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[Resolved] / bait and switch

1 United States
Contact information:

According to Renee Berg, Intelius Supervisor, Employee ID 8114, in a conversation 12/15/2010 at 12:28 pm:

Intelius is aware that the information furnished in all of their reports is information that is available on the internet for free. Ms. Berg stated that the information is pulled from a search of the internet and "aggregated" into the report that is requested.

Ms. Berg also stated that Intelius does not imply the information frnished is not available for free elsewhere.

Terms of Service:

Disclaimer Of Warranties. The information in the Intelius databases has been compiled from public records and other proprietary sources for the specific purposes of (1) locating individuals, property and businesses, and/or (2) providing general background information about individuals and businesses for verification purposes. Neither Intelius nor any of our data suppliers represents or warrants that the Information is current, complete or accurate. Intelius HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES REGARDING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICE AND THE ACCURACY, CURRENCY, OR COMPLETENESS OF THE INFORMATION, INCLUDING (WITHOUT LIMITATION) ALL WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ADDITIONALLY, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL WE BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING (WITHOUT LIMITATION) ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS, OR ANY OTHER CLAIMS OF YOURS OR THIRD PARTIES, EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. You assume all risks associated with the use of our databases and information.

Ms. Berg also stated that ALL Intelius information provided comes from free sources. The statement in the terms of service suggests a relationship with "our data sources" and also indemnifies those sources from responsibility. How do you indemnify a source that you do not have a contract with?

I did a random phone call verification on 3 common "pay for" sources of public records information. None of those sources list Intelius as a client. Intelius refuses to identify who they pay to provide their information.

Here is what Intelius states on their website is included in a Backgrond check:

What is issued within the Background Check?
Intelius provides instant and comprehensive Background Searches on anyone. This detailed search includes the following information:

Criminal Check
Small Claims
Property Info (If available)
Neighbors (If available)
Tax Liens
20 Year Address History
And Much More

The background check that I was charge 40.00 for had one address that was 15 years old for the name I was searching for. That person's address history showing addresses for 20 years prior is available for free on the internet because I found it. So, Intelius did not furnish me a 20 year address history which is a breech of what they claim on the website. In fact, it is a lie and the terms of service confirms it is a lie. I am surprised they don't add "if available" to that claim.

The report did not have lein information that appears on a credit report for the person requested in the state that the address is listed for. So, that verifies that Intelius does not have access to Virginia State court records that are public. The person does in fact have a judgement and a current lien as well as a 3 year old bankruptcy.

The Intelius "terms of service" state:

Intelius will use reasonable efforts to deliver the information services to its customers, and to compile information gathered from selected public records and other sources; provided, however, customer accepts all information "AS IS". All purchases are final with no refunds. Furthermore, Intelius accesses and is charged for information controlled by third parties and cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information.

Comments about these terms: If Intelius is paying other sources for information that can be had for free from the internet, they are complete idiots. Ms. Berg stated that all information they report is from "free" sources obtained in internet searches.

Ms Berg argued that since the terms of service disclaim any understandings that a consumer may get from statements otherwise on the website, Intelilius is not at fault.

Intelius is incorporated in Washington State. I would suggest that anyone who feels Intelius has used misleading and false statements on their website to obtain consumer monies call the Washington State Consumer Protection Division at this number and file a complaint:


  • Resolution statement

    Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.

  • Intelius Customer Care's Response, Dec 20, 2010

    If you still need help with your account, please call 888-445-2727 Monday to Friday from 5am to 8pm and Saturday from 6am to 4:30pm. We will be more than happy to assist you.

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