[Resolved] Spokeo / membership

Contact information:

Date: 4/2/2017

Spokeo flagged my account as being in violation of their TOS, then banned me for life, all because I answered a survey question in 3 seconds without understanding it was a lifetime binding contract.

Upon logging in, I presented with what I interpreted as a survey, and responded with the reasons I believed Spokeo would be useful to people. One of my responses included, "tenant screening, " which is a violation of their TOS. The problem is this: I never used Spokeo for tenant screening and never would (that is what credit reports and criminal background checks are for). Mostly, I used Spokeo to check how much of my personal life is discover able online.

In any case, my explanation was not good enough for Spokeo and they are standing by their permanent closure of my account because it was "flagged."

It makes absolutely no sense that answering a survey question could have such long-term and bizarre consequences.

Their survey question needed a clear warning at the top of the page. Alternatively, if there was no warning of possible consequences, their system could have presented me with a pop-up after I submitted the survey response with strong, clarifying language and required me to affirm acceptance of their TOS (e.g. language such as, "you indicated that Spokeo would be useful for tenant screening, but Spokeo does not permit usage for that purpose as we are not covered by FCRA. Please confirm that you will not use Spokeo for tenant screening by clicking 'I Accept' below.")

This whole experience makes me dread that Spokeo exists at all. We should not grant such extraordinary power to organizations that treat us as if we are so insignificant. If they can't be decent to their customers, they shouldn't have any customers at all.

That's my two cents.

  • 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.

  • Spokeo Customer Care's Response, Apr 03, 2017

    Dear William,

    We understand your concerns, and are more than happy to assist in resolving this matter. Please allow me to explain regarding the Spokeo. According to Spokeo's Terms of Use, "You may not use or any information acquired from to evaluate a consumer’s eligibility for credit or insurance to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, to evaluate a person’s eligibility for employment or volunteering purposes, to evaluate a person’s eligibility for a government license or benefit, to evaluate a person for renting a dwelling property, or for any other purpose specified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. § 1681b) (the “FCRA”), Federal Trade Commission or court interpretations of the FCRA, or similar state statutes, in any manner that may violate any local, state, federal, or international privacy law to which You may be subject on the basis of Your location or the location of the person searched."
    Unfortunately, your account has been found in violation to the above named terms. For additional information please visit

    Spokeo Customer Care

Apr 03, 2017

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