If you've been looking into reputation services, you've likely come across the name “Intelius." It might even be tied to the words “scam” or “rip-off.” What is Intelius? Why are so many consumers so angry about it?
Intelius is a company that collects public records and summarizes them in the form of “background checks." They often market their services to people looking to investigate the backgrounds of individuals they've met on online dating sites, and as a method for consumers to check up on individuals such as teachers, contractors and other professionals. Intelius specifically forbids consumers from using it to examine employee backgrounds or screen tenants. It also offers services such as TrueRep, which allows individuals to append comments explaining possible past problems to any background checks the service issues.
As a company, Intelius is no different from any other service that collects public records and summarizes them for consumers. Unlike blog posts or bad reviews, public records have to be altered by the person or business going through the courts or credit bureaus. All Intelius offers is what's a matter of public record, like what can be looked up at the courthouse or county records office.
Realistically, if you've never been arrested or had a major run-in with the authorities or credit card companies, it's extremely unlikely Intelius will have any “dirt” on you. Credit problems are the most likely to turn up, but errors on your credit report can and should be addressed by you directly.
Why are people so angry about Intelius?
The short answer is not the services that the company provides, but how some have accused it of doing business.
For example, some have taken issue with Intelius' marketing, which they define as “scare tactics." Oftentimes, the advertisements have taken a “worst case scenario” tone that some feel may mislead consumers.
It has also faced criticism from some about the difficulty of removing your records from Intelius' database. Intelius only honors requests to remove your publicly available information from their database under very specific circumstances, stating that in most cases, there is no reason to remove what's a matter of public record anyway. Some argue this is disingenuous. After all, the records may be public, but Intelius is not.
When it comes to consumers who use Intelius, it has been accused of using deceptive marketing practices to enroll consumers in subscription services they do not want and didn't know they were applying for. The company has settled several class action lawsuits over these allegations, and has revised its marketing practices.
The overall result, for better or worse, is that Intelius has angered some consumers, and that anger has lingered ever since.
Really, what Intelius should have done is hire Reputation.com. At Reputation.com, we use our patented technology to help repair your online reputation so you're presented fairly and respectfully on the internet. Instead of negative blog posts or bad reviews, positive experiences people have had with you will lead your results on search engines. If you've never had an arrest or a problem with a credit card company, you don't have to worry about your public records. Your online reputation is much more fragile, but also much easier to fix, with Reputation.com. Click here to learn more.