CeCe Moore who writes the Your Genetic Genealogist blog and Richard Hill of DNA Testing Adviser have both drawn attention to somewhat duplicitous Terms of Service (TOS) changes for v3 customers at well-known genetic testing company 23andMe.
I would certainly take note of the censure since both Moore and Hill are known for giving sage advice on the subject of DNA testing and how to get optimal results from the various different categories of DNA testing.
Although 23andMe stated that they didn’t change their TOS, but did change their FAQs.
To get to the bottom line, customers who allow their original commitment of 12 months to expire will not longer have access to their Relative Finder matches and all other features that “rely on your genetic data”.
I did look into using their service a while back in 2010 and was told that I would keep access to the Relative Finder after the mandatory year. Apparently clients who had testing done before the subscription service was put in place are not affected.
CeCe Moore outlined what customers can expect as follows:
“If you cancel your subscription, you will no longer have access to the items listed below:
- Access to hundreds of comprehensive reports that interpret your genetic data
- Continual updates to those reports, based on the latest research discoveries
- Ability to share and compare results with friends and family
- Tools to discover new relatives and learn about your ancestry
We retain your raw genetic data within your 23andMe account, allowing you to download it at any time, even after you cancel your subscription.
You may reinstate your subscription at any time in the future.
If you cancel, you will be unable to share and compare results with friends and family.
If you cancel, people whom you are sharing genomes with will be unable to view your results or compare results with you. It will be the equivalent of you not having shared in the first place.
Canceling your subscription means you no longer have access to features that rely on your genetic data. Canceling has no effect on features that do not rely on your genetic data, such as user-to-user messaging, 23andMe Community, Family Health History, Research Surveys or Research Snippets.
We encourage you to continue using these features, even if you decide not to subscribe to the Personal Genome Service.”
This appears to be the modus operandi of several large organizations who still don’t get it. They see the consumer as having no say because they hold the “oh-well” key. Even a large company like Verizon recently tried to implement a service fee for customers who want to pay their bill online or over the telephone.
This was done in spite of the outrage leveled at Bank of America and others who decided they would charge customers to access their own money.
These inept upper management folks should wake up to the fact that, after all, the customers do have a voice. The actions of these managers very clearly illustrate the “Peter Principle”. ( In a corporate hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence)
If you’d like to read the complete article and sign a petition and add your voice to the situation click on the link Your Genetic Genealogist.