Many clients will get tunnel vision when it comes to the hourly fee of the private investigator or detective and they use this factor as the only one in picking an investigator. This, of course can be a major mistake. You are not shopping for a shirt; you are shopping for a PROFESSIONAL service; one which requires skill, experience, and knowledge. A client should always look at the case as if it will go to court, even if it never does. It is very difficult to compare ‘apples to apples’ in picking a private investigator. More appropriate questions that clients can ask in reference to cost are: Can the client set a cap on the fees and expenses of the case? Can the private investigator give an estimate of the cost of completing the case?
Private investigators and detectives have different fees depending on the case. The fees can include travel time, mileage charges, toll charges, hotel/meal reimbursements, report fees, court copy/document retrieval fees, court preparation and testifying fees, video/audio copy fees, telephone calling cards, etc. The private investigator should also give updates or progress reports. Keep in mind, however, that with all other charges being equal, if a $75/hour Denver surveillance investigator can give the same results in 5 hours versus a $60/hour Colorado Springs surveillance investigator can give in 10 hours, which is the better deal?
Choosing a private investigator is not always an easy process. However, the same way you would choose an attorney with the right specialties, qualifications, experience, references, etc. to represent your case, so should you choose a private investigator, or better yet, a professional investigator. In the end, the time, energy, and money will be well worth it.