mad right now…I go to add an ancestor, and it says that I have to pay to do this!  Why, oh why, would a genealogy site not let members add ancestors?  Isn’t that the basic premise of a site like this???  It makes no sense whatsoever!  Instead of searching for more ancestors to add, I think I’ll be spending time looking for another site to join to track my ancestors.  Geni, get with it.

  • Pkambarev

    Здравейте, към родословното ми дърво се е закачила покана за платено
    Geni Plus и не мога да се откача от нея. Блокирала ми е работата с дървото и не мога да направя нищо. Маля Ви откачете ме!!

  • Mechonyochsen

    i would like to know how i can delete my profiles because i believe that geni has fraudulently obtained the information by saying in the beginning that i will have control of who comes into the tree and then methodically changing the rules till you lose control and there is nowhere to complain and get it rectified

  • http://profiles.google.com/wydok42 Scott Korin

    Wait a minute!  When I got my pro account, that was $4.95 a month…

    If Geni PLUS is 4.95/month, and that’s “about 40% of the cost of a monthly Geni Pro”, that means the Pro account got more expensive!

  • Unsatisfied Customer

    Funny, I’ve recently upgraded to Pro, but it’s been two days and my account is still at Basic ;) What a superb service does geni.com provide.

    If it continues like this I will stop my payment and remove all the data, as I find this kind of service (if I can call it that) absurd.

    • Anonymous

      That shouldn’t be the case. If you upgraded to Pro, your account would have updated instantly. Someone will be in contact with you shortly.

  • Tanners47

    I finally decided to sign up for GENI pro and was shocked to see that the price had gone up more than 35%.  I received no notification of the increase for a lifetime membership.  Is there anyway to contact staff (other than twitter which I don’t use) to see if I can get in under the old price?  The extra $118 without notice from a service provider is definitely not service oriented and makes me rethink signing up for GENI pro.  HELP! 

    tanners47

  • Tanners47

    I just wrote a post asking how to contact a “real” GENI person by phone or e-mail (not Twitter) regarding the increase in GENI PRO lifetime subscriptions.  I forgot to check that I want replies sent to my e-mail, so I am resending this.  Thanks for any help you can provide.  I too was stunned that this website now limits free usage to just 100 members…but I had planned to join PRO before I knew that.  Since there was no advance notice and I am recovering from surgery, I just saw the changes and price increase this week when I wanted to subscribe to GENI pro.  Any help you can provide is very much appreciated.

  • Dr. Maniza A. Johnson

    your site has the wrong information- stated I am deceased. Please remove me from your site.

  • Suprima87

    It is one of d sites which doesn’t bother about privacy of the customer, I have forgotten both my email address and I have being emaling them about it… I continue to mark emails with no response it is pathtic and worst

    • geniblog

      Hi, please send an email to subscriptions@geni.com and customer service will be happy to assist you.