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Are “100% Free Background Checks” Really Free?
Technically speaking – yes.
Practically speaking – no, not really.
In a world where ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ and everyone knows that you get what you pay for, common sense tells us that it costs money to maintain the databases that hold all of the information that gets compiled into background searches – a LOT of money – so no one can afford to simply give it all away for free.
And even if they could, why would they?
So Why Does Everyone Advertise “Free”?
Like many things in advertising, you have to read the fine print because what is actually being offered when you see a “100% free background check”, a “100% free criminal background check” or a “100% free employment background check” is unlimited access to run as many background searches free of charge as you want, after you pay the database access fee; the rationale being that you are not technically paying for any background checks, you’re paying a service fee that then gains you unlimited download access to the database. Thus, once you are a paid subscriber with access to the database, you can download as many background check free of charge as you like.
With our nation’s heightened awareness of security issues and increasing acts of violence and financial crimes, criminal background checks and employment screening have become more important than ever. Unfortunately there is an increasing, albeit unrealistic, expectation floating around out there too.
One of the most common assumptions is this idea that good quality background checks are somehow free because “all that information is just floating around the internet somewhere”. Equally flawed is the belief that the companies that own the facilities and the equipment and employ the thousands of people necessary to gather, compile and maintain these massive databases and keep them up to date with such critical information operate oblivious to the costs of doing business and are simply willing to give all that valuable information away to the public free of charge because they are benevolent.
Nice fantasy, but it’s just not true. Not even a little bit.
The reality is that good quality criminal background checks cost money; the false notion that you can get a criminal background check for free is simply a marketing angle. Some websites use the pitch that they give background checks for free but then try to pass that off as a “free trial” instead of actually free of charge. Again, it’s that access fee we talked about earlier, but now that we’ve told you about it, you don’t need to be fearful about paying it because truth be told, having the ability to run an unlimited number of background checks for a single, affordable access fee is a tremendous value.
The Truth About “100% Free Background Checks” or “Free Criminal Background Checks”
There are some places online that offer “teaser” background checks for free. They are very limited in scope and are intended to entice you into buying a more full and complete background check for a fee. Unfortunately some people don’t read between the lines and understand what is really being offered. The critical error that some people make is banking on the free version to provide all the information that the paid version would provide and then making critical, life-altering decisions based on the free version.
Needless to say, this can be an extremely costly and even deadly mistake.
The bottom line is this: WHY are you ordering background checks in the first place? Protection and peace of mind from all the worst people and all the worst stuff, right? WHO and WHAT are you trying to protect exactly? Yourself, your children, your family, your business, your finances, your property, etc.; in other words, all the most important people and all your most important stuff, right?
In a nutshell, you want to protect all your important people and important stuff from all the worst people and all the worst stuff.
That being said, how awful would you feel and how long would it take you to forgive yourself if that limited “free criminal background check” you’re banking on missed even a single important detail like the fact that the nanny you just hired was convicted of kidnapping and child molestation or that your new business partner served 7 years in Chino for embezzlement or that your landscaper has an outstanding arrest warrant for being a peeping tom or that your new office manager has a criminal record for sexual assault at his last job?
Are any of those things worth saving a $20 subscription fee? Of course not.
The Wrong Place To Start Cutting Corners
Regret is a terrible thing, so ask yourself: if you and your family’s protection, safety, security and peace of mind is the goal, is this REALLY the place where you want to start cutting corners and trying to save a few bucks? It shouldn’t be because there is way, way too much at stake if you get it wrong; even a little wrong!
Just select one of the providers on this page or here and get a good quality background check the first time.
As with everything else in life, you get what you pay for. With so much riding on the quality and thoroughness of the online background check you choose, this is NOT something you can afford to mess up. The fact is, a good quality background check through ARS isn’t very expensive anyway; even our most thorough, in-depth background searches are competitively priced and cost-effective. See for yourself: