Will your previous employer provide a reference, or will they simply confirm dates of employment and salary history? If they won't, and many employers do not, provide a reference, there is no point in paying a service to check for you.
Did you leave on good terms? If you had a good employment relationship with your employer and if you left your job on good terms, you shouldn't need to check your references. There's no reason to expect that the company would say anything derogatory about you.
Evaluating Reference Check Services
Before you choose a reference checking service, find out what the fees are, what is provided by the service, and what questions the service will ask. There are typical reference check questions that should be included.
Reference Check Fees
Fees for reference checking depend on what services you select. You can opt to simply verify when and where you worked, or to have the company ask in-depth questions about your background, skills and abilities. Fees can vary widely from company to company, so, check with several reference checking services before choosing one that meets your needs. I've seen fees as low as $34.95 and as high as $99, so shop carefully.
In most cases, you are responsible for paying the reference checking service even if the employer will not divulge any information about you. However, some services will allow you to provide another reference to check, if they cannot contact the first one.
A reference checking service can be beneficial if you are worried about what your previous employers are going to say about you, but, before you spend the money on a service consider whether you need it, or not.