Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3 Questions You Should Ask Your Process Serving Company


3 Questions You Should Ask Your Process Serving Company

 Hiring a process server is a big decision.  There are just as many process serving choices as there are choices on hiring an attorney. The questions will riddle your mind: Should I hire a small company or a large company? Is it better to just hire a solo process server or a company? Should I hire the sheriff’s department? What’s a good price? what do I ask?  I could keep going and I am sure you have asked these questions and many more.
Remember first what are the consequences if you hire a process server that is a bad choice.   You could end up spending thousands of dollars fighting a contested serve in court.  This is something that you do not want to have to do.  Additionally, you don't want to hire a process serving company that charges crazy prices just because they use a fancy software application that provides you with no benefits.  Also, you need to know the liability when you hire a large process serving company versus a small one.  
So here is the check list.  You should ask these questions when you are talking to them:
1.  Who are your competitors and do you have their phone numbers?
This is usually a shocker when you ask it, but if you want to separate the amateurs from the professionals, then ask this question.  If you get a stutter and their attitude changes,  then kindly tell them goodbye.  If they rattle off the names or tell you that they will email a list to you, then you have just found a company that will most likely surpass your expectations.  If a company is so confident that they will give you the names of their competitors then that means they stand behind their service and know that they offer the best in the business.  Try it and see how many companies begin to back track on this question.
2.  Do you have a money back guarantee?
The purpose of this question isn't really to try to get a free serve, but it is to test your prospect.  Any company that offers a money back guarantee based on your satisfaction is a company that concentrate on customer service.  What good is it to have papers served quickly, if you don’t know about it or never sends you the affidavit?  A company that concentrates on customer service will offer access to updates when it is convenient for you.  They will be always excited to help you on the phone.  They will actually prefer to talk to you versus sending you an email, if that is your preference.  Customer service is vital in the process serving industry, because time is money.  A law firm needs to know that their documents are served as quickly as possible so they may move onto the next course of action.  A company that concentrates on customer service saves you and your firm time and money.

3. Do you use independent contractors?

Nearly ALL the large companies use independent contractors (IC's).  This creates an issue of liability when something may go wrong.  For example if the process server is an IC and doing sewer service and you have no choice but to sue due to tens of thousands of dollars of improper service of process, who is liable?  Will the company try to scapegoat out by claiming that the process server is an IC? Don't risk it. The large companies are just middle men that distribute your work.  They have no control over who is actually doing the work.  So skip the middle man and go straight to who will be serving the papers.  You'll find that it is not only cheaper but your work will get done quicker. Some of the large companies will charge up to $135 per serve, but the little secret is that they are only paying the IC about $25 or less.  Who do you think will get your work done faster a process server that you deal with directly that charges $60 or an IC from a large company that may be getting as little as $15 for serving your valuable documents.
Examining the benefits of using a large company versus the liability is one that should be carefully looked at.  Also, I like keeping local money here in the state.  Helping our main street out always makes me feel a little better about spending the money. 

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