Recently, I wrote to four or five of my private-tree Ancestry-Autosomal-DNA matches with whom I have shared ancestors, as indicated by the green leaf hints. Here's what I wrote to one: "Hi, Apparently we have a shared ancestor because I have a leaf hint attached to our match. Because your tree is private, however, I can't see who it is. Would you please look at your matches with leaves, and tell me who our shared ancestor is? Thank you, Lou"
Response: "I'd love to, but have no idea how to locate the name of the person you are researching. I have over 1500 active hints at the moment, so I don't know how to find the one in common. Can you give me a name?" Aargh!
Here's what I wrote to another: "Hi, we have a DNA shared ancestor hint (little leaf), but your tree is private so I can't see it. Please share the information or your tree? Best, Cousin Lou :)" Response: "Hi, Cousin Lou - What is the relative's name?" Aargh x 2!
My point (at least in part): Many people who have private trees attached to their results are not aware of the unfairness. And, yes, I have written back to them, explained how to sort by hints, how it works for those of us with public trees, and how to use personal ID numbers and match ID numbers to find our match. Perhaps I will hear back from these well-meaning possible cousins.
Another, admittedly snarky, point: Those two responses seem a bit like "Let them eat cake."