The standard practice in the private detective industry is for practitioners to charge clients based on an hourly rate, a mileage rate, and any out-of-pocket expenses. Our Fees are based on this same principal. We charge for the number of hours spent on a case, the total number of miles driven, and for any expenses incurred. It is important to understand when comparing the price of different practitioners, that the hourly dollar rate is only one of two factors you should consider. The second factor is of course, time. The time it takes an agency to solve a case can have an enormous impact on how much the work ends up being for the client. That is why it is important to select a firm that is specialized, experienced and equipped to handle the problem at hand. That being said, finding someone who is efficient and conservative with their time is just as important as having an affordable hourly rate.
The majority of our are cased are billed at an hourly rate that is rounded to the nearest quarter-hour increment. Some of the exceptions to this rule are most computer information searches, temporary equipment leases, court appearance fees, and report writing fees. In those cases we have prescribed fees that will be provided to our client in a Fee Schedule during their initial consultation.
Clients are responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses that are incurred during an investigation. These expenses may include, but are not limited to, the following: the cost of film, photo processing and video supplies, parking fees, fees charged for receiving computer records, admission tickets, long-distance telephone charges, transcription, polygraph and forensic testing and analysis, and when specifically authorized, long-distance travel expenses such as airfare, hotel accommodations, and rental vehicles.
Deposit For Services
Another traditional practice of the private detective industry is to collect a Deposit for Services, or retainer payment, before starting on a case, similar to the policy of most private attorneys. We follow this principal as well and typically collect a deposit from our clients prior to rendering any services. One exception to this may be when we are hired by an attorney or law firm and the total charges will not exceed $500.00. The amount of the deposit is based on an estimation of the total cost for the work being requested. We do not exceed a customer’s deposit without the client’s permission. Upon completion of our work, any difference between the total charges incurred and the deposit, will be refunded to the client. If additional Fees were authorized, any balance will be due upon receipt of our Invoice and/or Statement of Account Balance.
Sales & Use tax will be charged for investigative services rendered to clients who are located in the State of Maryland (COMAR 03.06.01.39 C), or in the District of Columbia (2011 Sales Tax Law Change OTR TAX NOTICE 2011-03), as required by law.
Methods Of Payment
We accept cash, personal checks, bank checks, and money orders for payment, as well as all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.