Help System at Family Tree DNA Updated Today

family tree dna logoGroup Administrators received this e-mail on April 1st. Presuming it’s not an April Fools Joke (it’s not), the new system is being implemented today, April 2, 2015 and it looks like it should help a lot with timely responses.

Family Tree DNA writes:

After reviewing several options to speed up e-mail response times and improve overall Customer Support efficiency, we are are putting a new system in place as of 10 am Central Time tomorrow, 2 April, 2015.

You’ll want to pay close attention because this is radically different from what you’re used to doing, but it’s for a good reason.

Until now, many of the emails would come to the general email boxes info@ or, uncategorized, adding the extra step of having to sort and triage emails, which takes a lot of time since they can vary from something as simple as changing a SNP order to more detailed analysis. Long emails with no kit number and an uninformative subject line complicate the process and require time to determine what the real question is.

With the new system, the above email addresses will be deactivated. Incoming emails will receive an automated, but politely worded reply directing the customer – or you – to the re-vamped Contact Us form. This form will require a kit number, unless you’re a new customer, and will require the submitter to choose a subject category.

All questions will be directed through a “Contact Us” form so that they are already categorized and can be routed to the appropriate customer service representatives.

ftdna support page

Again, please note: and will no longer be monitored. Emails sent to either of those addresses will get an auto-response directing the sender to the “Contact Us” form here:

For future reference, a link to the Contact Us form is conveniently located at the bottom of the home page under the “About” column.

ftdna support page 2

There will still be a “Group Projects” category, and for administrators, the email address will still be active, so if you’re writing with questions or situations regarding your project, or if you’re writing on behalf of project members, please use either of those options. The address is a priority category and is monitored regularly.

Please reserve messages to for those that are time-sensitive, urgent, or simply cannot be answered by a CSR. Over the past few months so many routine – though still important – emails have been going to that email address that your Group Project Manager/Liaison cannot answer them all and still perform other duties such as advocating for you with management on important issues regarding group administration.

Important information for you to know and to share with your group members:

  • It’s important to choose the category closest to the topic of your email.
  • Kit numbers are mandatory.There will be an “I don’t have a kit number yet” box to click for new customers. Existing customers can recover their kit number from the “Lost Your Password” link on the login page.
  • Submitting multiple tickets from the same email address about the same issue before having received a reply groups those issues together and puts them at the bottom of the queue. (That will not be the case with, since admins write about different projects and discrete issues from the same email address. Still, please keep in mind our service hours and use your best judgement when submitting a second email about the same issue.)
  • Contact form submissions do not generate a confirmation email at this time. Your submission will be acknowledged on the page and you’ll be given a request ID number.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we work to bring you and your project members better service.



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6 thoughts on “Help System at Family Tree DNA Updated Today

  1. If this is actually true, it’s welcome news. I’ve been less than impressed with both the service (they are way behind in their testing and keep extending my results date ) and are very slow to respond (usually a week or more) to a simple inquiry.

  2. It is welcome news, however they could much improve the current ticket system too. I had actually sent them a suggestion ticket last week which hasn’t been responded to (yet). When they send the confirmation email to acknowledge receipt of ticket they need to include a copy of the ticket or better yet, have it so that we can log back into ticket and update and check status and keep a history. I have 3 open tickets and I have no idea exactly what they were, and sadly when they respond to these tickets they don;t include your original query, it’s a major pain!

  3. the first time I had to contact the help desk (Feb 2014), I had an auto-response right away, and a real reply within 7 days – and an apology for it not being sooner. The matter was complicated, but I got regular updates, and resolution within 14 days.
    The second time was in July 2014, about one of two tests in same batch – one came through, the other didn’t. Auto-reply came 2 weeks later, real reply a couple of weeks after that; resolution not until September.
    With the growth of DNA testing, I understand that there are a lot of missed dates, & everyone is busy. BUT….
    I surely hope that this helps speed things up. Sometimes all you really want to know is that someone is actually working on your issue!

  4. Pingback: DNAeXplain Archives – Introductory DNA | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

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