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RE: [infoguys-list] Re: Los Angeles, CA

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  • Vicki Siedow
    I agree with Sue and Rick, although I m not quite as pricey as Rick. Still, I pay my subs well. I have raised my prices a couple of times in the last couple
    Message 1 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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      I agree with Sue and Rick, although I'm not quite as pricey as Rick. Still,
      I pay my subs well. I have raised my prices a couple of times in the last
      couple of years, and each time business has increased. I can now live more
      comfortably, and with a lot less stress, in part because I can now afford a
      better quality of subs. My clients are happier with the work, and in many
      cases their overall cost is the same or less, because I now have the
      resources to complete assignments more quickly and with greater accuracy. I
      have more successful outcomes, as well.



      I just wanted to add to Rick's comment about charitable institutions that
      many who run those institutions make very substantial salaries. Even
      charities can be profitable.



      I see in a later post that Mike says this is insurance work. He is correct
      in that insurance work generally pays less. They are always price shopping.



      Vicki Siedow
      Siedow & Associates Investigations
      & Legal Support Services
      2629 Foothill Blvd. #262
      La Crescenta, CA 91214
      Los Angeles County
      CA PI License # 22852
      800.448.6431 toll free
      818.242.0130 local
      818.688.3295 fax
      <http://siedow.lawandorder.com/> http://Siedow.LawAndOrder.com
      <mailto:Siedow@...> Siedow@...
      Member NCISS, IWWA

      Need economical legal help?
      Concerned about Identity Theft?
      Check the links on my site, or contact me directly.



      From: infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com [mailto:infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of Ricky Gurley
      Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 12:22 PM
      To: infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [infoguys-list] Re: Los Angeles, CA



      --- In infoguys-list@yahoogroups.com
      <mailto:infoguys-list%40yahoogroups.com> , suesarkis@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > Louis -
      >
      > You cannot have it both ways. You cannot want to locate GOOD
      QUALITY
      > investigators when you are only offering $30/hour. I laugh when I
      see such
      > nonsense. When I first opened my doors in 1976 as a sole
      practitioner having taken
      > many years to accumulate my required hours, I charged $35 per hour
      back then.
      > That was more than 30 years ago.
      >
      > You get what you pay for !!!
      >
      >
      > Sincerely yours,
      > Sue
      > ________________________
      > Sue Sarkis
      > Sarkis Detective Agency

      Sue is RIGHT ON THE MONEY! I pay every investigator that I have
      subcontracting work from me at least $100.00/HR.; when I am able to
      assign work to them. In my honest opinion, the hourly fee for a P.I.
      subcontracting work should not be below $100.00/HR., and as long as
      they don't try to "take advantage", they also have all reasonable
      expenses paid. I also give them a retainer to start the work with.
      And I still make money off of their work.

      I am not trying to be offensive here, but when I see other P.I.s
      offering $30.00/HR., and $50.00/HR., I wonder just how business savvy
      they are? It does sound "business savvy" to reduce the subcontractor
      rates and increase your profit margin on the surface; but if your
      reduced rates are going to net you results that are poor in quality,
      you are doing more damage to your company in the long run, and you
      are setting yourself up to immediately lose a client. When you reduce
      the rates that you are willing to pay subcontractors down to where
      only desperate people will accept your offer, you are more than
      likely not getting a subcontractor that will do quality work for you.
      At the point that you have actually subcontracted a job to someone
      that is willing to work for $30.00/HR., you have opened yourself up
      to the possibility of having to have the work done over again,
      perhaps having the case damaged beyond repair, client loss, a
      potential law suit, and the possibility of damaging your company's
      reputation. A profit of 85% is not such a good thing when you get
      sued for three times the amount of money you made on the entire case,
      or more. Nor are high profits a good thing if they affect your
      overall industry reputation and cause you to lose work due to this
      effect on your reputation.

      I am not saying that you can't get a "dud" for $100.00/HR., what I AM
      saying is when you pay a reasonable fee, you broaden your applicant
      pool, thereby giving you more subcontractors to choose from, and you
      give yourself a wider selection of quality investigators by doing so.
      You will probably have to deal with the occasional P.I. that may try
      to take advantage of your "generous nature", but you will probably
      have LESS problems with this than you would if you continue to hire
      at $30.00/HR.; because a quality, professional P.I. is going to make
      sure that you fully understand the cost when you subcontract work to
      him or her, and they won't deviate from the original agreement.

      I guess one of the things you may want to consider in doing this is
      upping your fee? I suppose it is possible that you might not be able
      to afford much more than $30.00/HR. to a subcontractor? If that is
      the case, your position is understandable, however you are doing
      yourself a disservice if this IS the case. You should be charging at
      least (the very minimum) $125.00/HR when you take a case.

      You do get what you pay for. If you expect to get quality results,
      then you have to pay for quality people. Let's not deceive ourselves
      here; we are ALL in business to make money. There is no shame in
      making money in business. If we wanted to be a charity, we would have
      structured our companies to be charitable organizations. You have to
      acknowledge this principle for your subcontractors, as well as for
      yourself.

      Rick.

      Risk Management Research & Investments, Inc.
      "He Who Forgets, Will Be Destined To Remember"
      "You'll Find No White Flags Here"

      MAIL BOX: 2101 W. Broadway PMB 326, Columbia, MO. 65203
      OFFICE ADDRESS: 607 N. Providence, Columbia, MO. 65203

      Phone: (888) 571-0958
      Fax: (877) 795-9800
      Cell: (573) 529-0808

      Email
      RMRI-Inc@... <mailto:RMRI-Inc%40mchsi.com>

      Webpage
      http://www.rmriinc.com





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Bob Hrodey
      ... That is one of the true mysteries of this business that I learned quite early on. Like anyone else I was hesitant to bump my prices up when I was first
      Message 2 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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        Vicki Siedow wrote:
        > I have raised my prices a couple of times in the last
        > couple of years, and each time business has increased.

        That is one of the true mysteries of this business that I learned quite
        early on. Like anyone else I was hesitant to bump my prices up when I
        was first getting started. I did so reluctantly, fully expecting an
        exodus - mass or otherwise - to occur. Business actually increased.
        Figured it was a fluke and bumped the rate by 20% the next time
        literally hoping to drive away some of the marginal clients who were
        penny pinchers and always seemed to expect 8 hours of work for 5 hours
        of pay. Didn't happen then either and so far as I can tell has never
        happened in my experience. Higher hourly rate (within reason, of
        course) brings in more business.

        Truly strange.

        Another brief story in re: low pay to subs that might strike a nerve
        with some others here but, nonetheless, it's something to think about.

        A long while back and for quite some time there were two investigative
        firms in my area. Me and the other guy. The other guy had been doing
        it for about 5-7 years before I started out. Like me, he also worked
        for the sheriff's police and was doing it (back then) part-time. He had
        a good load of clients as did I. He was getting time starved (I'm sure
        many of you have that problem from time to time, if not more
        frequently. It's where you have enough work to keep you busy 20 hours a
        day but you don't want to work that much... or have to.)

        At this point he asked me if I could give him a hand with some cases as
        he was severely overloaded. I didn't have a lot of time but he was a
        friend and I said I'd help him out if I could. He asked me how much I
        was charging. At that time, about 22 years ago, I think I was getting
        about $35-$40 hour. He said that he couldn't possibly pay that much as
        he was only billing $22/hr. I told him that there was no way that I'd
        sub for him for anything less than $32. He bitched and moaned and then
        said he'd pay me $30 and no more. I told him that I wouldn't do it even
        if he paid me $40/hr. He asked why not. My response was that if he's
        billing $22 and paying me $30, $32 or, even $40 an hour, he'd have to
        pad the bill to make any money since he refused to raise his rates for
        fear of losing clients. That meant that no matter how great my work
        product was, HIS clients would be looking at the reports and thinking
        "Nice work but why the hell did it take Hrodey 4 hours to do a 1½hr job.

        He simply could not believe (perhaps, RECOGNIZE is the better word) that
        if he doubled his price from $22. to, say, $40 or $45 an hour, that even
        if he lost 50% of his clients, he'd still make the same money in half
        the time. Knowing what I was charging should have also told him that
        his erstwhile clients (if any) weren't going to rush to my door in an
        effort to get a better rate.

        Realize your worth and work to live - don't live to work!


        --

        Enjoy,

        Bob
        ________________________________________________________________
        Hrodey & Associates Established 1977
        Post Office Box 366 Member of NALI, ASIS, FBINAA, NAPPS
        Woodstock, IL 60098-0366 NCISS, Assoc Det of IL & P.A.W.L.I.
        Licensed in IL & WI (815) 337-4636 Voice 337-4638 Fax
        email: inquiry@... or rth@...
        Illinois License 115-000783 Wisconsin 8045-063
      • suesarkis@aol.com
        Folks - Let me give you my understanding of insurance the way I believe it to be. Having just gotten off the telephone with an attorney to make certain I
        Message 3 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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          Folks -

          Let me give you my understanding of insurance the way I believe it to be.
          Having just gotten off the telephone with an attorney to make certain I wasn't
          losing my mind, I feel confident.

          The majority of subbed cases go to sole-proprietors. Sole proprietors
          cannot get W/C insurance. Even if they have E&O as well as liability coverage,
          none of those policies will cover him/her if injured on the job. Now, whether
          or not you the CONTRACTOR will be responsible versus the CONTRACTEE has many
          issues to consider including direct/indirect control, who demands what hours
          are worked, who supplies the equipment, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line, if I
          am a contractee working for you the contractor and I get injured in a
          vehicular accident while conducting a surveillance, I better just keep my mouth shut
          and contact my motor vehicle ins. carrier just as I would in any other
          accident. Same holds true for all other issues.

          If, on the other hand, you subcontract to a company whereby the contractee
          has employees, just by the definition of the beast, he/she has W/C coverage for
          the employees. If not, they are not employees and they are all violating
          the law in any of the states that require licensure.

          Upon the advice of numerous counsel, I have been bare since the mid to late
          '80's. Long story about a 10 mil lawsuit but when all was said and done and
          the jury awarded me a "special verdict" my attorney advised I drop all
          insurance. If you don't want to use my services because of same, be my guest.
          That leaves that much more of me for my other clients. However, don't think
          for one second that you cannot get insurance work without coverage as I am
          handling 2 different insurance cases right now and both carriers know full well I
          am not covered.

          Unless one of the insurance agents come and push me in front of a moving
          vehicle, anything that happens to me is brought about by my own actions and why
          would I sue anyone?

          One other issue to cover is the fact that NO insurance policy will cover
          intentional illegal acts. So, if you think that just because I, the CONTRACTEE,
          have E&O or Liability coverage that you, the CONTRACTOR, are protected
          should I unlawfully obtain bank account information or commit some other invasion
          violation or any other unscrupulous act, I still have that bridge for sale.
          Sorry, it will fall right back in your lap since you hired me.

          Insurance coverage is NOT what it is cracked up to be. Keep your nose clean
          and perform your assignment to the very best of your ability and you will
          walk away a winner. Trust me, when that frivolous lawsuit is filed and your
          insurance company wants to make a "nuisance settlement offer" if you have any
          pride whatsoever as well as concern for your license, you will "hold them
          harmless" and tell them to take a hike. You will wind up handling the case
          yourself anyway.


          Sincerely yours,
          Sue
          ________________________
          Sue Sarkis
          Sarkis Detective Agency

          (est. 1976)
          PI 6564
          _www.sarkispi.com_ (http://www.sarkispi.com/)

          1346 Ethel Street
          Glendale, CA 91207-1826
          818-242-2505
          818-242-9824 FAX

          "one Nation under God"

          If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank
          a military veteran !



          **************************************Check out AOL's list of 2007's hottest
          products.
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        • Glad4JC@aol.com
          Sue, I am reading backwards so I am playing catch up. But that sounds right to me, so if you can tip me off who will hire an uninsured person. I am
          Message 4 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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            Sue,

            I am reading backwards so I am playing catch up. But that sounds right to
            me, so if you can tip me off who will hire an uninsured person. I am probably
            going to get E & O with liability by year end, but in the mean time, I would
            gladly take work from insurance cos who would hire me, I didn't think any
            would so I never inquired. Obviously I would rather have it, and I agree, if I
            am in my car and some accident occurs it is business as usual, I pay for car
            insurance for that.

            I will read back and see what is going on in the conversation.


            Gladys Brierley
            Accurate Investigations
            PO BOX 872
            Newton County, Mississippi
            601-480-3181 bus
            601-683-2094 fax
            Bus License # 1499
            Glad4JC@...
            Member NAIS, ACI, IA
            _www.freewebs.com/glad4jc_ (http://www.freewebs.com/glad4jc)
            _www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator_
            (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


            Services include but not limited to, online record searches, courier
            services, domestic-fidelity checks, employee theft, process service, witness
            interview, surveillance, specialized referrals for computer forensics, recovery &
            extractions, missing children cases. Also willing to work with teams on cold
            cases. Professional courtesy to other PI's & Attorneys . I promise to give you
            my very best efforts and safeguard client confidentiality.

            _PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS : PARENTS AGAINST PREDATORS_
            (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS/?yguid=206815254)
            _MississippiPrivateInvestigators : MISSISSIPPI PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS_
            (http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/MississippiPrivateInvestigators/?yguid=8099974
            )

            _Find me on MySpace and be my friend!_
            (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


            This e-mail message is protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy
            Act, 18 U.S.C. §2510-2521 and is legally privileged. Unauthorized review, use
            or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you have received this in error,
            please reply and notify the sender (only) and delete the message. Unauthorized
            interception of this e-mail is a violation of federal criminal law.


            In a message dated 12/2/2007 5:39:32 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,
            suesarkis@... writes:




            Folks -

            Let me give you my understanding of insurance the way I believe it to be.
            Having just gotten off the telephone with an attorney to make certain I
            wasn't
            losing my mind, I feel confident.

            The majority of subbed cases go to sole-proprietors. Sole proprietors
            cannot get W/C insurance. Even if they have E&O as well as liability
            coverage,
            none of those policies will cover him/her if injured on the job. Now,
            whether
            or not you the CONTRACTOR will be responsible versus the CONTRACTEE has many
            issues to consider including direct/indirect control, who demands what hours
            are worked, who supplies the equipment, etc., etc., etc. Bottom line, if I
            am a contractee working for you the contractor and I get injured in a
            vehicular accident while conducting a surveillance, I better just keep my
            mouth shut
            and contact my motor vehicle ins. carrier just as I would in any other
            accident. Same holds true for all other issues.

            If, on the other hand, you subcontract to a company whereby the contractee
            has employees, just by the definition of the beast, he/she has W/C coverage
            for
            the employees. If not, they are not employees and they are all violating
            the law in any of the states that require licensure.

            Upon the advice of numerous counsel, I have been bare since the mid to late
            '80's. Long story about a 10 mil lawsuit but when all was said and done and
            the jury awarded me a "special verdict" my attorney advised I drop all
            insurance. If you don't want to use my services because of same, be my
            guest.
            That leaves that much more of me for my other clients. However, don't think
            for one second that you cannot get insurance work without coverage as I am
            handling 2 different insurance cases right now and both carriers know full
            well I
            am not covered.

            Unless one of the insurance agents come and push me in front of a moving
            vehicle, anything that happens to me is brought about by my own actions and
            why
            would I sue anyone?

            One other issue to cover is the fact that NO insurance policy will cover
            intentional illegal acts. So, if you think that just because I, the
            CONTRACTEE,
            have E&O or Liability coverage that you, the CONTRACTOR, are protected
            should I unlawfully obtain bank account information or commit some other
            invasion
            violation or any other unscrupulous act, I still have that bridge for sale.
            Sorry, it will fall right back in your lap since you hired me.

            Insurance coverage is NOT what it is cracked up to be. Keep your nose clean
            and perform your assignment to the very best of your ability and you will
            walk away a winner. Trust me, when that frivolous lawsuit is filed and your
            insurance company wants to make a "nuisance settlement offer" if you have
            any
            pride whatsoever as well as concern for your license, you will "hold them
            harmless" and tell them to take a hike. You will wind up handling the case
            yourself anyway.


            Sincerely yours,
            Sue
            ________________________
            Sue Sarkis
            Sarkis Detective Agency

            (est. 1976)
            PI 6564
            _www.sarkispi._www.s_http://www.sarkispihttp:_ (http://www.sarkispi.com/) )

            1346 Ethel Street
            Glendale, CA 91207-1826
            818-242-2505
            818-242-9824 FAX

            "one Nation under God"

            If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English, thank
            a military veteran !

            ******************************************<WBR>*********<WBR>*********<WBR>***
            ***
            products.
            (_http://money.http://money.<WBhttp://money.http://monhttp://money.<WBhttp_
            (http://money.aol.com/special/hot-products-2007?NCID=aoltop00030000000001) )

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          • Glad4JC@aol.com
            I don t see many of those being offered in Mississippi, but when I do I often wonder how they think anyone can afford to work so cheap and wait so long to
            Message 5 of 24 , Dec 2, 2007
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              I don't see many of those being offered in Mississippi, but when I do I
              often wonder how they think anyone can afford to work so cheap and wait so long
              to get paid and still have a long resume and insurance, lol.

              I am not sure I like the idea of people from all over the country
              advertising here in my state and then trying to get me to do the work cheaply. I don't
              mind if its a good working relationship with a person who is trying to build
              a legitimate nation wide or several states business, I have someone I work
              with like that and it is ok. But it does seem to be a little misleading to
              overreach into states with big $ advertising and then offer the situation at
              rock bottom prices to eager newbies, like me. I guess I am doing the right
              thing by saying NO to any company that wants me to do work for so little and
              have all their requirements and get paid in 30 days. I feel better already, lol.

              Gladys Brierley
              Accurate Investigations
              PO BOX 872
              Newton County, Mississippi
              601-480-3181 bus
              601-683-2094 fax
              Bus License # 1499
              Glad4JC@...
              Member NAIS, ACI, IA
              _www.freewebs.com/glad4jc_ (http://www.freewebs.com/glad4jc)
              _www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator_
              (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


              Services include but not limited to, online record searches, courier
              services, domestic-fidelity checks, employee theft, process service, witness
              interview, surveillance, specialized referrals for computer forensics, recovery &
              extractions, missing children cases. Also willing to work with teams on cold
              cases. Professional courtesy to other PI's & Attorneys . I promise to give you
              my very best efforts and safeguard client confidentiality.

              _PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS : PARENTS AGAINST PREDATORS_
              (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PARENTS-AGAINST-PREDATORS/?yguid=206815254)
              _MississippiPrivateInvestigators : MISSISSIPPI PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS_ (http:
              //finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/MississippiPrivateInvestigators/?yguid=8099974
              )

              _Find me on MySpace and be my friend!_
              (http://www.myspace.com/mississippiinvestigator)


              This e-mail message is protected by the Electronic Communications Privacy
              Act, 18 U.S.C. §2510-2521 and is legally privileged. Unauthorized review, use
              or distribution is strictly prohibited. If you have received this in error,
              please reply and notify the sender (only) and delete the message. Unauthorized
              interception of this e-mail is a violation of federal criminal law.


              In a message dated 12/2/2007 11:33:07 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
              administrator@... writes:




              Bob Hrodey wrote:

              > Then you're doing it wrong. Like Sue and Rick, when I see requests
              > for "sub-contractors" at $25-$50/hour who are required to be
              > licensed,insured, etc. I laugh. I also believe that in such a case,
              > your argument about WC expense, employees, etc. have no place in the
              > equation. If I conform to your needs with regard to licensing, etc.
              > I am the one incurring the expense of WC, insurance, admin,
              > mileage, etc. NOT you.

              Bob,

              I agree with everything you said, with the exception of one minor
              point. Having just gone through an insurance audit, I can tell you
              that most PIs do not have workers' compensation insurance. If I
              engage the services of either an individual PI or a PI agency and
              they do not have workers' compensation coverage, I am on the hook for
              paying that premium. Not one of the individual PIs that I engaged to
              do work for me on a subcontract basis had workers' compensation
              coverage; and only two of the PI agencies did. All of them had
              general liability coverage, but that is probably only because the
              state requires it. It doesn't shock me that the individual PIs
              lacked workers' compensation coverage, but you would be surprised how
              many PI agencies, even PI agencies with actual employees, lack that
              coverage.

              The bottom line is that the contractor is more than likely
              left "holding the bag" to pay workers' compensation coverage on the
              subcontractor. On the other hand, it is likely that the contractor
              doesn't have workers' compensation coverage anyway. If the
              contractor does happen to have workers' compensation coverage, the
              rate is probably around 4% at the most. The contractor is still
              going to get away without having to pay matching social security and
              medicare (6.2% and 1.45% respectively) along with federal and state
              unemployment taxes (varies) and general liability insurance (around
              4%).

              I don't necessarily take issue with people offering assignments at
              ridiculously low rates to other PIs. We all have the capacity to
              say "NO" and some of us should exercise it more. It feels good to
              say "NO" to a case or client; and all of us should "just say no" to
              these companies wanting to pay ridiculously low rates. If we all
              just say no, these companies will be forced to change their practices.

              I do take issue with companies that advertise and accept cases in
              states in which they are not licensed. These are the companies we
              all see everyday posting that they "need assistance" with a case in
              ABC City. They should say the following if they want to be close to
              accurate: "We advertise our company on the internet as being a large
              national expert PI agency, so now we have a client in some far away
              state who was dumb enough to believe our bullshit facade. We need a
              local PI willing to do the actual field work for less than half their
              normal rate. By the way, you will have to wait 30 days or more to
              get paid."








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