How do I know that Metropolitan Investigators is properly licensed?

Our license number is 117-001457. You can visit the website for the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. Navigate to the Division of Professional Regulation and look for the license look-up page. You can search licensed professionals by name and profession, or by license number. You can also contact IDFPR's Division of Professional Regulation by telephone at (217) 785-0800. Never do business with an unlicensed private detective or private detective agency!

How do I know that Metropolitan Investigators is properly insured?

One of the many regulations imposed upon a licensed private detective and a licensed private detective agency by IDFPR is that they must carry and provide proof of at least $1,000,000 worth of general commercial liability coverage. If we are going to develop a business relationship with you, we will, at your request, instruct our insurance company to transmit to you a certificate of insurance. Whether or not you chose our agency, we advise that you stay away from any private detective that refuses or fails to provide you with acceptable proof of insurance.

What is Metropolitan Investigator's policy concerning confidentiality?

At all times, Metropolitan Investigators will hold any and all information obtained from and for our clients in the utmost confidence. We will not release anything to any third-party without the client's express written consent. Additionally, we will never reveal the fact that you are our client without your consent. In the event that a legal process (subpoena, court order, etc...) is initiated to obtain copies of an investigation or the testimony of one or more of our investigators, the client will be contacted beforehand to permit the client's legal counsel the opportunity to intervene on the client's behalf.

Does Metropolitan Investigators accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards.

Does Metropolitan Investigators accept Paypal?

Yes, we accept PayPal.

Why does Metropolitan Investigators use MapQuest to compute mileage for service or process?

One of the principles upon which we operate is upfront pricing. We offer "flat rate" service of process, so our clients are not surprised by charges for mileage on each attempt to serve the paper. MapQuest facilitates our flat rate pricing by allowing our clients to quickly and easily compute the mileage, and thus our total fee, before selecting us as their service provider. MapQuest is a neutral third-party and generally accepted as an accurate online map service.

Will I have to pay a retainer to Metropolitan Investigators?

While we require a retainer be paid prior to any work being performed, it is waived in a limited number of situations. We require a retainer from any person or entity requesting our services on a "one-time" basis. We do not require a retainer from our clients when they have chosen Metropolitan Investigators as their exclusive provider pursuant to an exclusive service provider agreement. We do not require a retainer from any person or firm with whom we have developed a positive business relationship and utilize our services on a regular basis.

Is the retainer I pay to Metropolitan Investigators refundable?

In most cases, yes! When we started this agency, we surveyed the consumers and found that one of the top complaints was that so many agencies required their clients to pay large retainers that were non-refundable. We do not believe that the practice of taking non-refundable retainers is fair to the consumer, so in most case, we don't do it. On the other hand, there are cases where this practice is perfectly acceptable, but those cases are very rare. An example of a situation that would require a non-refundable retainer would be a large protective detail. In that example, we will have to reserve large blocks of time for many of our investigators to get the assignment done properly. In the limited situations in which your retainer is non-refundable, it will be clearly explained to you and written into the contract in unambiguous language. In most cases, Metropolitan Investigators will refund the unused portion of your retainer within ten (10) business days of the cancellation. In all cases, you will still be responsible for paying the mandatory minimum hourly charge for the service requested (varies) and all expenses incurred to that point.

What are some examples of expenses that I may be charged for?

In some cases, there are virtually no expenses. Most cases incur some limited expenses and a few incur numerous expenses. Some common expenses include: overnight lodging, meals, tolls, parking fees, media commodities (Mini-DV tapes, VHS tapes, 35mm film, DVDs & CDs), copying fees, copy certification fees, record retrieval fees, filing fees, proprietary database search fees, telephone calls, other expendable equipment, 35mm film developing, photographic prints, specialized equipment rentals and monies paid to informants. In all cases, expenses will be discussed with and authorized by the client beforehand. In most cases, we will be able to give you a close estimate of expenses prior to starting the work. Most of our clients set a limit for expenses and only want to be contacted for authorization when that limit must be surpassed.

Has Metropolitan Investigators ever been named a defendant in a lawsuit?

No! Metropolitan Investigators has never been named a defendant in a lawsuit for any reason.

Can Metropolitan Investigators guarantee the outcome of an investigation?

While we strive to perform the best service possible to our clients, we are unable to guarantee the results of any investigation. Frankly, you should be leery of any private detective that will guarantee a certain desired outcome. We are professional investigators and will diligently work on your case, but there are never any guarantees that our investigation will result in the outcome you desire. Simply put, we report exactly what we find, nothing more and nothing less. We will not fabricate evidence or coerce false statements. You may find an unethical private detective to do this for you, but we won't.

Will I get a written contract when I retain the services of Metropolitan Investigators?

In most cases, yes. There are some services such as simple skip-traces or basic background checks that do not require a contract. All of our other services require a contract. Whether you choose Metropolitan Investigators or some other agency, you should always get a contract from your provider. Be leery of any private detective that does not use contracts for major services. With a contract, the parties' obligations are clear; this serves to prevent unnecessary misunderstandings as to the work to be performed and the fee to be paid.

What is the difference between a private detective and a private investigator?

There isn't one. In some states, we are licensed as private detectives and in others, we are licensed as private investigators. Whatever the title, the job is the same. In Illinois, we are licensed as private detectives.

Initial consultations by telephone or email, up to one-half hour, are free! Give us a call at (877) 615-4287 or send us an email and we will work with you to find the solution that best suits your needs.