Instant Checkmate gives their customers a few benefits for choosing them as their tool to finding out more information on someone in their life.
- Low Cost
- Public record based
Many background check websites charge customers a price per subscription they buy, or high subscription costs for customers who want to purchase more than one report. Instant Checkmate uses a subscription system for their charges as well. Customers have three different plans to choose from when selecting how they want to pay for their reports. A one-month subscription gives access to unlimited reports for an entire month for $22.86. A plan titled Moderate Users gives three months of unlimited reports for $44.58 or $14.86 per month. The final option is a Power User plan, which allows for six months of unlimited reports for $59.16 or $9.86 per month. Instant Checkmate states it’s reasoning for this type of payment system is because most background check sites charge more for a single report and Instant Checkmate offers a time frame of unlimited reports for a price instead. This method though does not give customers any free trial period and all purchased reports disappear after the paid time period is over.
The other benefit for Instant Checkmate can be considered both a positive and a negative. The website uses all public records or documentation for their reports, meaning that they search all across the country for public knowledge and compile it into neatly organized reports for their customers. Public records provide a generous amount of information and allows Instant Checkmate the ability to search for criminal convictions, traffic violations, felony charges, sex offender status, social media presence and much more. The negative however is that these services are public to anyone and can be accessed by anyone who has the time and patience to do so themselves. Instant Checkmate only simplifies the work anyone can do on his or her own time.
Unfortunately, Instant Checkmate has more than just a few negative things that have affected their overall business. No company is perfect and of course improvement is always a sign of how strong a company is truly. Instant Checkmate has worked hard to improve during its five-year business time but the company definitely has some way to go.
- Limited search type
- BBB rating
- Scarce customer support
Some background check companies, if not exclusively used for employers offer the ability to search multiple things for reports such as business, properties or even neighborhoods. Instant Checkmate however is a company that is limited to only people searches. The reason this causes a problem is because they are not a Consumer Reporting Agency and it is prohibited to use their website for any purpose governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This restriction leaves customers with a big do’s and don’t list located right on their website. For example; Instant Checkmate cannot be used for employment screening, tenant screening, household worker screening, to determine qualifications or eligibility or much more. It can be used to check on old or new friends, family members, former classmates or others listed in the do’s column on the website.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has given Instant Checkmate a B+ rating. The reasons for the rating seem to suggest a lower score might be more appropriate. The rating is initially for the number of complaints filed against the company but in recent years has come into new information that has kept the rating lowered. In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission settled charges against Instant Checkmate that alleged the company was violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The charges stated that the company was allowing consumer’s personal information to be given to people who have no permissible purpose to use the information, and for not taking measures to ensure that the information given on reports was accurate.
There was also an advertising review conducted against Instant Checkmate in 2014 that stated the company was allegedly sending email solicitations that were deceptive in nature. The company neither denied nor admitted to either allegation but ensured that steps were being taken to stop the behaviors.
Among these serious charges against Instant Checkmate, the number of complaints filed against the company is still a concern. Although the website promises that customer service is the number one priority and if anyone is not satisfied with the report or wants to cancel their membership they only need to call their twenty-four hour customer service line, many complaints filed against the business state that the customer service representatives are hard to get a hold of and difficult to work with once a problem has been brought to light. However, being open twenty-four hours a day for customer support is a great benefit, the only form of communication listed through the website to call in and speak to a representative. In today’s online world, an email address or live chat might be better suited for their customers.
Cost– Instant Checkmate does not have any per subscription costs or any free trial periods. Instead their costs are broken down as follows:
- Recommended Package-1 month unlimited reports-$22.86 (Most Popular)
- Moderate User-3 months unlimited reports- $44.58 or 14.86 per month
- Power User- 6 months unlimited reports-$59.16 or $9.86 per month
Search Type– Instant Checkmate is only a search engine for people. The Federal Credit Reporting Act does not sanction them and their background checks can’t be used for any employee screening, or for other job purposes.
Screening Services– They use public records for their screening services, which means they use criminal records, traffic violations, sex offender status, previous employment, phone directories, and other public documentation.
Free Trial– No free trial offered at Instant Checkmate
Customer Support– There is a phone number that is the suggested form of communication for any questions or concerns and a representative is available 24/7 to speak to calling customers. Instant Checkmate also lists an email for any written inquires.
Time In Business– The company began in 2010 and has now been in business for five years.
BBB Rating– B+ Factors that lowered their score were the number of complaints filed against the company and the legal issues they have faced in 2014.
- Phone: 1-800-222-8985
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