Private Detective Companies in California: What to Avoid When Hiring

Hiring a private detective company in California or anywhere in the world for the first time can be somewhat tense for the individual seeking the help of these professionals. Many do not know what to expect, the kind of questions that should be asked when interviewing the detective, how much the service might cost, etc. As a result of all these unknowns, they end up making some costly mistakes.

If you want to hire a private detective company for the first time or you’ve been on this road before, there are certain mistakes you need to avoid to protect you from being exploited. The fact is that there are many fraudsters parading as P.Is, and if you are not careful, you might expose sensitive information and detail to them that might be used against you. Click on this to learn how to protect your privacy online.

Since we are aware of these issues, we have written this article to show you just a few mistakes you should avoid when you want to hire a private detective company in California or anywhere in the world.

Hiring a Company that cannot be Readily Contacted Directly via Phone – Mistake #1

We are going to say this loud and clear: “The P.I firm that you choose must be readily available on phone”. You should be able to call them directly, and they should be able to return missed calls immediately. Any lax communication is an indication that there is a problem.

When contacting the firm for the first time, you should take note of how your call is being responded to. If you can’t lay hold of the individuals working in the organization when you call, then it is a sign of how that company will handle your case.

Any organization that uses voice mail in this industry is a red flag that should get you running in the other direction. Also, the use of outsourced answering services is a red flag that should make you stay away from such a company.

Communication must be maintained at all times between you and the P.I. Hence, if your first call was promptly attended to (probably because they want to secure the case), you shouldn’t just believe that this will be their normal behavior when your money is in their pockets.

Therefore, ask them about their communication process. In other words, ask them how frequently you will receive updates about the case. Find out how easy it will be for them to be contacted, what their availability hours are, and the highest turnaround time require for them to return missed calls.

The answers they provide will give you an understanding of how the channel of communication will be when they eventually land your case.

Hiring a Company without Physically Meeting the P.I Handling your Case – Mistake #2

Some companies have several detectives working as employees; hence, it becomes important that you meet and know the particular detective who will be working on your case.

Just like in any field, some investigators are better than others. Every organization in the industry knows this, so those firms with multiple investigators tend to showcase the collective strength of these individuals rather than the individual strength of the investigators.

While the collective strength is a good indication of the company’s ability, it might not be the right projection of ability for the P.I assigned to your case. Therefore, you need to meet the person one on one to enable you to assess and rate their skills, ability, and professionalism.

Since you are hiring through a company, you need to go to the physical office of the firm and see the workspace of the investigator assigned to you. If you don’t know the location of the office, you can find out on the page for “Contact Us” when you view website of the firm. If you can’t find an address or the address has a P.O Box listing only, then you should avoid that company.

The firm’s office should also give you a good understanding of how organized, efficient, and professional they are. If the office is looking shabby, unorganized, unprofessional, with previous or ongoing cases open to prying eyes, then you have every right to work out the front door without looking back.

Hiring a Company without Seeing End Product Samples of their Investigations and Findings – Mistake #3

If you are trying to gather evidence that will be acceptable in court, it is important that the findings of the investigation are well documented in a well-written report with quality media evidence in form of videos or/and photographs.

As it has been observed in multiple cases, certain superior evidence and documentation can give you the advantage that wins you a case even before filing a case in court. This is one of the reasons many cases are settled out of the court when the documentation and evidence cannot be denied by the offending party.

Therefore, to be sure that you have a P.I that can produce such undeniable evidence, you should ask the company to provide you with samples of what the end product of their investigations will be.

In most cases, reputable companies have such samples on their official websites. However, if you can’t find such, ask them for previous documentation of cases they have closed out. Ask them to also include photographs of such cases with date/time stamps as proof.

The reports they provide will enable you to determine what the end product of your case will look like. If the organization and quality of the report are poor, then the organization and quality of your case report will most likely be poor as well. On the other hand, if the organization and quality of the report are great, then the organization and quality of your case report will most likely be great as well.


What we have shared are just 3 of the many mistakes individuals make when hiring a private detective company in California or anywhere in the world. We believe that you will be able to avoid these mistakes now that you know them.