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PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS / PROCESS SERVERS / BOUNTY HUNTERS Allen Horner aka The P.I. Man is owner and Lead Investigator at National Intelligence Group. National Intelligence Group specializes in providing the highest-quality professional services promptly, confidentially and at reasonable price. Please… View more

 970 S Village Oaks Dr. #105
Private Detective

Questions and Answers

Q: What do private investigators do?

A: A private investigator is the same profession as a private detective, private eye, or PI. You can hire a PI to undertake private as well as commercial investigatory services. Most often private detectives work with attorneys, however, many of them also provide private services to individuals. Among the most common offers you can expect the collection of information or creation of a personal profile for a particular person, surveillance, search for a missing person inside as well as outside of the country. Corporate investigators also deal with antifraud and antipiracy work, copyright infringement, due diligence, and internal investigations for large companies.

Q: How do private investigators charge?

A: Most PIs work on an hourly basis as one may never know how much time a case may take. However, you can also get into situations when you will be charged a flat fee for a case. This charging manner is common for small cases, such as basic background check, search for an address or phone number, etc. Besides the payment for the service, you should also expect a deposit or so-called retainer that is paid in advance.

Q: What is the average cost of the private investigator services?

A: The average hourly rate of private detectives is $55-$60, while the top private eyes can charge as much as $250 per hour. You should also count on additional expenses related to the case which are always paid by the customer. More detailed prices and retainer cost you can find in our private investigator cost guide.

Q: What factors affect the cost of the private investigator services?

A: While the hourly rate set by a particular private investigator is a matter of their location, thus big city rates are significantly higher than small town PI cost, the total sum you pay for the service usually depends on the similar factors in every case. Here are the most common of them:

  • Travel fees. If your case involves lots of traveling, then your PI is likely to include all tickets and fares into the final bill. Besides that, if a private eye takes care of everything with their own car, you will also pay the additional charge for every mile they need to spend at the wheel.
  • Administrative fees. Many cases require a private detective to deal with the governmental bodies and services. For instance, they may need to send something via mail, or register at the local library to get access to the archives; all such administrative payments will also be added to your account.
  • Accommodation fees. If a PI needs to rent a room or stay in a hotel for the case, then you will be the one paying for it. In such cases, it is usually discussed what accommodation fees you cover and to what extent.
  • Photo/video fixation. Every photo and minute of useful or case-related video recording usually entail additional charges. However, if your case was solely based on receiving those photos, then such a fee may not be applied to you.
  • Case complexity. The bigger and tangled your case is, the longer hours a private investigator will need to get the required information. And the more hours a case takes, the more money you pay for it.

Q: How to avoid dealing with a scam private investigator?

A: Scam artists in the private investigation business are too much too common. They pretend to be private detectives but instead of doing their job they only live at your cost. Such unreliable and distrustful services can be eliminated with the following steps:

  • Reviews and recommendations. While this is the most basic step in every search, PI work is built on trust and reviews. Never hire a private investigator you have never heard of, and always rely on the word of mouth.
  • Confidentiality agreement. Very often private investigators are hired for services that must remain confidential. Always ensure that the detective offers you to sign a confidentiality agreement to secure all the information they will find regarding your case.
  • License. Yes, most basic searches don’t require a private detective to obtain a license. However, license predetermines experience and professionalism. It gives a PI access to a larger number of resources that might be crucial for your case. Moreover, without a license you might not have the legal privilege of confidentiality from your PI’s side should your case go to court.
  • Insurance. While not all cases require insurance coverage, some do. And for these cases, it’s better to ensure that the private detective you’re cooperating with has an insurance so that you are not liable for anything that happens during the case.

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