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The Smoke and Mirrors of Large Private Investigation Companies: National Coverage, Local Absence

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

In the world of private investigations, trust and reliability are paramount. Clients, whether insurance companies or individuals seeking investigative services, expect top-notch performance and results. This industry has seen a significant rise in large private investigation companies that tout their supposed national coverage, promising unparalleled service. However, beneath the façade of extensive reach lies a troubling reality: many of these giants lack a truly local presence and exploit smaller private investigation agencies by undercutting their pricing.

The Illusion of National Coverage:

Large private investigation companies often make grandiose claims of having a national footprint. They use these claims as a marketing tool to attract clients who believe that bigger means better. Clients are led to believe that they will receive a consistent level of service across the country. However, the truth is far from this illusion.

Centralized Operations: Many large firms operate from a central location and rely heavily on subcontractors or freelancers in various regions to carry out investigations. This centralization often leads to delayed responses, miscommunication, and a lack of understanding of local nuances.

Lack of Local Expertise: National coverage doesn't guarantee local expertise. Investigations frequently involve understanding the intricacies of local laws, regulations, and cultural nuances. When a large company parachutes investigators from another state into a local case, it can result in subpar outcomes.

Cookie-Cutter Approaches: A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work in the world of private investigations. Large firms may attempt to standardize their methods, but they can't adapt as effectively to unique cases and situations as smaller, locally rooted agencies can.

Exploiting Smaller Private Investigation Agencies

One of the troubling consequences of large private investigation companies' illusion of national coverage is their ability to undercut pricing. They often target smaller agencies by offering lower rates that are difficult for local agencies to match. Here's how they do it:

Economies of Scale: Large firms can reduce their overhead costs due to their size and volume of work. This enables them to offer lower prices while still maintaining their profit margins.

Competitive Bidding: When large companies win contracts by underbidding local agencies, they secure business by promising national reach without always delivering on quality.

Aggressive Marketing: Large firms have significant marketing budgets that allow them to outshine smaller competitors, making it challenging for local agencies to compete for clients' attention.

The True Cost of the Illusion

Clients who choose large private investigation companies for their supposed national coverage often discover the true cost of this illusion:

Delays and Inefficiencies: Investigations may suffer from delays and inefficiencies due to remote coordination and a lack of local presence. Time is of the essence in many investigations, and every delay can be costly.

Reduced Quality: The lack of local expertise can result in substandard investigative work, which can jeopardize the accuracy and reliability of the findings.

Impersonal Service: Clients may find themselves treated like just another number rather than receiving the personalized attention and commitment they expect.

Supporting Local Private Investigation Agencies

Supporting smaller, locally rooted private investigation agencies can benefit clients and the industry as a whole. Here's why:

Local Expertise: Local agencies have a deep understanding of the region, laws, and customs, leading to more effective and accurate investigations.

Personalized Service: Smaller agencies can offer more personalized attention and tailored solutions to meet clients' specific needs.

Community Support: Supporting local agencies helps stimulate the local economy and encourages healthy competition within the industry.


While large private investigation companies may boast of their national coverage, it's essential to look beyond the smoke and mirrors. Clients must evaluate the true value of the services they receive, considering factors like local expertise, personalized service, and the overall quality of the investigation. By supporting smaller, locally rooted private investigation agencies, clients can ensure they get the results they need without falling victim to the illusion of national coverage.


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