Assignment Form

Terms & Conditions

The term of this Agreement (the “Term’s and Conditions”) will begin on the date of this agreement and will remain in full force and effect until the completion of the services, which will be deemed, completed by The Smith Investigation Agency’s owner(s) or manager(s). The Term of this Agreement may be extended by mutual written agreement of the Parties.

The Client at this moment agrees to engage in investigative services with “The Smith Investigation Agency” Private Investigators to provide the client (you or your organization) with services (the “services”) consisting of:

Private Investigative Services – All or marked may apply but not limited to;

  • Investigative Services-General
  • Locates – Skip Tracing
  • Background Checks
  • Inquiries
  • Interviews
  • Litigation Support
  • Surveillance
  • Training
  • Social Media Monitoring
  • Asset Searching
  • Proof of Residence
  • Place of Employment
  • Spot Check
  • Property Search
  • Location Verification
  • Training
  • TSCM Services

The Smith Investigation Agency hereby agrees to provide such services to the client. The services will also include any other tasks, which the parties may agree on.

Further terms of this agreement:

Surveillance:

For surveillance services rendered by The Smith Investigation Agency, the Client will provide compensation (the “compensation”) to The Smith Investigation Agency at a rate of $100.00 – $250.00 per hour (varies by service and location) (unless otherwise agreed upon), $0.80 to $1.00 per kilometre (unless otherwise agreed upon and as stated in writing), $200.00 Administration Fee (includes preliminary search’s, admin and report), multimedia editing is a separate charge of $100.00 for video less than 10 minutes in length anything above 10 minutes will be charged at $100.00 per hour and every 10 minutes of video is an additional hour of editing time. We have a daily hourly minimum of hours. In all locations, we have a 6- hour daily minimum and the hours are consecutive unless otherwise agreed upon.

Spot Checks

Spot checks will be charged the rate of surveillance $100.00 – $250.00 per hour (rate varies by cases or location), $0.80 cents to $1.00 per kilometre, Administration Fee and a 3-hour daily minimum. Spot checks only apply to files for legal, insurance and business purposes, and do not take the place of surveillance. If we are completing a spot check and the subject leaves and you wish for surveillance to be completed it becomes the surveillance rate of $100.00 – $250.00 per hour, $0.80 cents to $1.00 per kilometre, Administration Fee and a 6-hour daily minimum (consecutive hours).

Travel Time

Travel time starts from our office, which is outlined upon services. We have offices throughout Canada in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. The travel will be from the closest office to the file location. The travel time from our office to the subject’s residence or place of work, if no activity, is based on Google Maps or necessary routes. In addition, travel time varies while tailing subjects. If the subject travels a far distance on surveillance, the travel time and kilometre will be billed while on the file, and then again upon returning to the office or the file location.

The Smith Investigation Agency has service locations throughout Canada. With locations throughout multiple provinces, we will always do our best to schedule an investigator to your case who is in close proximity to the subject’s residence, workplace, and/or other starting destination. If an investigator cannot start from a local area, kilometres will be charged from the investigator’s residence or our office, whichever location is closest. You will be notified if our investigators are coming from a further location than assumed, at which time kilometre rates or flat rates will be discussed if the travel is significant.

Compensation-Retainer

The Smith Investigation Agency works on a positive retainer and therefore intakes a minimum of $1,000.00 for surveillance services, and depending on the number of days, hours, kilometres and the administration fee, plus taxes, the retainer request may vary. For continued services beyond the retainer, we work with a positive retainer unless otherwise stated, case per case basis at the discretion of The Smith Investigation Agency. The general expenses on a file include but are not limited to, surveillance hourly fees, the administration fee (s), multimedia fee (s) kilometre fees, parking, accommodation, rental vehicles (if required), additional investigators (if required), taxes, and incidental, unforeseeable and out of pockets expenses. All credit card payments are in agreement with our terms discussed upon receipt of the assignment and furthermore as outlined in our terms and conditions for payment in full of all services for the release of our reporting and any evidence obtained.

Late Fee(s)

In the event that the client (you or your organization) does not comply with the rates, amounts or payment dates provided in this agreement, a late payment penalty will be charged as follows: If the invoice is not paid within the time frame stated on the invoice or in agreements, the client (you or your organization) agrees to pay a late fee of $150.00 per day, per case basis, along with reimbursements of court fees, legal fees and/or collection fees. You will be given notice of this fee before the fee is applied.

If we payment is not collected, we do begin the collections process. If we need additional information to provide to our collections team, we have the right to add additional surveillance or research services to obtain the information we need. We will always exhaust all efforts to avoid this.

Traffic Laws

Should the subject become suspicious of their surroundings during surveillance, driving reckless etc., we hold the right to utilize secondary or more investigators, if two are already working the file, for the purpose of continuity and file success. This is an additional fee of $50.00 – $150.00 per hour per investigator, as well as $0.80 cents to $1.00 per kilometre fee per investigator (rate varies by province). This fee will be charged more than the agreed price if this route is deemed necessary. In most cases the agency will contact you immediately, however in some cases when the client cannot be contacted, we will make the decision best suited for the case.

Assignment Forms

All clients are required to complete the assignment form for their case. All information relevant to the case should be given in this form when submitted. Any information shared over the phone or in separate emails may be overlooked and therefore we are not responsible for the lack of information in the form.

Additional Investigators

Should the subject become suspicious of their surroundings during surveillance, driving reckless etc., we hold the right to utilize secondary or more investigators, if two are already working the file, for the purpose of continuity and file success. This is an additional fee of $50.00 – $150.00 per hour per investigator, as well as $0.80 cents to $1.00 per kilometre fee per investigator. This fee will be charged more than the agreed price if this route is deemed necessary. In most cases the agency will contact you immediately, however in some cases when the client cannot be contacted, we will make the decision best suited for the case.

Omission of Information

Should a client withhold or purposefully omit and/or give false information, The Smith Investigation Agency has the right to charge for research services to obtain the proper and legal information required for the file or case. In the scenario of a locate and or research case, it is important for the client to provide any and all information he or she has pertaining to the subject(s) to avoid our investigators presenting the same information as new development. In the example of our agency providing an outdated address which onto the client was known as a last known address, if said information was not presented initially in our assignment form and or during email communication, we as an agency are not responsible in knowing these facts and therefore additional search charges could be applied to further our efforts in the case.

Restraining Order, Stalking & Peace Bond

Should you have a no-contact order, peace bond, stalking charge or restraining order, you are required to notify the agency (The Smith Investigation Agency) before the commencement of services. We do not complete files or research for individuals who are not in compliance with the law or terms of their restrictions.

Budget

Though a client may request a certain budget, there are cases where investigators exceed the original budget, for instance, if the client originally wanted the 6 or 8 hour minimum of surveillance. The billing would be 6 hours of surveillance, plus travel time and if the subject were active beyond the 5 hours, the original pricing would reflect the added time. We work within a client’s budget, however, there are no guarantees with a budget remaining the same with varying subject activities. Additionally, a case may go beyond the original budget due to hours, expenses, travel etc. If this happens the client will be informed of additional expenses and confirm if they wish to proceed with further service beyond the original budget.

File Interruptions

While on surveillance, if a client (you or your organization) attends a file or case where our investigators are working, and conducts illegal, inappropriate or dangerous behaviour, we have the right to discontinue services.

Refunds

A guaranteed outcome for the surveillance services are not achievable. However, detailed reporting and video evidence of the licensed investigator’s findings can be made available. There are no refunds, exchanges or guarantees on investigative services, including but not limited to, surveillance. The Smith Investigation Agency will exhaust all efforts to complete a file appropriately and within the law, however, if a case has an outcome other than your expectation, we are not required to refund or exchange any money paid for the services rendered. Lack of patience based on our average turnaround times and should the case require additional time, will not and does not, warrant a refund. Existing cases will not be refunded due to the unfortunate event of Covid-19. Any files that are disrupted due to COVID-19 will be rescheduled if needed. If a surveillance case is cancelled due to COVID-19 a $300.00 per day cancellation fee will apply. 

COVID-19 ALERT 

Our agency is taking all precautions to keep our team and clients safe, therefore office visits will not be permitted. We thank you for your understanding and care during this difficult time. 

Rest assured, existing cases will not be refunded due to the unfortunate event of Covid-19. Your patience is however required as Covid-19 could cause a lag in the return of our reporting, as staff and their family members are making arrangements to deal with school and other business shutdowns and curfews. We here at The Smith Investigation Agency are doing our very best to make sure business continues to run smoothly, which has been successful thus far. As we cannot anticipate what is to come, our promise to all clients is that we will keep update to date with government recommendations to ensure safety and will provide status updates of any changes to client’s should any changes occur to our current policies and procedures. Any files that are disrupted due to COVID-19 will be rescheduled if needed. If a surveillance case is cancelled due to COVID-19 a $300.00 per day cancellation fee will apply per day cancelled. 

Illegal or Inappropriate Activity

The Smith Investigation Agency completes a large variety of investigative services. We will at no point document illegal or inappropriate activity. If we see activity that is illegal or inappropriate, we not only have the right to discontinue the file, we can also call the appropriate authorities to report the incident and/or any incident documented or visualized.

Loss of Visual Contact During Surveillance Investigation/Different Target

During surveillance our investigator’s work within the law while tailing/pursuing a subject. The client understands that if visual contact were lost due to traffic conditions and/or aggressive driving etc., billing continues to be calculated during our efforts to relocate the subject. Billing at that time will be charged until the end of the minimum daily requirement and/or if beyond those workday hours until instructed by you. On your billable hours (after daily minimum), the client will be notified and can decide on instructions moving forward. Should we not be able to get a hold of you, the investigator will use their best judgement. Often protocol would be an immediate canvas of the area, attend previously frequented locations and lastly, return to address and/or workplace dependant on case particulars. Additionally, our investigators while on surveillance will document the parties believed to be the subject. If for any reason the wrong subject was documented due to lack of information, physical ID or similar appearance surveillance hours still remain as the service of surveillance is still provided. We will always do our best to ensure the target we are on surveillance for is the correct target.

Accommodation, Per Diem and Travel Expenses

Should the investigator (s) case require accommodation, rental vehicle, flights or any unforeseen additional expenses the price of the travel expenses plus a 25% administration fee will apply. While out of town there is a daily per diem charge of $100.00 and any other expenses incurred will apply. These prices/fees will be discussed prior to the commencement of services and our investigators will always try and find the best deals on any expenses.

Rental Vehicle(s)

If the case the investigator (s) are working on requiring them to rent vehicles for the purpose of continuity, discretion and confidentially occur you will be notified, and the price of the rental vehicle, insurance, damage, etc. will be billed as per the billing from the rental companies with an additional 25% administration fee.

Other Vehicles

As each file varies and the location per file also varies, we exercise the right to rent a vehicle if need be for the success of the file. For example, if the subject has a cottage, camp or residence on a lake, a boat would increase exposure to the subject’s above-mentioned property and increase file success. The same could apply as an advantage with the rental of a snowmobile, bicycle etc. Rentals will be discussed prior to commencing the case or during if need be. Should the use of an ATV, boat, motorcycle or snowmobile be required, the investigator may use our company vehicles for the daily fee starting at $500.00 per machine when available.

Payment Options

The Smith Investigation Agency accepts payments from the following: Cheque (once cleared or from existing clients only), Credit Card, PayPal, Interact Email Transfer, and Cash (only in specific situations). Processing fees apply to all Credit Card and PayPal purchases. The fees are 5% of the total invoice. If a client purchases services and then cancels without using the service the 5% fee is still charged as a processing fee.

Invoice, Report and Video

Our team will send you an invoice for services rendered within 15 business days upon completion of services. Once services have been completed and when no outstanding balances are owed, is when video evidence and the final report are issued to the client (you or your organization). Remaining balances, if any, will be charged onto the credit card we received upon receipt of the assignment in the agreement of paying for service overages to aid in late fee charges onto the client (you or your organization). Note, we hold the right to keep and not distribute video evidence or the final report, to all customers who have an outstanding balance. Video evidence and the final report can take approximately 20 business days to complete. Technical areas surrounding video – although data loss can happen, it is extremely rare. If for any reason, the video on your file is corrupt and or lost, we will not charge the multimedia fee. The fee of surveillance, however, remains as the service of surveillance is being conducted. If for any reason, this does happen, we will supply a letter of authenticity if required in a situation where video loss has occurred to aid in testifying the observations described in the reporting that the investigator had seen.

Rush Fee

Should you require immediate surveillance, a rush fee may apply to your file in order to complete within the given time frame. The fee will vary by the type of file, amount of investigators, distance travelled etc. This fee will be discussed with the client before services commence. A rush fee is considered surveillance with less than 24 hours notice. The rush fee is a minimum of $1,200.00 and increases from there depending on the amount of time needed and the location of services needed.

Cancellation

Should surveillance be cancelled on a last-minute basis, especially in the case of frequent cancellations, not just once, a cancellation fee of $300.oo in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia will apply per instance and a cancellation fee is $500.00 in Saskatchewan per instance will apply. Cancellation must be given during business hours Mon-Fri 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and confirmed by a member of our team. The administration fee is also applied in addition to the cancellation fee as it covers the file preparation.

Although we understand the precautions behind Coronavirus aka Covid-19 all cases accepted to be worked including surveillance, locate, skip tracing, background checks, asset searches, T.S.C.M. services, witness statements, investigator and security training and any other investigative services not mentioned will not be refunded due to the virus.

Protection of Sources

The Smith Investigation Agency has formal agreements in place that limit the use and disclosure of our third-party information databases. Our agency holds the right to maintain the anonymity of sourced information.

Multimedia (video evidence)

Our investigators will obtain footage on surveillance as per the need for the file. If the file is an insurance-related file, all documentation that is relevant to the injury or limitation will be documented. With other cases such as child custody, domestic, infidelity etc. documentation of the subject completing an unlawful act, infidelity or other activity will be documented. In rare cases video cards, cameras or editing software can glitch and cause errors with video, loss of video or alter the date and time stamp this is beyond our control, and we are not held liable for any video not produced due to technical errors.

Defamation & Breach of Contract

The Smith Investigation Agency warns against the communication of a false statement that harms our agency’s reputation. What you say online will be used against you. In the event of defamation in an online review, however not limited to; or on any other platform, we hold the right to sue for damages because of false accusations that hurt our agency. Reviews may discuss your experience, however not your feelings based on report findings. A false statement of fact that hurts The Smith Investigation will not be protected by the right to free speech.

The Smith Investigation Agency warns against a breach of the contract agreed to in our Terms and Conditions once an online assignment form has been received by our team. In order to prevent disparagement of our agency, The Smith Investigation Agency holds the right to fine in the amount of $5,000.00 for disparaging comments – reviews. A court can find a reviewer guilty of defaming a business if they post factually incorrect accusations.

Research:

For any research services rendered by The Smith Investigation Agency, the client will provide compensation for such services.

Compensation

All research services are flat rate and require full payment upfront. The prices for research services vary from $100.00 to $2,500.00 and up, depending on the case. The price will be outlined to the client prior to commencing the research services. Prices issued and outlined above are before tax.

Assignment Forms

All clients are required to complete the assignment form for their case. All information relevant to the case should be given in this form when submitted. Any information shared over the phone or in separate emails may be overlooked and therefore we are not responsible for the lack of information in the form.

Guarantee

Our research team will exhaust all efforts in order to complete the research request however guaranteed results are not offered due to the nature of the services.

Refund or Exchange

A guaranteed outcome for the purchase of a research service is not achievable. However, detailed reporting of the licensed investigator’s findings can be made available. There are no refunds, exchanges or guarantees on investigative services, including but not limited to, research. The Smith Investigation Agency will exhaust all efforts to complete a file appropriately and within the law, however, if a case has an outcome other than your expectation, we are not required to refund or exchange any money paid for the services rendered. Lack of patience based on our average turnaround times and should the case require additional time, will not and does not, warrant a refund. Existing cases will not be refunded due to the unfortunate event of Covid-19.

Protection of Sources

The Smith Investigation Agency has formal agreements in place that limit the use and disclosure of our third-party information databases. Our agency holds the right to maintain the anonymity of sourced information.

Illegal or Inappropriate Activity

The Smith Investigation Agency completes a large variety of investigative services. We will at no point document illegal or inappropriate activity. If we see activity that is illegal or inappropriate, we have the right to discontinue services and call appropriate authorities to report such an incident that has been documented or visualized.

Turnaround Time

Though approximate dates for completion of investigative research are provided, we cannot guarantee that results will be given within that period due to the nature of the services. Should extended time be required, the client or organization will be informed. Lack of patience based on our average turnaround times and should the case require additional time, will not and does not, warrant a refund. Existing cases will not be refunded due to the unfortunate event of Covid-19. We do request your patience as Covid-19 could cause a lag in the return of our reporting as staff and their family members are making arrangements to deal with school and other business shutdowns.

Confidentiality and Discretion

Our team will utilize the utmost confidentiality and discretion while completing research services.

Suspicious Behaviour

Should we complete a research service for you (client or organization), and you are deemed unsafe for the subject or find out a peace bond, a no-contact order, restraining order or similar is in place, we will discontinue the search without refund and will contact authorities, if necessary.

Privacy Act

Our team works within the laws surrounding the privacy act and does not access or hack private accounts.

Spot Check(s)

Spot checks will be charged the rate of surveillance $100.00 – $250.00 per hour (rate varies by cases or locations), $0.80 cents to $1.00 per kilometre, Administration Fee and a 3-hour daily minimum. Spot checks only apply to files for legal, insurance and business purposes, and do not take the place of surveillance. If we are completing a spot check and the subject leaves and you wish for surveillance to be completed it becomes the surveillance rate of $100.00 – $250.00 per hour, $0.80 cents to $1.00 per kilometre, Administration Fee and a 6-hour daily minimum (consecutive hours).

Late Fee

In the event that the client (you or your organization) does not comply with the rates, amounts or payment dates provided in this agreement, a late payment penalty will be charged as follows: If the invoice is not paid within the time frame stated on the invoice or in agreements, the client (you or your organization) agrees to pay a late fee of $150.00 per day, per case basis, along with reimbursements of court fees, legal fees and/or collection fees. You will be given notice of this fee before the fee is applied.

If payment is not collected, we do begin the collections process. If we need additional information to provide to our collections team, we have the right to add additional surveillance or research services to obtain the information we need. We will always exhaust all efforts to avoid this.

Additional Research Time

Should additional research be required or added by the client, the additional services will be billed accordingly. In the event, research is needed for the success of an ongoing case our team will make the executive decision that is best for the case being completed. Locate cases that apply for a re-run in searches based on an outdated address result, will be placed on an agreed 90 day, at which time they will be revisited in hopes of obtaining new information. Cases as such will only be held for a 1-year term before considered a new locate case, and therefore the standard locate fee will apply once more to continue search re-runs.

Omission of Information

Should a client withhold, purposefully omit and/or give false information, The Smith Investigation Agency has the right to charge for research services to obtain the proper and legal information required for the file or case.

Restraining Order, Stalking and Peace Bond

If you, your organization, affiliations or family members have a no-contact order, peace bond, stalking charge or restraining order, you are required to notify the agency (The Smith Investigation Agency) before the commencement of services. We do not complete files or research for individuals who are not in compliance with the law or terms of their restrictions. If you withheld the information we have the right to not discriminate the content of the reporting and no refunds will be issued.

Information Issued

Should a client abuse the information given to them, The Smith Investigation Agency is not held liable for any damages and/or injuries as a result.

Payment Options

The Smith Investigation Agency accepts payments from the following: Cheque (once cleared or from existing clients only), Credit Card, PayPal, Interact Email Transfer, and Cash (only in specific situations). Processing fees will apply to Credit Card and PayPal purchases. The fee is 5% of the total invoice. If the client pays for a service and decides to cancel the processing fee will still apply.

Rush Fee

Should you require immediate service, a rush fee may apply to the file or case in order to complete the provided timeframe. The fee will be dependant on the service and the due date.

Cancellation

Should surveillance be cancelled on a last-minute basis, especially in the case of frequent cancellations during the file; more than once, a cancellation fee will take place in the amount of $300.00 per instance.

Although we understand the precautions behind Coronavirus aka Covid-19 all cases accepted to be worked including surveillance, locate, skip tracing, background checks, asset searches, T.S.C.M. services, witness statements, investigator and security training and any other investigative services not mentioned will not be refunded due to the virus.

Court Appearances

Any court appearances, testimony, expert witness or deposition, is subject to a base fee rate of $150.00 per hour (six-hour minimum) plus out of pocket expenses, kilometre rate ($1.00 per kilometre per investigator or staff member). Court appearances apply to the present and future, which would be beyond the service and investigative dates.

No Guarantee of Investigative Research

Although we have a very high success rate with investigative service cases, there are cases where new information is not attainable or only old addresses surface. In situations like this we will put a file on hold and continue the search after a 30-120 day window to determine if a new address surfaces. We never promise the type of search that will be done as an example using government databases like CRA, Disability, Etc. Private Investigators do not legally have access to this information, and therefore the client needs to understand we have to operate within the law when obtaining information.

Defamation & Breach of Contract

The Smith Investigation Agency warns against the communication of a false statement that harms our agency’s reputation. What you say online will be used against you. In the event of defamation in an online review, however not limited to; or on any other platform, we hold the right to sue for damages because of false accusations that hurt our agency. Reviews may discuss your experience, however not your feelings based on report findings. A false statement of fact that hurts The Smith Investigation will not be protected by the right to free speech.

The Smith Investigation Agency warns against a breach of the contract agreed to in our Terms and Conditions once an online assignment form has been received by our team. In order to prevent disparagement of our agency, The Smith Investigation Agency holds the right to fine in the amount of $5,000.00 for disparaging comments. A court can find a reviewer guilty of defaming a business if they post factually incorrect accusations.

Harassment

Under no circumstances will a client harass our staff, team members or investigators. If during communication with our team, you or your organization become angered, upset and violent, we will reserve the right to discontinue communications. Should harassment persist, we will contact our legal team and or the authorities and proceed with legal or criminal action if needed.

Client Communication Beyond Free Consultation

We offer a free 15-minute consultation when services are engaged. In the event, a client calls repeatedly beyond that and engages in long conversations an admin fee will be charged per phone call with an hourly rate of $150.00 per hour.

Disclosure

The Smith Investigation Agency holds the right to update its Terms and Conditions without notice to evolve with the growth and development of our agency’s business. It is imperative for The Smith Investigation Agency to renew its Terms and Conditions regularly and in a timely manner to ensure it reflects current operational feasibility, business arrangements with its clients, and legislative and regulatory standards in place for investigative capabilities. The Smith Investigation Agency provides in-depth coverage of its services and our capabilities to manage expectations for both the client and our agency. The Smith Investigation Agency stands to remain compliant with law and regulation. It also offers protection against contractual risk and sets expectations between our agency and its clients thereby creating certainty. Such certainty secures a valuable working relationship with clients ensuring repeat business from them.