I received two emails today from AncestryDNA, the autosomal DNA testing portion of the Ancestry.com genealogy empire. You’ve no doubt seen their TV commercials, web advertisements or some other marketing message telling you that you would find so many new cousins through this service. I will be the first to admit that I am an AncestryDNA customer. As I wrote about here, I took one of their DNA tests and as a result, I have in fact connected with several new cousins.
I have a lot of problems with AncestryDNA and how they limit their customers access to information. There are other DNA testing companies which offer users tools to compare matches at the chromosomal level. AncestryDNA basically tells who a match is and forces you to figure out the rest. Today’s beef with Ancestry isn’t so much about their user capabilities, but with their marketing.
At 12:30 p.m. Eastern, I received, in part, this message advertising a discount of the AncestryDNA test price from $99 to $79, a 20% discount and the least expensive one can usually find this test.
I read this email and moved on, but an hour and 45 minutes later, I received this email from AncestryDNA offering only a 10% discount:
So can I buy the test for $79 or $89? It turns out both. I was able to load tests priced at both $79 and $89 into my shopping cart. I did not go forward with the purchase, but was only a “Submit” button away from doing so.
When AncestryDNA holds a sale, it sends that information far and wide and bloggers, such as myself, share that information with readers. It’s confusing, manipulative, and wrong to market the same product for two different prices to the same audience. While I appreciate the sale price, I would prefer some honesty in marketing.