Beware Of MyHeritage.com - Your Private Information Is Not Safe!
Posted by kevinmcl on 2009-02-15
ISRAEL -- Beware of these people, I have found them to be dishonest and incompetent. MyHeritage is based in Israel.
Several months ago, one of my relatives invited me to join this site as he had established a family tree there. Since that time MyHeritage has repeatedly reduced free site storage and capabilities, presumably to persuade us to become paid subscribers.
If that weren't enough, they assured us that our private information was safe - it isn't. Even with the family site configured to only allow member access and to prevent members inviting further members, it was very easy to circumvent this due to the poor design of MyHeritage's website and software. MyHeritage's support has been unresponsive and a hindrance rather than a help. For example, in addition to deleting a bogus member account they also deleted a valid member account, causing a significant loss of uploaded data.
MyHeritage have repeatedly misled us about the creation and deletion of family sites, often sending simultaneously emails that contradict each other!
Please be aware that it is very easy to compromise MyHeritage's privacy settings - consider any information that you upload to be public.
Please also be aware that, before you spend the time and effort creating a family tree, uploading pictures, etc., this time and effort could easily be wasted due to MyHeritage "mistakenly" deleting your account!
Please be aware of MyHeritage's ethical standards. Bait and switch is bad enough, but lying to customers is worse.
My advice is to be absolutely sure that you want to entrust your family's personal information to these people before you put the time and effort into setting up a family web site, even a free one!
Company Response 03/28/2009: We appreciate feedback from customers but do not believe the consumer review posted here is balanced. The customer claimed that a relative invited him/her to an established family site, and then capabilities were reduced to persuade them to become paid subscribers. First, a family site subscription on MyHeritage, unlike other sites, is not for a single user: a single subscription covers the entire family, so even if just one family member upgrades a family site, hundreds of other relatives can enjoy the site for free without subscribing too. This was not mentioned in this inflammatory consumer review. Second, the claim that the company has "repeatedly" reduced storage and capabilities is false. Never has any product capability or functionality available for free on MyHeritage, been made non-free. At one time in the history of the company, around December 2008, we've had to reduce the total family tree individual quota available for free from 1000 to 500 names in order to avoid too many users taking advantage of the company's services without paying. This still allowed customers to maintain trees of any size on their computers using the free family tree software that we provided and no data was deleted.
Private data posted on family sites, is safe and secure, as testified by more than 7 million satisfied customers who have posted their family trees on MyHeritage, and have not reported any problems. If a privacy breach is suspected, e.g. one relative posts the details of another relative without permission, the company deletes any data as requested by its owners within 1 to 2 business days. Currently, invited family members can invite other family members to the site, because the site is a collaborative family platform. We are working on a method that will allow a site manager to prevent this, and we admit that the current configuration to prevent it is not working yet. With respect to any paying customer, MyHeritage has a complete refund policy, so that any paying customer who reports a complaint or dissatisfaction receives their money back regardless of how old the purchase is and how much of it was already used.
The claims in this review were clearly written by an unhappy user. We respect that occasionally there are dissatisfied customers and do our best to keep all of our customers happy. We delete data upon request and due to human error, have mistakenly deleted the wrong data only 2-3 times in the 5-year history of the company (once, so it seems, it happened for this complaining user).
We help our customers respectfully, and regret that we were unable to keep this particular customer happy.