Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Free People Search

Are people who get something for free called free-loaders? A while back Sherlock Investigations offered a free people search once a month for a worthy case. Our heart was in the right place, but it didn't work out because the people behind the cases we took were either unappreciative, or uncooperative.

You'd think they would be both, since they're getting hundreds of dollars worth of absolutely free services. But, that never seemed the case.

I don't know if TV has helped private investigators or hurt us. Television has focused on our industry to the point that people often think of us when they have a problem. The only problem is, TV doesn't present private investigators in reality.

The biggest point that they miss is the financial aspect. If you see a docudrama about private investigators, you never see a client signing the contract and handing the private investigator a check or credit card. In fact, no show about private investigators show such a thing.

Who's paying the bills on these shows? In the case of a docudrama the production company pays the investigator for his services. The so-called client gets everything free.

In programs like CSI, or other fictional shows, whether or not they're based on reality, some unseen and unmentioned entity pays the bills. In real life, the government foots the bills for investigations. Sometimes, though, they don't have the budget. That's why many crimes are never solved, because no one has the money to pay the detectives.

Criminal cases and civil cases are not solved by entering information into a data base and pushing a button. There are very specific steps an investigator must go through in solving a case.

We'll still take pro bono cases, but very, very seldomly. We don't have the time or the budget. Sorry.

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