“What is this going to cost? “
“How do you figure out your prices?”
“It seems expensive, why?”
I am asked these questions a lot. Most of the time I explain by itemizing the various services we charge for, but I really think understanding the costs of Private Investigation comes with valuing what you are paying for. We all mentally categorize goods and services based on a perceived worth. Just think of how often a friend has shown you a purchase and all you can think is “They paid what? That’s not worth it!” To your friend it was obviously worth it. While we cannot tell clients how highly to value our services, we can explain that we arrive at our pricing by placing a value on our high quality service and proven results.
Even so, at first glance some clients mentally place our services in their “luxury” category; something that is nice to have but they don’t really need. However, very often it is our services that make the difference between having hard and fast facts or playing a he said, she said game. When evaluating the worth of Private Investigative services, it is important to determine how critical evidence is to what you are trying to prove. Many clients come to us in need of evidence to prove a suspicion. In many cases these indisputable facts are not a luxury, but a necessity.
Our services dedicate highly trained professional expertise along with the most current technology to uncover what clients are looking to find. Our prices are a combination of the costs and value of service input and product output.
The biggest cost typically associated with a Private Investigation, and the primary reason many clients hire us, is surveillance. Surveillance is the observation of a person, place, or object in order to document interactions or activities that involve the subject of the investigation. Through surveillance we are able to gather high-quality, court admissible evidence that you could not otherwise gather successfully on your own. The key words here are court-admissible evidence. Our Private Investigators observe the strictest legal and ethical standards that will hold up under deposition and/or cross-examination. Clients who try to gather this information on their own often cross an unknown line, the information they gather is inadmissible, and the evidence is weakened or thrown out.
The costs associated with surveillance are more than simply the hours taken to observe. Here’s how the costs of surveillance really add up:
Prior to going out on surveillance we research the case to gather background information and any other supporting evidence. We use the most up-to-date technological tools to access relevant information the general public may not have.
While out on surveillance, our Private Investigators work to capture the subject on video utilizing advanced investigative technology in the most discreet, professional, and ethical manner.
Throughout surveillance we are frequently in touch with the client for updates and recommendations. The process is fluid and we are flexible. If a client wants to extend their surveillance time, we give them that choice during the process.
Post-surveillance, we put together a comprehensive report outlining our findings and relevant information. We are also available for any deposition or court appearance to further back up our findings.
Prices throughout the industry may fluctuate, and I encourage you to ask questions. The least expensive prices could be a good deal or they could reflect the quality of the staff, the level of the equipment, the time put into your case, and ultimately the results you are looking for. It is critical you trust your Private Investigator and that begins with your initial agreement and cost estimation. Any uncertainty or discomfort should be considered a red flag and you should move on.