Genes Reunited hit by email gaffe

Family history website Genes Reunited has been hit by a server blunder which saw a number of its subscribers receive nearly 2,500 emails in one day.
The site, launched by Friends Reunited in 2003, boasts 10 million members worldwide. But, while conceding the company had inadvertently deluged a number of its subscribers, a spokeswoman for Genes Reunited claimed it had affected only a “very small” percentage of subscribers and was quickly resolved.
One user said: “All the messages (all 2,486 of them) are the exact same one – just offering an upgrade to their monthly service (I have a free account I’ve not ever really used). It started at 13:00 and the last one I received was at 15:37.”
The gaffe seems to have been the result of an email server timing out during the process of sending messages, repeatedly sending a message but thinking that the operation had not gone through and trying again.
The site allowed free access to its premium content for two hours on New Year’s Eve. It seems the service underestimated demand, resulting in slow access to content for some, who sparking a raft of complaints on the site’s forum.
One wrote: “Am really P……. Off! What few 1911 census records I managed to access during last night’s free access, I saved to the “my favourites” box, thinking I would study them today when I had more time, only to discover the access had been withdrawn, presumably after the 2 hr window!! Thinking about it now, I suppose I should have saved them to my comp, but I really think this is a cheap stunt to pull. Will look elsewhere when I am able to get a subscription.”

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