When you hire a private investigator that doesn’t charge high fees, it may seem like you’re getting a great deal. After all, why pay $200 if you can get the same service for $100, right? But that’s the thing – you don’t necessarily get the same quality of service at a lower price.
This and the other reasons below are why you should not settle for a cheap private investigator:
- Cheaper is not always better. You’ve canvassed rates for private investigations online. You found that one company charges $50 an hour for background checks while another company charges $250. That’s a significant difference. And though it may initially be cost-effective to go for cheaper option, weighing in factors like speed and efficiency can go a long way in terms of overall expenses.
Taking our earlier price quotes into consideration, let’s say you engage Company A and they take 12 hours to do the probe. Company B, doing the same background check, only needed 2 hours to do it. You end up paying less using Company B’s services – $500 – compared to Company A, who charges you $600. So it’s not the hourly rate; it’s also how fast the private investigator can get things done.
If the investigation company offers it, opt for a flat rate, instead of an hourly rate. That way, the price is fixed and there are no surprises.
- Watch out for hidden charges. Sure, the initial rate quoted by the investigator sounds like a good deal. And yet, what the company might not be telling you is that the quote is a base price, and there are other charges, such as taxes and setup fees, that have not been included in the estimate. Make sure to read the fine print before signing anything.
When asking for a quote, request for an all-inclusive price, which would have any or all of the following:
- Investigator’s travel time
- Minor disbursements
- Client reporting
- Client liaison
- GPS fees
- Background checks
- You get what you pay for. While it is fallacious to think that hiring an expensive investigator will give you fast and easy results, it is likewise false to assume cheap rates mean cheap service. And yet, this is true for some investigating groups, private or commercial. If funds sourced from the client are limited, then there is a possibility that the agent will not exhaust all efforts in obtaining information.
How can you avoid this? Well for one, you can shift your mindset and think of hiring a private investigator in terms of skill and experience, and not just financial viability. Make it known to the company that you wish to be as detailed and accurate as possible, especially if the information will be used in court proceedings. This means being open to unforeseen circumstances, which could lead to cost, such as flight tickets to keep tracking an individual, or even restaurant checks, when dining with an informant.
So if you wish to hire a private investigator and aim for reliable, good results, go for the reasonably priced ones who have years of experience and proven expertise over a company that offers inexpensive rates but turn out to be a gamble with lesser chance of success.