Intelius

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Intelius
Privately held company
Industry Information commerce
Genre Electronic commerce
Founded January 2003
Founder Naveen Jain and others
Headquarters Seattle, Washington,
United States
Area served
United States
Key people
Abani Heller, CEO & President
Services People Search, Background checks
Number of employees
Approximately 150
Parent PeopleConnect, Inc.
Website http://www.intelius.com

Intelius, Inc. is a public records business headquartered in Seattle, Washington, United States.[1] It provides information services, including people and property search, background checks and reverse phone lookup. Users also have the ability to perform reverse address lookups to find people using Intelius’ services and an address.[2] Intelius, founded by former InfoSpace executives, was started in 2003. Intelius was ranked as the best background check service by TopTen Reviews in 2017 [3] and it was given 4.5 stars out of 5 on Background Checks.org.[4]

History[edit]

Intelius was founded in 2003[5] by six former Infospace executives: Naveen Jain, Kevin Marcus, Niraj Shah, Ed Petersen, Chandan Chauhan and John Arnold.[6] Intelius submitted plans for an initial public offering on January 10, 2008,[7] but withdrew in October 2010.[8]

On December 5, 2006, Intelius acquired Bothell, Washington-based IntelliSense Corporation, a background check, fingerprinting and drug screening company. The acquisition of Intellisense eventually became TalentWise. TalentWise was then spun off to Intelius stockholders in May 2013.[9] On April 30, 2009, Intelius acquired Spock, a people-oriented search engine.[10]

In November 2011, Intelius purchased the Facebook genealogy app Family Builder.[11] In 2012, Intelius was renamed "inome" to serve as the corporate umbrella, and the Intelius name was given to the division focusing on background checks.[12] By 2015, inome was doing business once again as Intelius. On July 1, 2015, Intelius was acquired by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. As part of the transaction, Abani Heller replaced Jain as the company's CEO. On August 12, 2015 PeopleConnect Holdings Inc., bought the social media business Classmates.com for $30 million. The early social media site Classmates.com was created in 1995 to connect school, work and military colleagues.[13]

Information services[edit]

Intelius has created an app available for both Android and IOS that allows users to perform people searches, reverse phone lookups and background check services directly from their mobile device.[14][15]

Philanthropy[edit]

Intelius has supported several charities and non-profits over the years. In 2008, Intelius gave almost $210,000 to a dozen local and national nonprofit organizations. Two of the organizations they supported were Hopelink, a nonprofit organization helping low-income families move to self-sufficiency, and Overlake Service League, a program that serves children, families and seniors in need.[16]

On March 20, 2009, Intelius sponsored an evening of activity for the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club to promote self-esteem and responsibility among children aged five to 16.[17] In June 2009, Intelius sponsored an eight-week outdoor movie series at Downtown Bellevue Park.[18] Later that year in August, the company awarded two students attending the "Adventures of the Mind" Conference $2,500 college scholarships for a science and literature essay writing contest.[19]

Intelius was also an annual sponsor for Kindering in 2009 and 2010. Kindering is an organization that provides "services for children who are disabled, medically fragile, or vulnerable because of abuse or neglect; to develop maximum potential, hope, and community understanding".[20] In 2009, Intelius sponsored between $2,500 and $4,999 to Kindering and between $5,000 to $9,999 in 2010.[21][22]

Class action lawsuits[edit]

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.[23] 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.[24]

On October 19, 2009, in the Federal Court in Seattle, Intelius was accused of violating Washington's Consumer Protection Act.[25] 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."[26]

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.[27]

Consumer complaints[edit]

In 2008 the company discontinued its phone directory services after legal threats and negative press attention focused on allegations that the opt-out process was unreasonably difficult.[28][28][29] Among other things, it was also criticized for providing private cell phone numbers.[30]

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.[23] 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.[24] On October 19, 2009, in the Federal Court in Seattle, Intelius was accused of violating Washington's Consumer Protection Act.[31]

Intelius received thousands of consumer complaints regarding post-transaction marketing practices and allegedly deceptive credit card charges. The Washington Attorney General sued Intelius and a $1.3 million settlement was reached in August 2010.[32] In November 2011 the company announced the inclusion of TrueRep to its services. This program allows consumers to provide explanations for any indiscretions on their records.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nina Shapiro (2007). "Intelius Says it's Capable of Conducting a Full Background Check on Anyone". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2007-04-13.
  2. ^ Boswell, Wendy. "Using Reverse Address Lookups to Find People Online". Lifewire. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  3. ^ Carlsen, John. "Intelius Review". Ton Ten Reviews. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Intelius Review". Background Checks. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  5. ^ Duryee, Tricia (Aug 13, 2007). "Cellphone directory grabs your number". The Seattle Times. Retrieved Jul 10, 2015.
  6. ^ David Heath and Sharon Pian Chan (2005-03-07). "Dot-con job: How InfoSpace took its investors for a ride Part 2 - Cashing Out". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2009-01-08.
  7. ^ Julie Vorman (2008-01-10). "Intelius plans IPO of up to $143.75 mln - SEC filing". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  8. ^ "Intelius withdraws plans for IPO". The Seattle Times. 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
  9. ^ John Cook (2013). "TalentWise spins off from Naveen Jain's Inome with $25M from mysterious backer". GeekWire. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  10. ^ Lisa Hoover (2009). "Spock sale sparks privacy concerns". Computerworld. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  11. ^ John Cook (2011-10-25). "Intelius quietly buys Facebook genealogy app Family Builder". Geekwire.com. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  12. ^ Cook, John (2012-06-10). "Meet Inome: The latest thing to sprout from Naveen Jain". GeekWire. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  13. ^ Madler, Mark. "Classmates.com Sold for $30 Million". San Ferdnando Valley Business Journal. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  14. ^ "https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inome.android&hl=en". Google. Retrieved 4 December 2017. External link in |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Intelius - Reverse Phone Lookup & Background Check". iTunes. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Bellevue based firm increases charitable giving despite tough times". Bellevue Reporter. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  17. ^ "Boys & Girls Club event draws over 200". Bellevue Reporter. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Intelius Summer Outdoor Movie Series". Komo Production Services. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  19. ^ "Seven from Oklahoma prepare for 'Adventures'". Adventures of the Mind. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  20. ^ "2009 Annual Report" (PDF). Kindering. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  21. ^ "2009 Annual Report" (PDF). Kindering. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  22. ^ "2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Kindering. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  23. ^ a b Michael Arrington (2008). "Naveen Jain's Latest Scam: Intelius,". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
  24. ^ a b Nina Shapiro (2009). "Internet Wizard Loses His Magic: Intelius Hit with Two Class Action Suits". Seattle Weekly. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  25. ^ Intelius hit with another lawsuit as it alters marketing tactics
  26. ^ http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/12/16/11-35810.pdf
  27. ^ [1]
  28. ^ a b Suzanne Choney (2008). "Company shuts down cell phone directory". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  29. ^ Svensson, Peter (February 4, 2008). "Cell-phone directory assistance closing". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-05-01.
  30. ^ Alex Johnson (2008). "Cell phone directory rings alarm bells". MSNBC. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  31. ^ Intelius hit with another lawsuit as it alters marketing tactics, techflash.com; accessed June 8, 2016.
  32. ^ Chris Grygiel (2010-08-09). "'Deceptive' Intelius cheated thousands of people". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
  33. ^ Greg Lamm (2011-11-15). "Got a blotch on your record? Intelius lets you explain". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved 2011-11-20.