I recently purchased and installed FTM2012, upgrading from FTM2011. My motivation for upgrading was the "advertised" claim that the company makes related to the new synchronization feature, that in their words allows you to "...update your tree from anywhere...".
I immediately began having problems with this feature. Sometimes it would work and sometimes not. Ancestry's 2nd-level technical support group had me delete my tree in FTM2012 (not on Ancestry!) 3-4 times. There was no progress. Each synch problem was preceded by a message saying that the structure of my tree had changed, although I had not changed anything. I would simply get an unhelpful, uninformative message saying that there was an error and that if it persists I should restart FTM2012 and try again...a solution that never worked one time!
About 10 days after installing the product and having had these problems, I noticed that the media files in my tree on Ancestry were corrupted! The descriptions of the media I had originally created no longer corresponded to the actual image attached to it. For example, a transcription of a parish register in German with a translation into English now had a photo of my father-in-law attached to it.
I again called 2nd-level technical support to report the problem. After an initial phase of denial and finger-pointing on their part, they accepted that something was seriously wrong and that the problem could not have been user-created. (It is impossible for a user to "change" an image attached to a media description once it is created!)
After spending tens of hours working through the problems with 2nd-level tech supp on long-distance calls from Europe to Salt Lake City, as well as numerous detailed emails, I spent tens of hours reconstructing the corresponding media directory on my computer using old non corrupted media files from previous deletions still in my trash (remember, they had me delete my tree 3-4 times early in the process). Finally! I thought "great", now I just have to synch these files up to Ancestry.
I clicked on "Synch Now" and the program went through the motions of doing this. I went to Ancestry.com to see the results and nothing had changed!!!
Again, I reverted to the telephone and called 2nd-level tech supp, who were not aware of the problem. After describing the issue to the same person who had thus far been helping me, he himself replicated the problem! The problem? Changes made in FTM2012 to media files (dates, descriptions, translations, etc.) DO NOT synch up to Ancestry.com.
At the end of his ropes, he suggested that I simply upload a new copy of my tree again to Ancestry. But, while this is technically possible, if a user does this all of the 1.) thousands of hints you have worked through are lost, 2.) all of your user connections are lost!! I explained that I was not willing to lose the thousands of hours I invested in this just because FTM2012 (or Ancestry themselves) have a technical problem. They apologized, but said they could not do more!! Can you image that? As if an apology was sufficient and I would just say "thank you" and restart my work from scratch because they were sorry!
I asked to be escalated to management and was transferred to a supervior who told me that "this is how the product was designed to function". After getting no where with him concerning my problem, I again asked to be escalated to the next level of management. He transferred me to a manager in the executive office (not his manager). This manager was completely lost in terms of my issue, but promised me that the correct manager (the supervisor's manager) in the tech supp group would call me the next day. He did not!
Where am I today? No where. My tree has 9,300 individuals and 2,000 media files. It represents more than 2,500 hours of work. I worked through thousands of hints and established hundreds, if not a thousand, user connections. The tech supp group is aware of the problem, but do not take the problem (or the user) seriously despite all the time I invested to identify and isolate the problem. They simply want to get you off their telephone as fast as possible in the hope that the problem will stay out of sight of other users and, in the view of the author, out of the sight of their own management.
How many of my 2,000+ media files are corrupted? This is the million dollar question! Who knows? Who can sit down and look at 2,000 media files? This is not what I pay an annual subscription for. Even if I wanted to find the exact number, what good would it do if there is no management acceptance of the problem?? I could do what with the total number in the end??
FTM 2012 is unstable and should not be on the market in its present version. It can cause serious damage to your tree. Although the problem has been isolated, there are presently no management resources being applied to fix the problem. They actually told me it is designed to function this way.
If this is true, the advertising and product claim that Ancestry are making, that you will be able to "...update your tree..." are both deliberately "false and misleading", compared to what the company knows about functionality of the product!
An "update" by definition means that the "most recent version of any changes should replace an older version" of what is being changed. I think anyone would agree with this definition. If a user can only synch down from Ancestry to FTM2012 what good is FTM2012?? If a user can make changes on FTM2012 that cannot be uploaded to Ancestry, then I guess this would be a "downdate" not and "update", and again...what good is FTM2012??
Buyer beware! The potential for damage is there and you will not get assistance or a resolution once it happens to you. If you were planning on upgrading to FTM2012, wait! The $XX that it will cost you will be nothing compared to the cost and aggravation of the support you may need, the time you will spend on support calls, the aggravation of the denial and the finger-pointing game you will encounter, etc. If you have upgraded to FTM2012, be careful. You may find it more prudent to go back to FTM2011 until this is resolved...if ever. As previously stated, there is no acceptance on the part of management that this problem even exists!
N.B.: Nothing in this message is intended to berate the quality of support that the 2nd-level support person gave me. He was great, even though he was blindsided by the problems and apparently had internal push-back from the developers and management!