Hiring A Private Investigator
How often are you faced with a situation where you feel the need to hire a Private Investigator? Not very often… right? So where do you start and how can you make sure that the Private Investigator your thinking of hiring is the right choice for you. Bearing in mind that the private investigator industry in the U.K is not currently regulated, this open the doors for many rogue, fly by night individuals to set up and practice without any skill, experience or qualifications. So hiring a private investigator to help you with your situation may not be as easy a process as you may have initially thought. Don’t get me wrong, there are many professional private investigators in UK that do make hiring a private investigator a simple, transparent and straight forward task.
Establishing who you are dealing with before hiring a private investigator is crucial…
Before Hiring a Private Investigator, What you should Look Out For?
In the very first instance, the chances are that you did a quick search on google for a private investigator and felt compelled to call one of the first few listings at the top of the page. Please note that just because someone is listed in the top few positions on google does not mean that they are experienced and reputable. Anyone can pay to be listed in the first few listings and this does certainly not mean that this is the right fit for you. I appreciate that this may be a very emotional time in your life which is why you need help, so the last thing we would want for you when hiring a private investigator, is that you fall prey to a rogue firm.
First Step to take before hiring a Private Investigator
The very first thing I would recommend that you do, is call the number advertised on the listing during office hours and see if the call is answered. Many private Investigators embark on the journey of becoming a Private Investigator but start of as a part-time venture alongside their day job. Do you really want your case handled by a part-time private investigator? No… I didn’t think so either! If the call is answered, that’s a good sign. Now discuss your situation with the Investigator in great depth and take all the time you need. Don’t be rushed to just quickly summarise the situation. If you feel that you are being rushed and the conversation is diverted to the fee early on in the conversation, that’s generally not a positive sign and you should begin treading on the side of caution. As professional Private Investigators, our job is to help people. How can one expect to help someone or best advise them on their situation if they are not taking the time, to listen to the client?
How Does the Private Investigator Suggest They Can Help You?
Once you have briefed the Private Investigator about your situation, you should now expect a quote…right? Wrong!
You need to establish if this Private investigator has dealt with such a situation in the past and don’t feel afraid to ask about a past case. Of course the Private Investigator can’t reveal any sensitive information, but they should be able to give you an example and of course how they helped the client. Right now, you need to gain confidence in the Private Investigator you’re speaking with before discussing any fees.
Are the fees clearly quoted in a written agreement?
Being quoted a fee over the phone is fine but do not commit and make any payments over the phone or on a website without reading through the written contract. Any reputable private investigator will first send you a written contractual agreement clearly stating the official company registration details and address. This agreement must also clearly outline exactly what services you are paying for and what the private investigators obligations are to you. Without this crucial document, do NOT proceed. Over the years I have had many clients hiring our services after being completely disappointed with another firm where they have paid for a service without signing an agreement and of course that makes it extremely difficult to obtain a refund.
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