ONE OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS WE GET IS "HOW DOES IT WORK?
The process of hiring a Private Investigator is actually very quick and easy. Most Private Investigators have streamlined the process where everything can be done online and there is no need to meet face to face. Alternatively, you can make a time and meet with a private investigator.
1). The initial stage before hiring a private investigator is to have some idea of what your request is. It's best to have some information of what you are wanting to achieve and have some kind of realistic budget in mind.
2). Contact the private investigator. Once you have made the decision to contact a private investigator, allow 15 -20 minutes to discuss your case. The private Investigator will talk you through a series of questions related to your case and then provide options suited to your budget.
3). The next stage is up to you if you wish to proceed or take your time and have a think about things before going further.
4). If you wish to proceed, a Client Service Agreement is completed which basically authorises the private investigator to act on your behalf. The Client Service Agreement will outline all the information and instructions required for the private investigator. At this stage, payment is also made upfront.
5). Once the Client Service Agreement is completed and payment has been made, your case request is locked in for investigation. Your private investigator will then keep you updated as per your instructions.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR.
1). Make sure they have all appropriate licenses. In Florida, there are 2 categories of Private Investigator licenses depending on the state. - Individual licenses, and Business Firm Licences. An individual license is self explanatory where as Business Firm License allows a Private Investigator firm to employ other Private Investigators or even advertise their services depending on the state. Don't hesitate to ask the Private Investigator to view their license/s.
2). Always get an agreement. You should get an agreement in writing that indicates what you are hiring the Private Investigator for and what you will get in return. This should also include all terms and conditions in an official looking document or receipt.
3). Get an official receipt. Always get an official receipt when making any payment. Generally, Private Investigators will ask for a deposit, usually 50% upfront with the balance on completion. Sometimes, surveillance cases can be difficult to predict the exact amount of cost. In this instance, a top up payment or refund may be required.
4). Do you need to meet with the Private Investigator? No, not unless you want to. Much of what we do can be done quickly and with a minimal amount of inconvenience and the formality of a meeting is usually not necessary.
5). Experience. Don't hesitate to ask the Private Investigator what type of experience they have specific to your request, how long they have been in the industry and qualifications they have. 6). Professional memberships. Ask the Private Investigator if they are members of any professional associations which are set up to ensure professional work practices.
7). Evaluate the Private Investigator. The Private Investigator should be able to confidently give you options and solutions to assist you wherever possible. If you don't feel a good connection, find someone else. You may be sharing private information with this person, and you want to feel comfortable in doing so.
8). Are they insured? Ask the Private Investigator if they are covered for public liability and personal/professional indemnity Insurance. This is very important if the Private Investigator working on your case damages someone’s property, presents false information, is sued, etc, etc, etc, they should have ample insurance to cover any loses, damages or legal issues that may arise.
9). Equipped. Is the Private Investigator fully equipped? The last thing you need to find out is that the Private Investigator could not capture film or photographic evidence indoors at a bar, pub, club, restaurant, or venue whilst on your infidelity case. Don't hesitate to ask the Private Investigator if they are fully equipped to capture the evidence required under numerous circumstances.
10). Cost. A good Private Investigator will price exactly on what work needs to be carried out with realistic charges and expectations. Like anything, you get what you pay for and after all, you a paying for a professional service from a professional licensed Private Investigator.
A good Private Investigator will always speak confidently and make you feel at ease without being pushy for the sake of taking on the job. The trust between you and the Private Investigator works both ways. Don't keep anything from the Private Investigator. They are there to help YOU. Remember, you are hiring the services of a professional. This includes the surveillance vehicle (where applicable), years of experience and industry knowledge, all necessary equipment, travel, incidentals and completed report/s with photographic evidence and DVD's where applicable. This kind of service should NEVER be compromised for the cheapest option.
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Copenhaver & Associates Inc
The Orlando Private Investigator