In most cases, people who call our offices seeking a private investigator are calling for the first time. They are usually a little apprehensive, unsure of what to expect, and they are calling us because someone has already violated their trust. Either way, they don’t know how the conversation should flow, what questions they should ask, or even how much a private investigator should cost. The cost should be. Furthermore, they lack the knowledge of what to look for or who to avoid when choosing a private investigator to deal with their sensitive and confidential issue or problem.
While I do not outsource or subcontract private detective agency work, I have found, vetted, and helped several current and prior clients contract with a competent and dependable investigator in geographic areas outside of where our offices are located in New York City and Northeast Ohio. Therefore, I’ve researched a lot of private investigators on the web, called their offices, and checked them out with others in the business. I’ve actually developed a process for this service along the way. There are more P.I.s that have been de-selected than those that have been affirmed. It was evident to me that there are numerous competent and good private investigators, but unfortunately, they are greatly outnumbered by incompetents and hacks calling themselves private investigators. Some clients paid a premium to have us take care of issues out of town (and return their calls) when we couldn’t get competent people to answer the telephone.
Having witnessed the disastrous results my own clients have experienced from hiring the wrong private investigators (before we were hired, of course), combined with my own frustrations in finding an adequate P.I. in other geographic locations, I’ve decided to create this quick and dirty guide that highlights the most common mistakes to avoid when hiring a private investigator so you can steer clear of some of these mistakes, yourself…
Here they are…Disregard them at your own peril:
MISTAKE #1: Hiring a private investigator that you can’t directly reach on the phone.
I have heard many people with experience working with private investigators complain that they are unable to contact them. They cannot get personal investigators when they need them, and even worse, they never return their phone calls (if they do).
The way the investigator answers the phone when you first call him…when you’re still unsure if you want to work with him…can give you a lot of insight into how your case might be handled. When it comes to this business, voice mail is a huge red flag, no matter the stage of the relationship. Outsourced answering services or call centers, with representatives possibly located elsewhere in the world, are also a red flag.