There’s an old saying, “You get what you pay for”. Nowhere is this more true that when it comes to hiring a private investigator to help you solve a problem you have. You already know that when you buy cheap things you can’t expect top-quality performance from them. Private investigators are no different.
While some private investigators work on flat fee cases, most work on an hourly rate basis. If you encounter a private investigator with a low hourly rate, there are at least 6 reasons why this is so:
- The private investigator might be unlicensed. You can check the status of both company and individual licenses here and you can see what a real license looks like here. Never be afraid to ask a private investigator to show you their license.
- They might not be that experienced. You can check how long an investigator has been licensed by checking the Secretary of State website here. If they’re new, they probably don’t have too much experience and experience is really what you’re looking for when you have a serious case to win.
- They might be a “one man show”. While many experienced private investigator work alone this may not be ideal for your particular case. If you have a case that requires surveillance then you want an agency that can call on several different investigators. What if the investigator gets noticed, or “burned” as they call it in the industry? You don’t want your case to stall because they couldn’t find another person to take up the case.
- They might be broke. A financially poor private investigator is not going to devote 100% effort to your case because they’re too worried about money. It’s just a fact of human nature. They also may not treat your finances with the same respect an ethical agency would.
- They might not carry any liability insurance. While it’s probably unlikely that anything bad will happen during your case, it’s still possible. In Texas, a private investigator was updating their client (Clara Harris) about her husband’s affair and next thing you know, the client killed both her husband and his lover. You can be sure the insurance companies had a “field day” with that case. You don’t want to be in the insurance company’s crosshairs because the private investigator you hired did something wrong or negligent. Ask to see their insurance policy and note, an insurance police is NOT a bond. Bonds are worthless to you.
- They might treat the private investigation business like a hobby. It might not be their main focus in life. Ask yourself, if you were to have serious surgery, would you rather have a surgeon who operates as a hobby, or a surgeon whose livelihood depends on their day to day work for their patients? Well, a case involving a private investigator might be as serious. Cases involving private investigators often alter the lives of the people involved. It’s a serious profession, not a hobby.
Hopefully this will give you something to think about when hiring a competent private investigator. If you call around to different private investigators and find rates are normally in the range of $100 – $150 per hour, but the investigator you’re thinking of hiring charges $70 per hour, you should seriously ask why this is. There’s something wrong and the six reasons listed above might help you solve the riddle.
If you are looking for an affordable private investigator, with 20 years of experience assisting individuals, attorneys and corporations feel free to contact us here. You can also view a portion of our extensive client list here, and see what actual clients say about us here.