In September of 2012 I needed to run a background check on a person. Knowing of the shading nature of the "arrest history services" I was determined to avoid the ripoff by selecting a service with clear, unequivocal terms.
I chose Instant Checkmate, making certain that the wording didn't trap me into a recurring monthly "fee"..... I only wanted one use of the service for one fee. I found the option and used it for a one-time price of $19.99. 7-months later I saw that my credit card had been charge for a whopping $139.00.
It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but I finally have it figured out:
1. Though promised, there is no such thing as a "one-time" pay and search. Regardless of the wording to the contrary, the company WILL sign you up for a recurring monthly fee even though you never used the service (I never had the occasion to go back).
2. The company waits 7-months to bill you, because it apparently wants to ambush you with a much bigger fee. If your card was charged every money --- like any legitimate business --- people would cancel after the first $19 bill. By waiting 7-months, the company can stick you with a 7x higher bill before you notice.
If you ask the company why it waits so long to bill, it will deny it, and blames your credit card company for not running the charge through on time. That is possible, except that the exact same thing seems to happen to all customers (victims) regardless of the card they use.
You also cannot access or modify any data on your account... the link just isn't there. Which eans of course that you also can't cancel, or remove the credit card info.