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. It happens all the time and even happens to the best process servers in the nation. The difference is that when you hire a true professional you will have nothing to worry about in the court room.
So here is the check list. You should ask these questions when you are talking to them:
1. Do you have E/O insurance?
If they say “No,” you need to kindly say thank you and goodbye. Any process server or process serving company should have at least $1,000,000.00 worth of insurance. This is to protect you and your firm.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Is it easy to get updates?
The last thing you want is to constantly call a process server or a process serving company to see what has been done with your serve. When hiring a process server ask if they have a client portal A client portal is a easy, convenient, time saving feature that most professional process servers offer. A client portal is a website where you the customer can log in and see status updates, pictures and even hear audio files from the server. You may be accustomed to using such a portal when you place an order with Amazon and many other stores on the internet. The purpose is so you can have one place to go to get all the answers you need at one place. Don’t use a company that doesn’t offer this.
What about Price? I did not put a question about price because you can find a process server in any town that will serve papers for as low as $25 and you can find a company in any town that will charge up to $90, but the real question is this: Would you trust $4,000.00 with a guy in a pick up truck, with no E/O insurance who only charges $25 or an established company that can answer the four question that I posted above? The answer to what is a good price is an answer that only you can come up with because you have to answer the question “how much am I willing to risk?”
When you are hiring a process server in South Carolina, make sure to ask these four questions. They will save you a big headache. Or you could just hire Super Serve, and save yourself tons of time.