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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that AncestryProGenealogists meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.


Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for AncestryProGenealogists include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 6 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

6 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 1
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 5
Total Closed Complaints 6

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

4 Customer Reviews on AncestryProGenealogists
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 1
Negative Experience 3
Total Customer Reviews 4

Additional Information

BBB file opened: October 29, 2001 Business started: 01/01/1998 Business started locally: 01/01/1998 Business incorporated 10/10/2000 in UT
Type of Entity

Corporation

Contact Information
Customer Contact: Jon Lambert, Company Contact
Business Category

Genealogy Services Genealogists

Alternate Business Names
ProGenealogists, Inc.

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

AncestryProGenealogists has received 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A+.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Additional Locations

  • 324 S State St Ste 100

    Salt Lake City, UT 84111 (800) 596-3230 (801) 596-3230

  • PO Box 900188

    Sandy, UT 84090

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

8/10/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I paid this business $3500 to find my great-great-grandfather's ancestors. They spent that money finding his descendants. I spent two weeks asking for a full refund, during which time they continued their "research". I finally received a partial refund of $2075.50. I want my full $3500 because they did not uphold their end of the contract, which was to find ancestors, not descendants.

Desired Settlement: I want the rest of my $3500 refunded. That is, I want an additional $1424.50 refunded.

Business Response:

 

Contact Name and Title: Jon, Executive Office Response Team

Contact Phone: ###-###-####

Contact Email: ******************************

 

August 5, 2016

 

RE: **** ** *****- Case: ********

 

To Whom It May Concern,

 

Thank you for forwarding Mr. *****’s complaint to us. We have carefully reviewed the request and have the following response.

 

I am sorry that we weren’t able to find more information about your family and that you have not been satisfied with the results of your research project. I want to assure you that AncestryProGenealogists takes your complaint seriously, as our goal is to deliver the very best possible experience to each and every client.

 

I met with your research team and have reviewed their work. We have concluded that the research was diligently conducted in accordance with professional genealogy standards, which are quite rigorous and often more time consuming than may be apparent, particularly in some difficult areas of study.  Accordingly, we feel that your funds were used appropriately and when you asked us to discontinue the research, we did so immediately and issued a refund for the remaining balance of your retainer. No additional research occurred following your request for us to stop.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Jon

Executive Response Team

Ancestry

Business Response:

Title: Jon, Executive Office Response Team

 

August 8, 2016

 

RE: **** ***** – Case: ********

 

Prior to conducting any research services, all AncestryProGenealogist clients agree to terms and conditions that do not guarantee any positive identification of ancestors. Clients engage AncestryProGenealogists to perform research on their behalf in accordance with the highest professional standards and the Code of Ethics published by the Association of Professional Genealogists. Because of variables that can limit success (time allotted, common surnames, time period and place, records availability) during research, there is no guarantee that any specific or positive results will be obtained. In my *****’s case, in order to find his ancestors, we needed to find where exactly he came from, and, in order to do that, we needed to perform a brief exploration of his children to see if they provided any more specific information about his place of origin, because the records found for him directly concerning his origin were vague and contradictory.

 

According to our Cancellation Policy, if any client cancels our services, the cancellation will take effect immediately upon receipt of a cancellation notice. Our researchers will write a summary of the research conducted prior to the receipt of the cancellation notice and calculate the total time spent and expenses incurred. All time and expenses will be deducted from the prepaid retainer and remaining funds will be returned to the client. Our cancellation policy was followed as outlined on our client agreement and Mr. *****’s unused funds were returned.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jon

Executive Response Team

Ancestry

Consumer Response:


Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

I understand that you may not have found my great-great-grandfather's ancestors, and I accepted that as part of the agreement when I paid you. However, because the results that you presented to me were for my great-great-grandfather's descendants, I am only led to believe that my money was not used to perform the research that I intended it to be used for. In other words, I paid for one thing (ancestors) and got a different thing (descendants). This is not about you not finding the ancestors, this is about you using thousands of dollars to find something that you should not have been looking for (descendants).


Sincerely,

**** *****

6/24/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: In October 2015 I entered into a contract with AncestryProGenealogists for them to perform approximately 25 to 30 hours of professional genealogical research working on certain aspects of my family's history, in exchange for $3500. I had built a family tree on ancestry.com many years ago, and had been unable to determine how my great-grandparents had gotten into this country, nor find any information on their life in the old country. I clicked on the "Hire An Expert" tab on the ancestry.com webpage, and was directed to AncestryProGenealogists. Initially I wanted to spend $2000 for this research, but they insisted that it would require $3500 worth of work. I don't know what they based this estimate on. By March 2016 it was clear that they had not performed more than an hour or so of actual research. The documents they found and sent to me were elementary and amateurish; some were incorrect, and some were already in my ancestry.com family tree. They said they were trying to contact someone who had done previous research on Kelme, but that he had not returned their calls. I asked for the return of my mostly unused deposit, but only received $889. AncestryProGenealogists said they used most of my deposit doing the following: Project Oversight: 0.3 Setup of the ProGen Tree and the Research Journal: 2.0 Research 15 Writing 1.1 Proofing: 1.0 Total: 19.4 hours. Plus: Teresa K******, Account Manager, who logged 2.6 hours (covered by the $350 fee).

Desired Settlement: Return of an additional $2496 of my deposit.

Business Response: I am sorry that we weren’t able to find more information about your family and that you have not been satisfied with the results of your research project. I want to assure you that AncestryProGenealogists takes your complaint seriously, as our goal is to deliver the very best possible experience to each and every client. I met with your research team and have reviewed your report along with the detailed research journal. We have concluded that the research was diligently conducted in accordance with professional genealogy standards, which are quite rigorous and often more time consuming than may be apparent, particularly in some difficult areas of study.  Accordingly, we feel that your funds were used appropriately and when you asked us to discontinue the research, we did so immediately.  We are hopeful that our notable findings, including identifying your family’s place of origin in Kelme, Lithuania and uncovering passenger lists for your family members, will help you to further your own research from this point forward.  Although we were not able to uncover all that you desired in this short engagement, we hope that you will not hesitate to reach out to us in the future if you think we might be able to assist.  

Business Response:

I am sorry that we have not been able to come to a satisfactory resolution to the claims raised by Mr. *****. As we state in our Terms and Conditions, family history research can be challenging and no reputable genealogists can predict the finding of a specific document or positive results. The ProGen research team successfully accomplished Mr. *****’s primary goal of discovering the town in Eastern Europe his family resided in prior to coming the United States. Upon finalizing our research, we provided Mr. ***** with a detailed twelve page research journal that outlined our research methods and results, including all research sources, the purpose of each individual document search and our findings and analyses. In addition to the journal we delivered four pages of images and a summary of our work and a detailed invoice. We halted our research efforts immediately upon receiving notice from the client that he wanted us to stop and returned the unused portion of his retainer along with an accounting of our research time and charges.

Consumer Response:

 
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

This complaint is not about their inability to find any new information about my ancestors.  The complaint is that they did not spend the time they claimed they did doing the research.  I believe they only spent one hour working on this matter. 

Numerous other customers have said the same thing about this company.  They do not perform professional research, they just repackage existing information that has been supplied by their customer into a document.  This takes them about one hour. 

Sincerely,

*** *****

12/21/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: On August 28, 2015 I paid Ancestry Progenealogist $2500 to trace an ancestor in my tree. I was initial told 3 months when I spoke with an intake worker. When I spoke to the manager of my session, Sandra G****, she told me 4-6 months and that was what was in the contract. She also told me I would be getting monthly email updates from her on the progress. She said they would be setting up a separate family tree so I can also view the progress as they uncovered information. I was asked to grant her permission to view my family tree and my DNA results - which I immediately did. On September 28, 2015 I got an email from Sandra saying my session was in progress. Not hearing anything after that, I emailed Sandra on November 22, 2015 asking her what exactly has been done with my session since I did not receive the monthly update she promised and there wasn't even a family tree set up for me to view yet. Sandra responded the same day stating she had reached out to Krysten for a more specific update. She also said she would be away for the Thanksgiving holiday but intended to get back to me the first week of December. The first week of December came and went with no communication from Sandra and no indication any work on my ancestor had been started. I emailed Sandra again on December 8, 2015 stating I wanted a refund of my $2500 immediately since I have not heard from her or seen any work completed that I had paid for 3 months ago. More than 24 hours had passed and I had not gotten any type of communication regarding my refund so I sent another email, December 9, 2015. In this email I told Sandra I pulled her access to view my family tree and I also pulled my invitation for her to view my DNA results (at this time I found that she had not even accepted the invitation). I told Sandra I wanted conformation by December 10, 2015 that my refund was in progress or I would start to escalate the issue. Sandra replied via email on December 10, 2015 stating that my issue had been escalated to her manager and Krysten's manager on December 9, 2015 and that she had also followed up with them on December 10, 2015. She also said someone would be contacting me that day. It is now 6 days later and I have not heard from anyone and they still have my money and I have absolutely nothing to show for it.

Desired Settlement: Refund and apology. If it goes past December 28, 2015, I want interest on the money they have held for 3 months.

Business Response:

We sincerely apologize for the incomplete communication with Ms. ******. We did receive her payment and as is our practice, her research project was placed into queue with her research manager. Our practice is to provide updates to our clients each month and while we did meet our initial commitment, we were late in our subsequent communications. Ms. ******’s refund was processed by our accounting department on December 15th 2015 and she received a call from our client relationship manager on December 17th.

Consumer Response:
Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, but I want to be clear and on the record for any other consumer who is thinking of doing business with Ancestry Pro Genealogists. 


In response to the response from Pro Genealogists:

1) The "initial commitment" they met was an email that said my research was IN PROGRESS,  NOT in a queue.

2) The subsequent communication was NOT late, it was non-existent. After 2 months of no communication I asked for a specific update on what had been done to date. This question was never answered. I was repeatedly told it has been escalated. So again, that is not late communication, that non-communication.

3) If Pro Genealogist was truly sorry for their inaction/ lack of communication, why was a refund issued on 12/15 but no one bothered to call or even email me with this information until I filed complaints and publicly shamed them via social media - with me finally receiving a call on 12/17?

4) Yes, I did receive a call from a client manager who assured me, assured me again then reassured me he would call me back the same day to answer my question of what exactly had been done on my ancestor's research up to this point. I have yet to have this man call me back with an answer.  This lack of communication, follow through and follow up seems to be modus operandi for Ancestry Pro Genealogist.

It has become apparent that Pro Genealogists takes consumer's money then puts them in a queue, sends out a form letter email 30 days later stating work has begun (instead of telling the truth that you are still in queue). Their assertion that the research takes 4-6 months is bogus, since nothing was even started on my research within the first 3 months. They simply collected interest on my money for 3 months while I tried fruitlessly to get updates on my ancestor.

The initial reason for contracting Ancestry Pro Genealogists has not been resolved which is finding out about my ancestor.

Buyer Beware!

Sincerely,

*. ******

5/12/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The following email was sent to ProGenealogists:"After waiting for a reply to my email that I wrote to ProGenealogists customer service a year ago, I have yet to receive a reply. My reasoning for the email was to place a complaint against the case manager, **** ********* who I retained to search my great grandfather. I provided Mr. ********* the family history, which included his naturalization paper, articles regarding my great grandfather's history after arriving to the US from Germany, his death certificate and other family history. After many emails back and fourth between Mr. ********* and myself, I received in the mail a book from ProGenealogists containing all the information I had sent originally sent Mr. *********. There was absolutely no new information in the book. I was given the impression when I first spoke and later from emails from Mr. *********, that there was a very good possibility of finding more information on my great grandfather. I believe that after being charged $3,037.00 (which I was more then willing to spend for information), I deserved more than a book with all the information I presented Mr. *********. I could have done that myself. I also received a cover letter from Mr. ********* stating that for an retainer of $2,600.00 he could pursue a further research."I did receive a response finally from Mr. ********* on February 17, 2015. He did not offer to resolve my grievances only quoted in an email the information I had given him to start a genealogy search.

Desired Settlement: I would live a refund from ProGenealogists not another genealogy search. I do not think they (ProGenealogists) are trust worthy. I was given a complaint ID ******** by ******** ******, Dispute Counselor on February 17, 2015

Business Response:

Ms. ****** hired us on 10/19/2012 to conduct research.  The research was completed and shipped to Ms. ****** on 3/1/2013. I can find no record of contact from Ms. ****** until she sent an email on 2/9/2015.

On 2/17/2015 her researcher sent her a lengthy email addressing her concerns and explaining in detail the research that was done.  He also mentioned that his manager would contact her.

In late February the manager spoke with Ms. ****** for about 20 minutes trying to explain the research and address her concerns.  She hung up on him.

I am willing to talk with her about her concerns and get any questions she has about the research addressed if she is open to the discussion.

******* ******

Client Services Manager

************

Consumer Response:

 
Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:  The information that I gave ProGenealogists to trace my family genealogy was retyped and sent to me in a binder.  I did receive a call from Mr. **** ********* and I did hang up on him after being intimidated for 20 minutes by him.  I knew Mr. ********* was not going to help me when he kept asking "what can I do for you" when I was trying to explain my grievance.  I will gladly send ProGenealogists back the binder they sent me.   I already have the information typed by myself, just not in a binder which cost me $3,037.00.  I'm sure that I will never receive any reimbursement back from ProGenealogists, the company is too large for me to fight.

Sincerely,
***** ******

10/17/2014 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: After speaking with representatives from ProGenealogists, assurances of specific services were provided, but the assurances were not honored. I have contacted the persons directly involved at the company who were involved to no avail. I only received excuses for why they admittedly did not keep agreements. I then contacted the company, but my inquiry has gone unanswered. Below are excerpts from my communications sent to the company. I had two preconditions before I could commit to any company: 1) That none of my own research would be redone; 2) That the researches would keep me in the loop and allow me a level of control in the project. ProGenealogists by no means offered to be the cheapest option for me, over the phone name omitted and name omitted were able to offer me assurances that these conditions would be met. They did not promise specific results to the research, and I am aware that such promises cannot be made and I did not have any precondition for results. Your website even indicates that this is how your genealogical research is done. It was an early mistake that has caused me to be suspicious of the quality of work provided by the researchers at ProGenealogists. After a couple phone calls with name omitted to discuss the possibility of starting this project, and discussing in some detail the expectations and the goals that I had for this project (again, I am aware that results cannot be guaranteed), I sent an email containing all of the documents and information that I have on ancestor name and paid to start to project. I was surprised shortly thereafter to get a request from name omitted for a direct link to the FamilySearch family tree of incorrect ancestor name, as he couldn't find him. That he couldn't find this person gives me little surprise, as my ancestor's name is ancestor name, not incorrect ancestor name and I had given him the name both verbally and in writing. I would like to believe that I was not billed for the hours spent looking up the wrong name, but I don't even hope that it is so. After an inauspicious start to the project, I was disappointed that my second condition, so readily agreed to before I had paid any money, went completely ignored. My next communication from ProGenealogiests was the completed project. I know that the time that would have been spent communicating with me would have been billed to my account, but I would have preferred that over being billed for research steps that I would surely have asked the researchers not to pursue. Your website even says that close communication is the best way to determine how to meet research goals, so I find it perplexing that you did not do so. The following is written directly on your website: "Throughout the project your Research Manager will contact you with timely updates and notify you when major milestones are met. Occasionally, research doesn't progress as we'd planned. When this happens, your Research Manager will contact you to reassess your original goals, and together we'll make decisions about how to proceed." None of this was done in my project. In reading the results of the research, I was further disappointed to see that time had been spent validating and confirming the documents that I myself had supplied. This was in complete violation of the first condition I had in hiring ProGenealogists and is compounded by the fact that my conclusions which I had initially stated were deemed correct. In short, I do feel that there has been an egregious mistake made in the communication both before and during the project. I am grateful for some of the work that was done, namely determining the location of my ancestor's marriage, which I had neither the time nor the training to pursue myself. However, I do feel that I was cheated and my money somewhat wasted. Neither of my preconditions was considered during the course of this project. Please do not misunderstand, the lack of results is definitely not the issue. The issue is that commitments on your end were not kept.

Desired Settlement: First of all, I can provide omitted names upon request. I am not after retribution, so I do not want to expose employees of this company to potential problems that can still be averted. I said in my communications that I would leave it to the company to determine what is a fair resolution. Some things I think would be fair are listed below. First, there is still a record on order that the company is waiting to receive. I think I should be provided with this record with no additional charges when it arrives. Second, I think that if the company is to resolve the complaint to my satisfaction, I should be granted a credit to my account for about half of the research I initially ordered so that research can continue using this record after it has been obtained. I would like for such research to be done in accordance with the company's initial agreements with me and I do not want anyone who has previously worked on my project to continue. I only want different researchers to do so. I am not at all interested in cash compensation. The first condition is most important to me. These are only suggestions and I do leave it to the company to determine what is fair given the errors they have made.

Business Response: Contact Name and Title: ***** *******, Product Manager
Contact Phone: ************
Contact Email: ********@ancestry.com
Most of our client sessions take 4-6 months due to the nature of our business. Because of this long process we typically contact clients every 3-4 weeks with updates in the research. In the ******* session, we were actually able to complete his research much more quickly. We were ready to deliver our research findings at week 4.

We have attempted to reach Mr. ******* several times and have recently spoken with Mrs. *******. We have sent the marriage record we had ordered to the *******'s at no additional charge. As we detailed to Mr. ******* in a previous email, the likelihood of the ordered record having any additional details to pursue were low. After receiving the record, the record contained no additional information that could have been utilized during the session. We have also submitted a reimbursement for the unused portion of their initial retainer per Mrs. *******'s request. We asked Mrs. ******* to please have Mr. ******* contact us if he has any additional concerns.

Consumer Response: (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I tried a couple of times to contact the business, but they did not answer the phone, so I left a message which had not been returned. My only remaining problems center around the failure of the business to contact us during the research, which their reply does not actually address, but rather only makes an excuse for why they did not do what they told me they would do. The fact that they could complete the research much more quickly than anticipated is not an acceptable excuse for two reasons. First, they told me they would stay in contact and did not do so. Second, they were not keeping me informed about what they were doing and proceeded to do research I did not want, which could have been avoided by staying in contact as promised. This is detailed in my earlier complaint, but has not been addressed or satisfactorily explained. This practice is dishonest advertising and a misrepresentation. It would be best for the company to cease presenting its practices as they currently do or elaborate upfront as to when their stated business practices do or do not apply because I went into this believing what I was told, which ended up being a falsehood.

Business Response: Contact Name and Title: ******* ******, Client Service Manager
Contact Phone: **********
Our previous response was based off of a conversation that I had with Mr. *******'s wife per his request. After our conversation she seemed very pleased with our resolution and I left her with my direct phone number if there were any other questions or concerns. I was surprised to find out that Mr. ******* is still unhappy and I couldn't find a voicemail indicating Mr. ******* had called back. I am happy to speak with him and encourage him to call me at ************.

Consumer Response: (The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I spoke with ******* ****** on 10/16/2014 and he agreed that the company would provide additional research without charge to remedy the problems outlined in the complaint. Provided that this happens to the standard outlined in the initial complaint, this is an acceptable resolution with which I am satisfied.

3/27/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Failure to return remaining balance. I contacted Progenealogists in 10/2013 to research an ancestor. I received a report in 1/2014, saying that $3,468.55 of my $4,000 payment had been used up. I was offered to have the remaining $531.45 applied to another search, or returned to me. I asked for the remainder to be returned to me. I have received no check from Progenealogists, nor have my let 2 emails been responded to.

Desired Settlement: I want the balance of my prepayment returned to me. $531.45.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 5, 2014/03/17) */ Contact Name and Title: ***** *******, Product Manager Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX Contact Email: ********@ancestry.com According to our records, the client was interested in using the money toward additional research. We were not aware that the client wanted a refund. As soon as we were made aware, we submitted a refund to the clients credit card on March 14, 2014. The refund may take up to 3-5 business days to process. Initial Consumer Rebuttal /* (3000, 7, 2014/03/20) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I contacted my case manager at Progenealogist and told him I wanted the balance of my account returned to me. He did not respond to this request, or a subsequent email. If he had thought I meant to do further business with Progenealogist, why would he not respond? Further, I would prefer a check for the full amount to be sent to me, rather than a reimbursement to my credit card.


Customer Review(s)

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Customer Reviews Summary

4 Customer Reviews on AncestryProGenealogists
Positive Experience (0 reviews)
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