Why Are Reverse Phone Searches So Expensive?

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Reverse phone searches continue to be difficult at best unless you have the inside scoop on how to track down numbers that may be important. Inevitably, each of us has received one or more calls from unknown numbers. It can drive you crazy if it happens day after day. The same can be said for finding a scrap of paper with a phone number scrawled on it but can’t remember when or why keeping that number was important. The most frustrating part is trying to find out who owns those numbers without spending a small fortune. Free caller ID programs rarely work – at least not accurately. Googling the number will give you page after page of nonsense that leaves you right back where you started. What you will get for your trouble is a multitude of sites that offer the service, often with a premium cost. So, the question remains – Why are reverse phone searches so expensive?

The Explanation

Many sites offer free reverse phone searches for numbers and names and usually deliver what they promise. They will look it up as advertised, but to see the information you must pay. Some simply redirect you to another website. It’s a way around the old bait and switch that keeps it legal, but not very nice. When asked why the searches are expensive, most will reply that it costs a lot of money to run and update databases, to maintain their servers and pay for lists. That may be true but the cost for such a small service is rarely worth it. Some will offer a one-time search for a price, but the real goal is to get you to subscribe to a monthly service which is almost never worth it unless you are planning on becoming a private investigator.

To test my theory about the worthiness of such a search, I signed up for a free three-day trial and searched my own phone number. What did I get? Well, they did track my name, but the address was one from two years ago, and, wait for it…my address from 12 years ago in a different state. They also had me related to my brother’s third ex-wife and my former boss of, again, 12 years ago. That is someone I certainly don’t want to be linked to any more. If I’m paying for a search, can I at least get a guarantee of its accuracy? Probably not.

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The Solution

All is not lost. There are good white pages iPhone apps and programs out there but finding them means wading through countless search engine pages and sites like the aforementioned. The best way to find that diamond in the rough is to seek out review sites that will give you the truth and the information you seek. If you do pay for a service, be sure that you are paying for what it’s worth and not some inflated cost that will encourage you to sign up for a monthly service that will likely remain unused.

Pamela M