The world of background checks is a tricky one, and is full of companies that offer a wide variety of services. How do you navigate your way through all of the package deals and endless options that are out there?
First things first, find out who does the actual searches for you. If you are using a company who uses a company who outsources to someone, you are likely paying way too much for all those middle men involved in the process. Do your due diligence and find a provider that is direct or no more than once removed from the source provider for these services, also making sure they are a recognized and well thought of company in that business.
Secondly, watch for "fluff charges” that lots of companies try to slide into a package deal for you. Here is a perfect example of this practice; you pay for:
National Criminal Database search
State Level Criminal Search
County Level Criminal Search
The National database is only populated with information from the State level, and the State from the County level. This means that if you are paying for the State level search, it is redundant and therefore an extra charge. Also, many Counties do not update the State databases as often as they should, and therefore items that should be cleared are found, and of course items that should be found are missing. Maricopa County is a repeat offender on this; we frequently have to refer to the County records to clear something that is found at the State and/or National database level.
In summary, choose a partner who is providing you fast and efficient results at a fair price. If you are not sure you are getting a fair price, start asking around and you’ll be surprised how much variance in price can be found for the same services.
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