The Cheaper The Better? Why The Least Expensive P.I. Is Seldom The Best Choice
Financially, times are still tough for a lot of people so it's probably not surprising that some of the clients who contact us are price shopping. As former federal agents with over 15 years of experience in private practice, we are definitely not the cheapest alternative in terms of the hourly rate we charge. Whenever a client argues, "Your competitor offered a rate that is 40% less than that", our response is usually, but if he ends up needing 20 surveillance hours to get the "smoking gun" video you need compared to our 10 hours, you end up paying 20% MORE compared to us! In other words, experience and training does make a difference! Even on a flat-rate assignment, such as locating a missing person, $99 might seem like a great deal compared to our $250 -- unless you pay the $99 first and then have to come to us (this happens a lot) after the bargain basement guy fails to deliver. We WILL locate your missing person, but now you've paid $99 + $250 = $349! There is also the danger that a less-qualified P.I. will, through his incompetence and less-than-professional approach, botch the case to the point where it can't be salvaged. Most of the investigative tasks that our clients come to us with are potentially life-altering events for them (a divorce, a missing loved one). When it comes to one's future, one should not treat the process the same as shopping for a new toaster!