I see also that 330 days ago Esther W. of myheritage replied to a question on this with: "f you are a member of the basic site (a non-paying member), then your total limit of people that you enter is 1000 people." I understand from this that in less than a year, the company has halved the number of people one can have in one's sites and is now halving it again.
Back in January 2006, this blog (http://genealogy-journey.blogspot.com/2006/01/myheritagecom-powerful-new-genealogy.html) noted: "One thing I’m worried about is that I don’t see how MyHeritage.com plans to support their business. I didn’t see any obvious signs of advertising support, so I hope they’re not offering free access for a bit and changing to subscription mode later. Of course, other companies do this all the time and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – I would just be disappointed if it were true."
In mid-February this year a "company response" was posted to a negative review at http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=49348. It included the following:"... 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."
That has the ring of an adamant insistence that something like that happened once and won't happen again. I would very much appreciate an official response on this thread.
I don't get it. It's important enough to mail everyone about, but doesn't make it as an item on the blog - or is that only for the good news?
I have no doubt they have covered themselves legally, but the biggest problem is not that they take away 75% of something they were offering for free (making it 100% useless for many). It is that by soliciting all the free users when there was a ceiling of 1000 people per tree, they have taken in a great deal of information, which is an asset that translates to cash, and not only in the limited sense of luring in more people as users. If - and this is where myheritage really owes people a clear answer and a clear chance to get out before such action is taken - they are stopping access by the user/contributor just because they are one person over the (brand new) limit, and can still use that info (say to Smart Match someone else's tree), there seems to be a serious problem. If I tell you you can deposit something with me and then reduce the amount you can deposit free after the fact and deny you access to what you've already deposited, but still am free to use it for my own benefit... well, need I say more?
If they wanted to appear fairer, they could still freeze your account after the cut-off date and then set a time limit for your decision. If after that date you hadn't chosen to upgrade, they could close your account, but not without putting all your info in a GeDCOM file which they mail to you (so you can't continue but haven't lost the results of your work just because you don't intend to fork out money you never planned on), and guarantee you it is all expunged from their database. Maybe not pleasant, but much better than what may actually be happening (hint hint - myheritage, please confirm or deny, somewhere everyone can see it).
We can assure you that no data will be deleted and whatever trees you have created on MyHeritage they are safe. On the 'family tree > manage trees' page you have full control over your trees and you can import, export or delete at any time.
By the way: Charlie has had a bug on his site, we have been in touch with him and his problem is sorted.
There is also more information on our blog about the new plans.
Let me mention again, that we are keeping existing features free so all users can enjoy them and only keep some of the additional functionality to Premium users.
There are lots of enhancements, like the mobile photo uploads, the new photo tagging, the new slideshows and also the new events section that were released for all users completely free of charge.
If you like the features of MyHeritage.com and Family Tree Builder software, we'd like to recommend our special discount of 35% that will give you access to all premium features and increase the limits significantly. That way you are also supporting further genealogical innovations and continued development of new features.
Thanks again for your trust in MyHeritage and we hope you appreciate our services.
I think the above is good news. I am still a bit confused on the status of existing trees that will exceed the new limits (Aug 1) , but do not exceed the old (current) limits. As I understant it nothing will be deleted. Are the sites then "frozen" at the current configuration or will the old/current limits apply?
Thank you, Mario. As you seem to understand, it is very important to address these questions quickly, before the rumour mill takes over. I'm glad to see it's now on the blog. I look forward to further developments.