Thursday, 3 April 2014

New FindmyPast going down like a lead balloon

It would appear that the new version of the FindmyPast website (www.findmypast.co.uk) is going down like a lead balloon with many of its users, if the Feedback thread at http://feedback.findmypast.co.uk/forums/222583-ideas-and-improvements/suggestions/5649598-improve-features-to-bring-in-line-with-the-old-sit is anything to go by.

Some of the more than 600 comments recorded so far include:

"If you won't give us back the old site, please sell it to someone who will."

"So far I do not like your new layout at all. It is cumbersome and difficult to use and definitely not user friendly"

"I found the new site to be painfully slow and totally lacking the user friendly search interaction of the site it's replaced."

"FMP - you have betrayed your loyal subscribers and you need to do something to remedy that."

"Add my name to the list of subscribers who don't like the "improvements"! Bring back the old site. It was so much easier and quicker to use. Why change it when it was much better the way it was."

And there's more at the Review Centre website at http://www.reviewcentre.com/Online-Genealogy/FindMyPast-co-uk-www-findmypast-co-uk--reviews_1451222#Reviews:

"without any notice the original website has been shut down and replaced with a completely inferior, not fit for purpose substitute"

"I am another long-term user of FMP and, up to a few days ago, I was extremely satisfied and a great admirer of the site. No more though, since the change-over to the new search engine. What has made it all so much worse is the company's inability to admit that there is a real and serious problem. All you get is them saying that they are working on the site and things will improve and new things will be added."

"This is an absolute PR disaster that will take some repairing. Serious researchers have been treated in an appalling and condescending manner by FMP if they thought that this "new" site was an improvement."

And these are just a drop in the ocean...

I'm definitely in the same boat. To give an example, yesterday I tried to do a search on a person's name with a fairly unusual surname, using FindmyPast US (www.findmypast.com). With an exact spelling search I got one return. With variants ticked, I got just under 35 million. I've resorted to using exact search and every name variant I can think of myself...! The new search returns also take forever to scroll through, with each returned entry taking up a huge amount of space, meaning endless scrolling to get down through the results.

It looks like FindmyPast may have a bit of a PR job to do - and a considerable amount of homework - to get itself back on track again.

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

38 comments:

  1. I have often wondered why things are often changed without input of those who use it.

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  2. Newspaper search on Weds - 106 items. Downgrade to "improved" FMP and the same result is - 3! Says it all.

    To be avoided at all costs.

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  3. I don't know whether to sit here smugly enjoying the old FindmyPast (and long may it continue), or be concerned that I don't see the new site or any of the issues.

    Hhhmm! maybe I could lease out my login and make some money?

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    Replies
    1. Why of why did I open my mouth. Not 30 minutes later, an e-mail popped into my inbox - welcome to the new FindmyPast. Now I'm on the new site.

      Though my first reaction is positive in that having a worldwide subscription, I am able to look up many more records than previously. First search produced a birth of a relative in California. Though the site was slow.

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  4. It seems that I can no longer download newspaper images. Is this deliberate? If so I will ask for my subscription back.

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    1. The help section gives this answer;

      We are in the process of moving our newspaper articles to a more efficient type of viewer. We have had to temporarily withdraw the print and download options while that happens.

      In the meanwhile, you can work around this by vewing the article, right clicking with your mouse and saving the article to your computer then printing from there.

      Delete
  5. I can't seem to even sign in any more despite repeated attempts

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    1. You aren't the only one, I can't sign in either. I don't think we can be then only ones. I've given up.

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    2. Neither can I. Fed up trying.

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  6. I believe that congratulations rather than commiserations are in order to "Anonymous" who cannot sign in.

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  7. What a frustrating day trying to use the 'new' findmypast. - It froze .. it was SO slow. no idea how to navigate it. I got completely lost on trying to find a parish record page - the only way it would show was by clicking on Report Image error!! There is an old adage... if it ain't broke....

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  8. Wow I though changes are generally supposed to be an improvement, not so with findmypast, whatever were they thinking. It is not user friendly, I have tried looking for things I know are on there especially the Census where I know the area, the name, the age and I get no response. Did they even run an adequate beta trial or just decide to stick it to us poor saps who pay a sub. For instance the ability to search using the mother's maiden name was not available, I flagged this as an issue and was told they were looking into it and I think it is now back, but how could they have allowed this to drop off in the first place? Deaths are hard work too, you may know that someone was alive at a certain date but not when they died so you end up with acres of responses. Whoever signed this off at findmypast needs the sack. Still it opened the door for other companies to get in there, get it right and pick up all those who do not renew their subs.

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  9. WO128 (Imperial Yeomanry) records have vanished. WO128 searches I have made on known dates pre-upgrade no longer appear in my history.
    The old system allowed you to search a single year from the outset. Now you have to narrow the date range in painfully slow steps.

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  10. I used FMP for many years , I used the tree builder for my family tree , but when the new site came out I lost all of my family tree, thank you Findmypast

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  11. I'm having the same problem, I get on to the website, but, when I
    try to sign in the website disappears. I have contacted them
    several times, but, although they are being helpful, none of their
    suggestions work. Everything was ok until they changed everything.
    It looks like I will have to cancel my subscription which I'm reluctant
    to do.

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  12. If a software hacker had got into the Findmypast website with the goal of sabotage, they could not have been more disruptive than the actions of the IT personnel who have been let lose in supposed improvement.

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  13. Come on FMP put your hand up and say you made a complete ***** of it and reinstate the old site which was great.

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  14. I think FMP has forgotten that not all users are genealogists. It was the best, the quickest and the most user-friendly for those of us who needed quick access to years of birth, marriages and deaths for historical research unconnected with genealogy, and to censuses for many local history purposes.

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  15. I will not be renewing my membership if the site remains as it is. I liked the older version where I could find what I was looking for. It is so slow. I'm disgusted.

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  16. Having a good family historian friend who is in despair with FMP's 'improved' site, makes me really glad I subscribe to Ancestry! Genes Reunited did exactly the same a few years ago, and ruined a very nice, user-friendly site. I stopped subscribing! If FMP won't listen to their loyal paying customers, the only way to show them what you think is to hit them financially by stopping your subscriptions. Good luck to you all.

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  17. I have just bought a month subscription for find my past ,I feel like I want my money back , I tried to go into the census but it is confusing it includes land registry which I am not interested in ,I cant get a census only ,what has happened to find my past,it used to be full of useful information ,now you pay your money and just get a head ache,I will not go to this site again they have lost the plot of why we pay our money .It should come with a warning stating that you may be disappointed with lack of information and a full refund is given,no more find my past for me.

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  18. How soon can we have a refund of our subscriptions please - the new site is an absolutely timewasting disaster!

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  19. what I find is that for military searches the browse regiment comes up with a list of unfamiliar acronyms whereas it used to be names you have heard of. Also when it guesses the regiment you're typing in it wont allow you to put it in the search field it just deletes it. Very annoying. Has put me off doing research.

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  20. I thought that I was the only one having difficulties signing in. They told me that there was nothing wrong their end! What IS the point of having all the BMD's under one heading ? very frustrating. I've found that the only way to get births with the mother's maiden name is by going through contact us and then pushing another button.I cannot believe that anybody at FMP thought that it was a step forward.That was why I left Genes and now FMP have done the same thing. Will not being renewing my subscription.

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  21. I paid another fee to my subscription to include the historical newspapers and feel thoroughly cheated.

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  22. I used findmypast in the library. I had assumed only the library offering had been deliberately knobbled by findmypast to discourage its use. It now takes 2 or 3 times as long to work with and the ability to knock-up a sortable spreadsheet from say 300 names has been completely lost. In its current form its not really a sellable product.

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  23. I am obviously having fewer problems than many others but I am unable to print downloads with Internet Explorer. Any advice from fmp has been of no use. Until the upgrade this year I had NO problems. Sorry fmp - I like much that is new, but when I cannot do hardcopies then the new program loses its value.

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  24. FindMyPast australia are signing people up for a one month trial. What they are not saying is after that every month they auto deduct another monthly subscription. This is a scam. Stay away from them.

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  25. I have contacted Findmypast to ask them to cancel my subscription and provide me with a refund on a pro rata basis because the site is no longer providing what I paid for. If everyone who is dissatisfied with the disastrous changes that have been made, perhaps they will take us a bit more seriously?

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  26. I have subscribed 2 times but can't find any Newsletter..... Or any confirmation mail....

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  27. I no longer subscribe to Findmypast because I detest the new format, which does not work one hundredth as well as the old system, but I am still keeping in touch with what users think about the site. Many users think it is a horrible shambles.

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  28. I agree, this site is absolutely awful... A complete waste of time and money. After logging in to the new site, I found all of my saved records had been erased! This means that I have to pay (again) to reinstate them or not bother.
    The latter I think.

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  29. Totally agree with everyone... FMP has gone from being the best to being a total shambles. For crying out loud, bring back the old site

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  30. Add my view to the rest of the above. However, just found out that A-Z button provides better access to the census information than the Census Land and Surveys. How silly is that?

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  31. For those trying to cancel their subscriptions, be grateful you can even access the site! I've not been able to even get to the sign in stage for over two days. The only reason I've kept my subscription to FmP has been to access the census references for the 1911 census (Ancestry doesn't always give the full reference set) so I can enter relatives in LostCousins. However, it now appears that I won't even be able to do that.
    Surely, taking subscription monies and then not providing an adequate service is taking money under false pretences - ie fraud.

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  32. I paid for a 1 month subscription to try out the full services and found there not even to have any sign of the free records that show on Ancestry.co.uk.
    Also having only used it for 1 day have now found that I can't log in. When I request an email to change the password nothing is sent. Is this a professional service or what??? seems like a waste of money if they can't get the basics right. not happy at all.

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  33. And I thought it must be me... I can't get beyond the home page. Cannot sign in to my (one year) subscription any more . Email complaint still awaits a response.. Even before this total failure I was unable to locate individuals on findmypast that I had already located on their site last year! Like others, I think perhaps it's time to move to Ancestry..

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  34. Census images are not loading!! Sep 19, 2014

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