MyHeritage -- Snaps Up

Started by Peter Rohel on Wednesday, November 28, 2012


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Showing 181-210 of 789 posts
Private User
12/8/2012 at 1:54 PM


The corporate legal entity of MyHeritage is not, I believe, located in the USA. I do not know how exactly that works for but I imagine that will be posted on their official pages in due course, if it isn't already.

Private User
12/8/2012 at 1:58 PM

Erica - re: "the copy I saw was from MyHeritage" - the copy of what? Simply some announcement telling that MyHeritage had bought Geni?

OR -
If you have something from MyHeritage telling about Geni Lifetime Memberships - could you copy it here?

12/8/2012 at 2:10 PM

There's a number of things I can think of that could cause MyHeritage to want to suspend lifetime membership.
1. A substantial change in membership price
2. Something they discovered in the membership model that could cause them to loose more money in the end.

I want to see the Geni website continue to survive as much as possible and if they need to change the membership's then that's what needs to happen

I think that in the very least, Geni owes each individual Geni Pro lifetime member public acknowledgment for buying into their lifetime subscription only to have the terms changed on us. I think this could come in many forms, a permanent acknowledgment page with the Geni Pro lifetime user's names listed, a special icon next to our profile picture that we can turn on and off etc.

Optimally though I would like it if Geni would allow us to keep our lifetime membership even if that means removing all their graphics from the pages to conserve bandwidth or building a free offline application that would allow us to access and do the same thing we're doing now on our computers and not entirely on their server.

As for the extra functionality on MyHeritage that Geni Pro lifetime members are getting... It's nice but that's not what we purchased and I think if we wanted that instead then we would all have accounts on MyHeritage long before the Geni MyHeritage merge occurred.

12/8/2012 at 2:19 PM

OK, i see, that MH buying was just an example to make my point. I didn´t know the sizes of each company.

Private User
12/8/2012 at 2:47 PM

Jeremiah I like the way you're thinking.

"I want to see the Geni website continue to survive as much as possible and if they need to change the membership's then that's what needs to happen."

I was just thinking about why I would have bought Lifetime - which I should have done, it was a great deal.

But it would have been because I was investing in a superior product & service, superior because

1) the technology
2) the look and feel
3) the wonderful, committed, passionate genealogist / technologists who made this happen & continue to
4) the community who share their research, most of all

Private User
12/8/2012 at 2:48 PM

Lois no I didn't get an offer myself so I take your word that it came from a Geni email address.

Private User
12/8/2012 at 4:10 PM

Enrique I hope you're not addressing me because I've made no comments. I don't feel entitled to as I am not a lifetime PRO subscriber.

12/8/2012 at 4:16 PM

Erica -- Why would you think that I am addressing you?

12/8/2012 at 4:22 PM

Andrew de Naray -- I applaud you for your bravery and I am with you all the way!

12/8/2012 at 4:29 PM

Erica, I wish you would have taken the opportunity like the rest of us and I wanted to comment a little on #1. The technology that allows this to all happen is the Internet and before that I was a Sysop of my BBS. Back then it was all about the phone line and using that to have pools of information come together. I feel Geni has inherited the properties of the dial up line and kinda modeled it in such a way that allows us to bring the information together in such a way that it becomes useful to a family tree researcher. But I think the most important aspect of Geni that is unlike any other major commercial website is that Geni allows you to do that with no limits to the amount of information you can add, the amount of media etc. Take a look at or even wikipedia and imagine what those sites would look like if every person was limited to just 250 photos and remember not every person on those sites takes advantage of the 250 photo limit. I think you'd find on those sites that people upload thousands of photos and I just can't imagine what a site like findagrave or wikipedia would look like if after the 250th photo that was it. That's why I really wish you would have taken advantage of the Geni Pro life subscription because you'd then see what the rest of us are seeing on this site. Granted there are some that do invest in the yearly membership and some Geni Pro lifetime subscribers may opt into the five year membership plan but the thing is that none of these other websites do that and I feel that there is going to be an impact to this website if Geni stops supporting the Geni Pro lifetime subscription.

Private User
12/8/2012 at 5:33 PM

Now you've given me something to comment on - the unique value of Geni and a bit of it's "institutional memory.".

I believe Geni has created the best on line collaborative site ever and look forward to it's continuing growth and improvement.

I started in family research with books and Lotus 1-2-3 spread sheets. :) (BTW - they still work!)

A lot of what you describe is exactly Geni's heritage, and they've created something new and unique from that strand, as well as the other strands of FaceBook & Wikipedia. And it's not easy to do all that in 5 years, and I don't know what the next 5 years will bring. I do hope MyHeritage can begin to appreciate the incredible value this "property" actually has.

For me it's about building and creating and sharing information. I wish I had bought a lifetime membership when it was on offer (I bought annual subscriptions instead). Because the learning value from one week on Geni is worth the annual charge to me. Because creativity has no dollar value. Because the passion and commitment and spirit of Geni members is beyond price, and needs to be understood and rewarded in every conceivable way.

Private User
12/9/2012 at 2:49 AM

Michael Why not pass it by and let the thread die out on it's own. Let those that want to add info or express their feelings go. It's not costing you anything...ttfn

12/9/2012 at 10:21 AM

@Erica Isabel Howton as far as constructive criticism, I like the idea of the posters who are suggesting ways that membership could roll over as it expires every five years. Another option would be to program the site so that lifetime members would still have access to all the Geni capabilities that they did prior the the buyout, but just no access to the MyHeritage searches. (Basically like, where you would be alerted that there are record hints available, but you cannot view them unless you want to pay for it). Personally, I would be intrigued by, and willing to pay for access to, any records available for my ancestors that I do not already have. A teaser like that could could possibly them recoup any lost revenue from honoring lifetime memberships.

I think what @Lois Harriet Lubin is getting at (and I agree), is that there is not even a hint of remorse about this. We were just emailed and told matter-of-factly that we are basically getting hoodwinked, but "Hey, this is such a great deal for us that you just need to get over it!" REALLY poor method of dealing with people who obviously believed so much in your product that they were willing to plunk down what, for many, is a small fortune to have guaranteed access. There wasn't even an offer to give a refund vs. transferring us to MyHeritage access.

And to @Enrique Treat Gleason-Aguiluz, Esq. -- I agree that it would be interesting to know how many lifetime subscribers they have. In other words, how much do they have to lose from just simply grandfathering lifetime subscribers in, versus alienating them by treating them so poorly. Really? Is it really worth it to rip off the very people that cared about your service so much that they were willing to pay a lot of money to "get married" to it for lifetime?! It's just totally counter-intuitive. And wrong!

12/9/2012 at 10:23 AM

sorry, my links didn't work:

Private User
Private User
Enrique Treat Gleason-Aguiluz, Esq.

12/9/2012 at 11:47 AM

Andrew de Naray -- Very nicely summarized!

It would also be nice to quantify the value of all the work contributed to Geni by its Lifetime Subscribers. I am certain that we Lifetime Subscribers have made quite a significant and impressive contribution to Geni. In essence, we've been paying to do a bulk of the work for Geni. Yes, it's true that we each benefit tremendously by paying to do the work for Geni but, at the same time, Geni is also benefitting tremendously from the sum of all of our individual profile contributions. For example, in less than one year I've added 3,732 profiles, I currently manage 4008 profiles, and I've invited 32 individuals.

Private User
12/9/2012 at 12:28 PM

Andrew nicely thought out suggestions, thank you. I'm trying to think from my own point of view. The record hints might drive me out of my mind: I'm not good with naggers, and would rather go looking when I need to / want to. But that's me! Paying per record is definitely a quite valid option.

Here's a question I've been thinking about. My bank (grin) hasn't managed to stay the same for five years, much less my lifetime. Yet when I trace "my bank genealogy" guess what - it's the same bank as my first passbook savings account for baby sitting money at age 11. Would they have "honored" lifetime memberships if they had had it as a promotion instead of toasters?

12/9/2012 at 1:21 PM

Private User I really think that's an apples to oranges comparison. I've never purchased anything from a bank that was considered "lifetime," so I don't get the similarity. In fact banks probably wouldn't sell anything termed for a lifetime for this very reason...

Perhaps Geni was foolhardy for selling lifetime memberships, but that does not absolve them from honoring them, IMO.

If you buy something with a lifetime warranty, does that not cover the product for its lifetime? Maybe it doesn't cover the product if the product itself changes hands, but if you are still the original owner of the product, and the company that created the product still exists, then it seems to me that they should honor that contract.

12/9/2012 at 1:47 PM

I've had an at&t credit card with a no annual fee lifetime guarantee for about 20+ years. It keeps getting traded around to different banks, switched from visa to mastercard, but the no annual fee part has never changed.

12/9/2012 at 2:26 PM

Well there you are. :) And for a period of time, I think ATT even ceased being called AT&T, didn't they? "AT&T is now Cingular." Remember that? (Although they eventually changed back.)

12/9/2012 at 2:39 PM

I agree with Andrew de Naray and Randy Schoenberg

"Perhaps Geni was foolhardy for selling lifetime memberships, but that does not absolve them from honoring them, IMO."

"I've had an at&t credit card with a no annual fee lifetime guarantee for about 20+ years. It keeps getting traded around to different banks, switched from visa to mastercard, but the no annual fee part has never changed."

Boy if a credit card company and various bank can honor a lifetime agreement, you'd think anyone could!

12/9/2012 at 3:30 PM

Jill Bogdanowicz-Wilson -- Well stated! If reputable American companies can do it, Geni and HM Should be able to do it!

12/10/2012 at 9:24 AM

i don't see geni changing their ways unless a certian well known warm place suddenly freezes over or washington dc gets involved neither of which is likely

12/10/2012 at 11:13 AM

You see there is an Estonian proverb: "Let the dogs bark, the caravan will go on."

Private User
12/10/2012 at 11:32 AM

Sent an email to the address they told me to 3 days ago and I still haven't gotten a reply! :(

Private User
12/10/2012 at 11:49 AM

The smart matches offered by My Heritage to Geni's lifetime subscribers - isn´t it the same as you are able to find by yourself for free on the internet? Familysearch, Find a Grave, and various other sites.

12/10/2012 at 11:58 AM

Private User true. if one took the time to hunt for things 24/7
not every body wants to or has time to take that up however.. and then their are accuracy issues.. i've seen my name spelled 3 different ways over 3 diffrect sources...

Private User
12/10/2012 at 12:05 PM

Got my reply from subscriptions today, and all they want to offer is a refund, which of course does not address my concerns at all. I spent the time to add more than 18,000 profiles. I'm sure I can't get them all out because I work with collaborators, so not all of my profiles connect to each other. I simply want what I paid for - the right to work on my tree for as long as I care to do so!

12/10/2012 at 12:06 PM

Lizzie, I have not received a reply to my email sent to the "@subscriptions" email address last Friday morning, either.

12/10/2012 at 12:16 PM

Private User, it's true, this goes beyond money. There has been time invested.

And another question is, now that they have changed the rules, what is a "lifetime subscription" worth? If say, 5 years is now worth roughly $400, then what does that mean when you multiply by how many remaining years you would have utilized your subscription? Hypothetically, I could live for another 50, or maybe more. So, although it's better than nothing, a simple refund still doesn't truly fulfill their obligation as far as I'm concerned.

And to your point, if you discontinue your use of Geni now, how many hours of your life were spent contributing to a site that you no longer use? What is the dollar value on that?

I'm just sick about this. I really thought Geni had a great mission, and now they're ruining it with this nonsense.

12/10/2012 at 12:39 PM

Private User,
Same thing here! Same offer, but I'm not impressed!
Andrew de Naray
I couldn't agree more with your message.

For me personally I don't want to abandon my work! I've put too much into it. I still think it's a great site, I'm just not happy with what geni is doing about us - the lifetime members.

I'm holding out hope that they will make this right.

Showing 181-210 of 789 posts

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