This is a useful tool that can run background checks on potential hires. However, the website bugs, pricing model and missing support options keep it from getting a higher recommendation.
Direct support options
Opaque business pricing
Option for social media search
No smartphone apps
Some support options lacking
Expensive pricing by the search
Why you can trust TechRadar
Peopletrail is a background check service, with over two decades of experience working in this space since 1994. It has worked in a variety of industries, and does pre-employee background checks. A number of services are offered, such as verifications, volunteer background screening, and criminal record checks, along with drug testing.
- Want to try Peopletrail? Check out the website here
Peopletrail provides its services for a number of top corporations, including Intel, Whirlpool, Office Depot and Amazon. It has headquarters in Draper, Utah and has served over 20,000 businesses, with over 100,000 searches completed, and an impressive customer retention rate of 99.5%.
Peopletrail has a consumer facing division of the company that uses the name Consumer Credentials.
Plans and pricing
Peopletrail requires company contact with business credentials for a custom quote. We can certainly appreciate each business’ needs are unique, and the depth of the search, and number of background checks a month undoubtedly figure into the pricing.
While this pricing is opaque, thankfully Peopletrail gives us a window into the costs involved as there is pricing listed for an individual check. The prices given are for a single check, and not for a monthly subscription.
There are three tiers, and the lowest is the Bronze Package. This costs $19.95 currently on sale, and includes the basic National Criminal Search, which is unverified. For a more extensive check, the next step up is the Silver Package, for a more comprehensive search. It covers a Criminal Database search with an alias (also unverified), a Consumer Credit Report, a search of the FBI Most Wanted, and a check of the National Sex Offender Registry, at a cost of $29.95. At the top is the Gold Package, which has a cost of $59.95 per check. Both of these searches are done in under 8 business hours.
This top tier has all the searches of the lower tiers, and adds a 7 Year County Criminal Search, and OIG Health & Human Services Exclusions. Additionally, the Criminal Database Search is verified at this level. As this search is more extensive, and verified, it is done in under 48 to 72 business hours. There is also a link to click for a different price for the states of NY, ME, VT, MI, MT, but the hyperlink is missing. Also, the Gold Package does not do a gun search, or a vehicle search.
There is also a Social Media Search, as a standalone item for $39.95. It can provide info on what your social media reveals to employers, and results are obtained in less than 12 business hours.
We did not find an option for a monthly subscription for an individual. However, for a business, they can take advantage of a ‘Business partnership’ with Peopletrail.
Peopletrail has many options for features, but you get the ones that correspond to the tier chosen. The lowest tier is pretty paltry, so it makes sense to move up to a higher tier, unless the need for the background check is pretty basic.
The social media search is well done. Not only does it identify the social media accounts of the individual, but it also analyzes content via AI to identify things like hate speech, obscene language and bullying.
Interface and in use
The interface for Peopletrail is pretty basic, going for clean rather than flash. On the individual side, you just need to choose the level of search to request, and pay for the search. Then you will put in who to search for, including known details that can include a name, Social Security Number, an address and a phone number. The whole setting up the search process takes just a few minutes. Results are sent back from People Trail on the timeline as detailed in pricing (depending on the tier) which get sent back via an email.
Unfortunately, those looking for a mobile app will not find it with Peopletrail as we searched both the Google Play and iOS store and did not find any corresponding apps.
Peopletrail has some ways to connect with them. It has a direct toll phone number (although not toll free), but for only business hours of 8AM to 5:30PM on weekdays, Monday to Friday. It is not indicated what happens on holidays, and also if this is Eastern Standard Time, or Mountain Standard Time where the company is headquartered. The other connection option is a direct email address, dedicated for support.
There is one final option to get support from Peopletrail. You need to first choose the category that you fit into, the options include a business needing a background check, an individual looking to order a background check, a current client needing assistance, an applicant having an issue with the results of a background check, or a curious choice about a coach needing a background check for USA Football. After the choice of what category you fit into is chosen, it takes you to the proper support portal to enter your question.
Those seeking more advanced support options will find Peopletrail lacking. We did not find a chat box, nor a community forum. We did find some self-serve help options that included a FAQ, and video content, although frustratingly the links to this content were broken on some pages, but worked when we clicked through from the main page.
Although Peopletrail isn’t overly forthcoming regarding security details, there’s no reason to question the company’s credentials as it has a certification from TruSecure, a well-known security and compliance service.
Instant Checkmate is a background check service that’s in direct competition with Peopletrail. It’s a better option if you need extra information such as vehicle and gun ownership licenses. However, Instant Checkmate does charge a monthly subscription rather than a one-time fee, so it’s not as suitable for single checks.
If you’re looking for a more affordable premium background check provider, you might want to consider ClearChecks. The top-tier ClearChecks ClearHire Complete package is $39.99, nearly $20 cheaper than People Trail’s $59.95 Gold package. Both plans offer many of the same core features such as a 7-year county criminal record search and international watch list sweeps.
Peopletrail is a competitive entry into the background check space. We like that we can get pricing for an individual background check, that the results are verified on the top tier, and that there is both a phone number and email address to get in touch. However, there are some issues that keep this service from getting a higher rating, such as the lack of smartphone apps, the opaque business pricing and expensive individual pricing without a monthly plan, the too basic starter tier, and the broken links on the site. Synthesizing this, it leaves with a service that is an average background check service.
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Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.