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Thursday, October 6th
PeopleLooker is one of many search services available today that offer to help you connect with long-lost friends or family members, check out your neighbors, or even see what public records say about you. This company says that their "incredible customer service" sets them apart from the competition. Does it? Read on and decide for yourself.
Lots of ways to search
There are six different ways to find people using this service: name, phone, email, address, unclaimed money, and B2B. The most common way to use PeopleLooker is by entering a name and state. From there, you'll be asked to enter a city (if you know it) to try and narrow it down, especially if you're looking for someone with a relatively common name. The initial search takes about three minutes and runs through personal information reports, social media profiles, and so forth.
...and finally the results
While the search is running, you might enjoy reading the tips offered by PeopleLooker, including popular use cases: search yourself, improve your contact lists, look up old classmates, and so on. In the middle of the process, there's a box to check indicating you'll use the information you discover in accordance with the law - so you may not want to navigate away while the search is running. Finally, you'll have to enter a name and email address to save and see your results... after PeopleLooker "prepares the final details" (*sigh*). All told, we spent about 10 minutes waiting and doing those steps in the middle.
No information preview
Even at that stage of the process, this people search service doesn't give you even a hint as to what records they've found or any way to take a preliminary look to determine if they've matched you up with the right individual's records. You'll have to choose between a month-to-month membership for $22.86 (plus tax where applicable) or a three-month plan for $54.83.
Mediocre grade from the BBB
PeopleLooker doesn't have a great track record with the Better Business Bureau: just a "B-" grade and no accreditation. That lower-than-average rating is mostly because the service hasn't been in business long enough to establish a good history, and because of the 40+ complaints filed against PeopleLooker over the last three years. But, that's not nearly as many as some of this service's rivals, and it appears that PeopleLooker reps do a satisfactory job of responding to problems when they're reported to the BBB.
Customer service is a let-down
And yet, that doesn't mean people are satisfied with this people search platform. We found reports on the BBB and elsewhere that described inaccurate info (when users searched their own information to determine if the service was on the mark or not), problems with canceling during a free trial period (which no longer appears to be on offer here), and lack of support from PeopleLooker's customer service team. The service claims that they guarantee your satisfaction and will offer a refund and/or their help if you're dissatisfied with the results of your search, but that's not much good if you can't actually get a hold of someone to keep that promise.
Comes up short by comparison
PeopleLooker doesn't get our lowest ranking, mostly because they do respond to customer complaints filed with the BBB and elsewhere. However, with no free or low-cost trial and no way to see any information prior to paying for a membership, this service ranks well behind its rivals who do both of those things. Choose a higher-ranked people search platform for a better overall experience.
There are hundreds of sites out there that promise to connect you with long-lost relatives, childhood friends, former classmates and coworkers - or to help you look into the background of someone on your radar. Most of these services utilize the same public records databases to deliver results.
So, what makes one people search platform different from the next? None of them guarantee the accuracy of their results - after all, databases can have incorrect information. But, the best services give you enough of a preview before you pay for a report that you can determine for yourself if you've found the right individual. They also may include a trial period of a few days to a week, letting you conduct multiple searches to see if you'll get what you need from their results.
Those trials typically convert to a monthly membership unless you cancel first. As you might guess, some people search providers make that cancellation more difficult than others - or they make it less likely you'll realize that you're opting into a monthly plan with your trial. Be sure to read the fine print.
Another thing to watch out for is the difference between a basic people search and a comprehensive one. What you'll get with almost every platform's initial search is just the basics of phone, address, known relatives and email addresses. More detailed information like criminal records and property ownership will almost always require an upgraded plan, either as a one-off fee for each report you want to run in-depth or as an extra monthly fee.
If you're concerned about having your own personal information available to other people conducting searches, you've got one good reason to visit every people search site, even the lowest-ranked ones: removing your own data from their records. You'll usually find that function at the bottom of the site, worded as "Opt-Out" or "Do Not Sell My Information" . Typically, you'll either enter your information and perform a basic search (no paid membership required), then click on your matching profile to request that it be removed. Finally, expect to get a confirmation email; after you've clicked on the link in it, your info should be removed within 48 hours (though, in our experience, some sites had our results gone almost immediately).
When you're trying to choose among people search providers, they all start to look the same. Confused? Don't worry! You can use these criteria to decide which one to use:
To help you find out more about virtually anyone, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular people search providers available today. We're confident that this information will make it possible to track down a long-lost relative, learn more about your prospective love interest, or see what your high school classmates are up to!
Select any 2 People Search Providers to compare them head to head