So, there is Ancestry, by far the biggest player in the market, and there is findmypast (of the brightsolid family) making great headway. But do either of them understand that their products are GLOBAL?
My Ancestry subscription was up for renewal last month, and I was due to upgrade to Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 (which I purchased in GBP for half the AUD price), so I called Ancestry to update my credit card details and to add the free six months that came with the program purchase. The free six months came first, so my credit card hasn't been charged yet, but they downgraded my package from World Heritage to UK Premium, so I can't even access the Australian records. Now, that's fine, but I'm finding it frustrating so I thought I would upgrade back up to World Heritage... so imagine my horror when I discovered it was going to cost me AU$449.95 (even AFTER the FTM purchase). So I decided to take some time to consider my options... switch to findmypast or bite the bullet, and renew with Ancestry. And I was astounded at what I found out.
Ancestry renewal prices for World access (12 months):
Ancestry.co.uk GBP155.40 (AUD237.48)*
Ancestry.com USD299.40 (AUD288.94)
Why on earth would Australian's renew on the Australian site? It is ABSURD!
findmypast new subscription prices for World access (12 months):
findmypast.com.au AUD224.96 (promotional rate until 31 August 2012, afterwards AUD249.95)
findmypast.co.uk doesn't offer world access, UK only access (not including Ireland) is GBP109.95
findmypast.com USD59.40 (AUD57.33) (promotional rate until 9 September 2012, afterwards USD249.95 or AUD241.22)
Again, why on earth would Australians sign up for the Australian promotional offer, when they can sign up for the US one? At least findmypast's regular prices are comparable.
I still haven't decided what I will do, and would welcome some feedback about what sites other researchers prefer. I have used findmypast.co.uk during a 14 day free trial about 12 months ago, and whilst I like their user interface, I just found they didn't have the volume of records that Ancestry has (and they also couldn't help me with my European ancestry).
Maybe I'll renew on Ancestry.co.uk and sign up on findmypast.com and still spend $155 less than if I had renewed on Ancestry.com.au.
Which one do you use? Do you have subscriptions to both? Do you go to a library instead? Or are you a super thrifty genie and only use free records?
*edit - when I actually clicked through to renew, the price came down to GBP135.13 (AUD206.50)