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Overall Score 7/10
Of all the people search databases available online, Spokeo has one of the more well known online presences and user-friendly platforms. Since inception in 2006, they’ve garnered attention by a variety of news publications including Forbes, CNBC, and New York Times. Spokeo has app downloads available via Google Play and the Apple App Store and the website claims to serve 18 million monthly visitors.
According to the “About” page, Spokeo exists to help users know more about the people in their lives by providing access to social media profiles, court records, criminal records, and basic information like names, phone numbers, marital status, and more. They advertise this platform for “research” purposes to look up unknown callers, dating purposes, and researching prospective neighborhoods for a move in addition to helping users “reconnect” family, friends, and loved ones. In addition to the people searching options, Spokeo also provides background searches and criminal records. Overall, over 12 billion records are compiled through Spokeo reports, including information about individuals outside of the United States.
Up to date, real time searches
Social media searches on 65 sites
Low price trial (7 days)
Fast, detailed reports
Detailed criminal reports
Limited number of monthly searches
No rollover option for leftover searches
Difficult to opt out
Spokeo offers three tiers of monthly subscription options that get progressively cheaper for longer upfront agreements. Opting for a one month subscription costs $19.95. A three month subscription costs $14.95/month and a full year costs $7.95
Ease of Use
The Spokeo website offers the user a fresh, modern, and approachable interface with a variety of information about how the company operates and interacts with its users and online community. The home page provides a central search feature with options for Name, Social, Phone, and Address. There is also an alphabetized search database with commonly used last names, though the results are someone limited. The homepage also offers recent announcements and accolades the company has received in the past few years.
The information uncovered is largely dependent on the type of search chosen. In addition to all the basic information like names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, Spokeo has the added benefit of bringing up information about the person being searched for regarding dating site profiles, blog posts they’ve written, photos and videos of them, and even product reviews they’ve completed on online shopping sites under their name.
As with most background checking services, the most detailed reports Spokeo offers are for criminal searches. Court records, arrest reports, outstanding warrants, and sex offender reports are all part of Spokeo’s criminal search database and typically very accurate. Depending on the search parameters entered, marriage and divorce information and documents may also turn up.
The blog section on spokeo.com is called “The Compass,” which offers up to date featured articles as of this writing (January 2018). There are also a “Culture” section on the site with photos and information of the company leadership and a sizeable, happy-looking community of Spokeo employees. The “Community” section itself offers information about how Spokeo engages in outreach programs, scholarships, and grants, which lends an added level of trustworthiness and credibility to Spokeo for maintaining a widespread public presence.
Spokeo, Inc is registered to two different locations in Pasadena, California and holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. According to BBB, there have been 269 complaints closed in the past three years, 48 of which were in the past 12 months. The majority of these, 121, are billing/collection issues with a runner-up of 99 problems with the product/service. Like many other background checking services, many of the complaints appear derivative of the user not realizing that Spokeo will set up an automatic subscription service if the free trial of seven days is not cancelled in time. However, Spokeo appears to have a solid record of resolving these issues and issuing refunds accordingly to the customers that fall victim to this unsuspecting charge.
With that said, an internet search of Spokeo will result in a variety of feedback about the service. Still, Spokeo seems to take negative experiences very seriously and disputes are met with a prompt response by a representative offering resolution, even on third party sites like Consumer Affairs and Sitejabber. Some users expressed dissatisfaction with unlisted numbers or emails or otherwise outdated information, while some complained about the limit on quantity of monthly searches outlined in the subscription. But many customers have used Spokeo to find old classmates for highschool reunions or old colleagues from the military.
All in all, Spokeo offers a fairly comprehensive array of search options to the user. Though there’s a cap on the quantity, the searches provided are fairly accurate and affordable given the amount of detail provided. Customer service is readily available with three levels of support (phone, email, and live chat) and seeks out customers that have a particularly negative experience. Users that know what they’re searching and paying for have positive feedback, while less-specific searches from those who fail to read the fine print typically yield less than positive reviews.Visit Spokeo
Note: This Background Check service is not FCRA compliant. You may not use this background check service, or the information it provides, to make decisions about consumer credit, employment, insurance, tenant screening, or any other purpose that would require FCRA compliance. This is applicable, but not limited to, a Background Search, Credit Background Check, Criminal Background Check, and/or Driving Record. Instant Checkmate is not a consumer reporting agency and does not, and cannot, provide consumer reports. These terms have special meanings under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 USC 1681 et seq., ("FCRA"), which are incorporated herein by reference.
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