Answers and advice from the team at Trace

Scoping Terms & Conditions

1. No research will be completed (no records will be produced) during the scoping phase. During this phase, we identify qualified genealogists for your project and compile an organized research plan dictating the research needed to be completed, along with a cost associated with the research.

2. Our Onboarding Team will be emailing you a link to a client brief with questions regarding your research subject(s). It is required that you fill out all the information requested, including uploading relevant genealogical records and answering questions listed to gather more genealogical information for your project. It is imperative that you answer these questions, even if the answer is, "I do not know." Once you have completed our questionnaire, please lock in your answers. We cannot reach out to researchers until you have confirmed that all of the information you have provided is completed. This allows us to gather proposals that are the best fit for you and we can prevent having to revise proposals, which can be frustrating for both you and our researchers, as well as create delays in beginning the research.

3. If you have physical (paper) copies of documents you wish to provide, you can mail in those physical documents. We will scan those and upload physical copies of the documents to your project. There is a small fee for those physical documents to be returned, which is based on the number of pages. If you choose not to have your physical documents returned, they will be shredded. As an alternate solution, you can take your physical documents to a local print shop or office supply store to have those documents scanned locally and provide just the digital copies to us - we recommend this option, to eliminate the risk of your original copies being lost in the mail.

4. If you do request a revision to a proposal after locking in your answers - indicating you presented us with all the information known about the research subject(s) - Trace reserves the right to charge a revision fee for the extra labor necessary to fulfill the request.

5. We can help you save money and time when you provide all records (which can include census, vital and family record, among other record types) and family trees pertaining to the subject of the research and their immediate family members. Please also let us know where you have already searched for information so that we do not duplicate research; this can include websites and/or offline repositories, such as libraries and archives.

6. At times, it may be necessary to conduct preliminary phase(s) of research before we can focus on your ultimate objective. For example, if your ancestor(s) immigrated to the United States from Europe, it may be necessary to carry out a phase of research focusing on United States records before we have the necessary information to efficiently research European records. In the long run, this approach is much more cost-efficient and the chances of positive research findings are increased.

7. We'll make every effort to provide research proposals within 2-4 weeks from the time you locked in your answers on our client brief. However, this process can take longer than 2-4 weeks.

8. We'll make every effort to provide more than one research proposal. This sometimes is not possible due to researcher responses and the feasibility of the research objective. If we are only able to obtain one research proposal and you feel it is not a good fit for your needs, we can explore contacting more researchers for proposals or adjusting the scope of the project.

9. If you need certified copies of documents (for citizenship applications, etc) it's helpful for us to know this up-front. If we don't know this at the start of the project, there may be additional fees and delays to get certified copies of the documents after research has been conducted and records have been obtained.

10. The $150 scoping fee is non-refundable unless we fail to provide proposals within 60 days of the time you provide your family tree and records and answer any questions our Onboarding Team sends to you. Generally, when we are unable to provide a research proposal (or proposals) within that time frame, it is because the research is not possible or the research objective is not feasible. In this case, we will provide you with insight and recommendations for your next steps from our experts.

11. Please note that once we provide a proposal to you, the researcher can only guarantee their availability for up to 60 days after the proposal is presented. If it takes longer than 60 days for you to decide whether you would like to buy the proposal, we reserve the right to find a new researcher, if the original researcher becomes unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.




Proposal Terms & Conditions

1. Research proposals outline research that is to be conducted by the researcher(s). Due to the nature of genealogical research, research outcomes cannot be guaranteed. Accepting and paying for a research proposal serves as an agreement for services rendered as outlined in the proposed research plan(s), regardless of whether the research results in positive or negative findings. All findings, whether positive or negative, will be reported to the client, as outlined in the accepted research plan(s).

2. The proposed research plan(s) is customized to the objective(s) agreed upon by the client at the beginning of the scoping phase. As such, objective(s) cannot be changed after accepting and paying for a research proposal. Subsequent phases of research can be arranged if client desires further research of additional objective(s).

3. In accepting and paying for a research plan(s), client acknowledges they have provided all information, previous research attempts, and records they have applicable to the research subject(s) and objective(s) of this research. All information and records provided by the client were reviewed by members of our team and researcher(s) to create the customized research plan(s). If information and records were not disclosed by the client before payment we are not responsible for any duplicated research efforts or records and client is still required to pay for these efforts.

4. When possible, we provide estimates of the time it will take to conduct the outlined research. While we do our best to conduct research as quickly as possible, there can be unforeseen and uncontrollable delays. As such, these are merely estimates and we cannot guarantee completion within the provided estimates.

5. We reserve the right to reassign your project to another professional in our network, at no additional cost to you, if the researcher becomes unresponsive, ill or unable to complete the project for any reason. This is to ensure you receive the research paid for in the event the original researcher cannot complete the project.




Phone Consultation Terms & Conditions

1. When purchasing a "phone consultation" service from Trace, you are paying for two hours of a researcher's time, in addition to the time spent on your project internally; these two hours include pre-research in preparation for the consultation, a 30-60 minute phone consultation with the researcher and the preparation of a document summarizing key points of the consultation and recommendations for next steps. Trace has the responsibility of reaching out to the client via phone and/or email three times, in an effort to schedule the consultation. If the client has not responded after three contact attempts, Trace will no longer be responsible for setting up the phone consultation with the researcher; however, the client can follow up with us a later date to schedule the consultation.

2. Once a time for the consultation has been agreed upon, the researcher blocks out this time out on their schedule and must be paid for this time. Any cancellations or rescheduling of the appointment must be completed at least two business days in advance (business days are defined as Monday-Friday, excluding United States federal holidays). If notice is not given 2 business days prior to the Trace Team and/or client does not make the consultation appointment for any reason, the researcher will still be paid for that block of time. A new call can be scheduled for a fee of $25. A summary report of research conducted by researcher before the consultation call will be provided to the client, whether or not the client attends their scheduled appointment time.

3. Accepting and scheduling a phone consultation serves as an agreement for services rendered, regardless of whether the research results in positive or negative findings. The proposed phone consultation is customized to the objective(s) agreed upon by the client at the beginning of the scoping phase. As such, objective(s) cannot be changed after accepting and locking in answers on your Project Brief. Subsequent phone consultations or phases of research can be arranged at an additional cost, if the client desires further research of additional objective(s).

4. In accepting and paying for a phone consultation, the client acknowledges they have provided all information, previous research attempts and records they have applicable to the research subject(s) and objective(s) of this research. All information and records provided by the client were reviewed by members of our team and researcher(s) to prepare for your phone consultation. If information and records were not disclosed by the client before payment, Trace is not responsible for any duplicated research efforts or records and client is still required to pay for these efforts.

Why We're Different

The research system is broken. We're fixing it.

Traditional
Research Agencies

Unknown risks and feasibility of project

Large retainer to get started

Small network in few locales

Often focused on specific area

Unexpected fees throughout project

Small team

Uncertain customer service

We de-risk your project before we start

Focused on your end-goal, not billable hours

4,000 researchers in 90+ countries

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