TIP #2: Insider Tips & Pitfalls | Article by Bear Witness: How to Hire a Private Investigator
Make sure the Private Investigator specializes in exactly what you need.
Not knowing (or caring) about this could be a very costly mistake for you.
After all, it would not be in your best interest to hire a private detective agency that mainly does Court Document Retrieval or Process Serving, Guard Services or Polygraphs, Computer Forensics or Accident Reconstruction to perform, let's say, a sensitive Surveillance assignment.
It simply makes no sense. And regardless of what they tell you to acquire your business, their odds of failure will unfortunately be quite high. Save yourself the time, money, trouble and future headaches. Check them out a bit further before you decide to hire.
But, sometimes getting a real honest answer is not so easy. Here's where a little research goes a long way and can prove to be an important factor in the outcome of your case. A good way to do this is to review their available information (from their own website or advertisements).
Most companies place lots of information about their services on their websites. Yet, often times all they are doing is making contradictory statements. It's a by-product of trying to be everything, for everyone. The One-Stop-Shop mentality may not be in your best interest.
Here's what we suggest: Review their information. Then place a simple phone call into the company. However, before you tell them anything about you or your case, just ask them what they specialize in. It is this simple question that many will simply refuse to answer. They should be able to tell you this, right?
They may not want to commit to an answer in case that is not what you need. They do stand a chance of losing your business and revenue. Instead of the private investigator giving you a straight answer, he or she may hit you with a question instead. “What can we help you with?” or something along those lines may strangely echo into your eardrum. (Seeing as they blatantly ignored your question, maybe they just didn't hear you!) We recommend that you to politely ask them once more: “What do you guys specialize in?”
If the private investigation company will still not give you a straight and direct answer right away, or if they rattle off 3, 4, or 5 different things, chances are pretty high they don't really specialize in anything. Many people may refer to that as being a Jack-of-all-Trades, and a Master of None.
But more importantly, if getting a straight answer from them feels like you are pulling teeth, just hang up the phone and call another private investigator. There are many good private investigators in the State of California that will not play those types of games with you. And that's exactly what that is….a game. One that you do not need to play!
To summarize Tip #2…by you asking the private investigator that one specific question, you have gained more valuable insight. First, you have determined if they do or do not specialize in exactly what you need; and secondly, you have again tested their level of honesty and integrity.