|This article is outdated. (September 2013)|
|Privately held company|
|Founder||Naveen Jain, John Arnold, Ed Petersen, Kevin Marcus, Niraj Shah, Chandan Chauhan|
|Bill Owens, Chairman|
|Products||Date Check App|
|Services||Background checks, Identity theft protection|
Number of employees
inome (previously "Intelius, Inc.") is a public records business headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, United States. It provides information services, including background checks and identity theft protection, and post transaction marketing. inome, founded by former InfoSpace executives, was started in 2003. Concerns from consumer groups between 2008 and 2010 have drawn negative attention to inome.
Founded as Intelius in 2003 by six former Infospace executives: Naveen Jain, Kevin Marcus, Niraj Shah, Ed Petersen, Chandan Chauhan and John Arnold. Jain was then sued by InfoSpace for allegedly violating noncompete agreements, mishandling business-specific secrets and interfering with InfoSpace's customer relationships. The judge ruled in favor of Jain, citing a lack of "clear and convincing evidence" that there was a violation of noncompete agreements.
In October 2011, Jain stated that an IPO might be in the company's future in 2012.
In November 2011, Intelius purchased the Facebook genealogy app Family Builder. During the same month, the company announced the inclusion of TrueRep to its services. This program allows consumers to provide explanations for any indiscretions on their records.
In 2012, Intelius was renamed inome, and the Intelius name was assigned to the division focusing on online background checks.
Background check market
Background checks for dating
Intelius targets marketing for consumers with an interest in dating, especially online dating. It provides background checks and verification of identity under the InteliSign brand. Industry experts point out the advertising campaign's reliance on "scare tactics". Intelius has created an application for mobile devices that allows users to do a quick background check on a potential date.
Employer background checks
On December 5, 2006, Intelius enlarged its employment screening market with its acquisition of Bothell, Washington's IntelliSense Corporation, integrating an infrastructure capable of international background information, fingerprinting and drug screening to complement its previous capabilities for small and medium businesses.
Class action lawsuits
On September 30, 2009, before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, a class action lawsuit was filed alleging that Intelius automatically enrolled California consumers into programs of its partner, Adaptive Marketing, without permission. The complaint showed evidence as to how the defendants allegedly automatically charged California consumers' credit cards for "memberships" and intentionally frustrated the victims' abilities to dispute the charges.
On October 19, 2009, in the Federal Court in Seattle, Intelius was accused of violating Washington's Consumer Protection Act. In the class action lawsuit Lee v. Intelius Inc., filed by Ohio resident Donovon Lee and Washington resident Bruce Keithly, it was alleged that after purchasing background reports through Intelius, the plaintiffs were each charged recurring $19.95 monthly fees for multiple subscription services which were not requested from both Intelius and its partner, Adaptive Marketing. Plaintiffs sought damages for the Class alleging deceptive practices against Intelius. On March 7, 2013, the United States District Court ruled in favor of the Plaintiff Class. Intelius appealed to the US Court of Appeals (9th Cir.), which on December 16, 2013, also ruled in Lee's [et al.] favor for the Class as follows: "We hold that Lee did not enter into a contract with Adaptive to purchase the Family Safety Report, and did not enter into a contract with Adaptive to arbitrate. We therefore affirm the district court."
After losing this appeal, Intelius sought arbitration with the Plaintiffs and subsequently agreed to two (2) settlements of this lawsuit in favor of the Class (one for Mr. Lee and one for Mr. Keithly on different case merits) resulting in a combined $10.5 million settlement for Class Plaintiffs.
Cellular phone directory
In early 2008, Intelius came under scrutiny for providing access to private cellular phone numbers culled from a variety of sources. In response, Verizon threatened a lawsuit over posting consumer phone numbers without consent. On February 1, 2008, the cellular phone directory was removed from the company website.
Washington State Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau received over 900 complaints about Intelius as of March 2009. Most complaints involved the practice of "post-transaction marketing." Partly due to concerns about Intelius, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna requested legislation aimed at stopping what he calls "deceptive" Internet marketing.
On August 10, 2010, Washington settled with Intelius for $1.3 million and any Washington consumers affected by post-transaction marketing will be contacted regarding refunds.
Criticism has also arisen due to the difficult nature of "opting out" of being listed on Intelius. The company's website states that "Intelius does not usually offer individuals the opportunity to permanently remove their publicly available information from our public records databases." Instead, the website states that the personal information may be suppressed by a user's request after he or she mails or faxes a notarized letter and copy of his or her photo identification, in order to confirm the person's identity.
The Better Business Bureau of Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington has cataloged numerous complaints about the company's customer service, including a continual refusal to provide refunds to customers who claim not to have requested or received the services that they paid for. Additional complaints have been made about misleading advertising and background information that has been inaccurate or out-of-date. According to the BBB, the company is not a member, and does not always respond when contacted by them.
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- "About Versium|Versium About".
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- Intelius hit with another lawsuit as it alters marketing tactics
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