You need the services of a private investigator and you have a number of potential candidates who can undertake the investigative work you require. But how do you go about choosing a good private investigation firm? How do you know you have found the right match? Many people who require the services of a private detective do not have the experience of choosing a good private investigation firm. There are a few guidelines I will give you to look out for before you settle on a private investigator or a private investigation firm.
1. Practicing License: First and foremost, you have to ensure that the private investigation firm is licensed by the Security Industry Regulation Department (SIRD), a department of the Singapore Police Force. You can go to the SIRD website or visit the police station near you to confirm that the private investigation firm is duly registered and the license is up to date. You will also find information on whether the investigation firm has had a complaint lodged against them and even if they have been fined for flouting some rules in addition to whether they have ever been disciplined for one offence or the other.
2. Location: The private investigation firm undertaking your case must have a physical location. You should be able to locate the physical address of the investigation firm i.e. the street, the building, floor number as well as the physical address should match that given in the practicing license. You should also scout out the location of their offices and ask their neighbors how long that business has been operating in that area so as to be safe.
3. Social Media: In this day and age of technology, most private investigation firms have an online presence: be in twitter, Facebook, YouTube or even operating their own company website. Look up the activities of the private investigation firm on the social media, their online reputation as well as the testimonials and feedback they get on their blogs so as to gauge their service provision. The company’s website should also have contact information like the telephone number, email address, physical location and the office hours. If it does not state where it is located, they might just be conmen, a database broker or even an unlicensed private investigation firm!
4. Certified Members Of A Reputable Private Investigation Association: The advantage of the private investigation firm being a member of a reputable association is the guarantee that they are operating within a certain laid out procedure, professional standards and ethical boundaries. They are also up to date with the ever changing legal environment and get training and update their skills on a regular basis. Check out the association the investigation firm associates with and it will give you an insight on who they are. If you want to know a person, look at the company he or she keeps!
Other considerations include: License to carry a firearm (if the investigation needs one), a professional indemnity cover, personal accident cover for the private investigators reputation of the firm, corporate social responsibility activities as well as the rapport you have when you meet representatives from the firm.
We all know that private investigation is a business just like any other in the service industry. This means that they will have some overheads like rent, wages & salaries, electricity, taxes, accounting fees, travel expenditure, depreciation, utility bills as well as other expenses necessary for operating the business. As any other business, the bottom line (i.e. the profit margins) must be considered.
A reputable private investigation firm might not be necessary charging a higher price compared to a smaller private investigation firm. In every business, a bigger company always kills by overhead. Their worry is the firm’s profit margin. The only way to sustain their business is to charge their clients with higher investigation fees maybe even including a 7% Government Service Tax.
Make sure that you understand what constitutes the investigation fees you are being charged. Make sure that you understand exactly what you are being charged for. Have the agreement in writing on whether you are being charged a flat rate fee or a by the hour fee. Insist on having evidence of the work done as well as a detailed work log so that you are not shortchanged. Know the number of people who will be working on your case and their credentials. Make sure you compare the investigation price quotation from different firms before settling on one that fits into your budget.
SK Investigation Services, which has been in operation since 1988 assures you of its sincerity as well as quality services. We will provide a fair and reasonable rate, which will still allow us to make a reasonable profit. We will ensure that the services we provide you make you, our esteemed client, happy. At the end of the day, you are the ones who make us who we are; and we are here to serve you!
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