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I worked at Advantage Surveillance full-time (less than an year)Pros
The equipment mounted to the top of the surveillance vehicle is probably the company's best asset. The pros of having a company vehicle, gas card, and cell phone wind up turning into a reason for them to micromanage their employees.Cons
Where do I even start.... The live GPS tells the company how fast, or slow you drive, how long you stay idle and the exact pinpointed location of the places you stop, this wouldn't be a problem if management accepted that their employees are human and have to go to the bathroom. Emails are actually sent out stating "bathroom breaks need to be reduced"... Management actually made field investigators call when they needed to go to the bathroom and again when you return to your surveillance position.
A hotel card is pointless because they don't authorize them. You are expected to get up at 3AM to drive hours away. The mileage for a hotel to be authorize changed at least twice to benefit the company and make you .. If you dare ask for a hotel you're given the response, "it's the nature of the business", in regard to getting up so early.
The company would rather burn out their investigators than boost the overall morale. The more money the company makes the cheaper they get.
If your case is burned, plan on hearing some form of the following: 'sit indirect and do spot checks'. What would make sense is to authorize a rental car or break off the case and come back another day, but that makes too much sense, that's why they don't do it. Rental vehicles are few and far between, why? Because the company can’t track you in a rental car, this is all about trust and the company does not trust their investigators. They constantly question your integrity. They are so frugal and uneducated in how to apply their funds to make a real investment in the future of the company's reputation and their investigators.
We are ALLLLLL burnt out, completely overworked and underpaid. How do you explain 5, yes 5 investigators QUITTING within 30 days (This happened in the month August 2014)?
The compensation plan is a joke; the reimbursement program actually cost the investigator money. Do not pay for anything out-of-pocket, the company includes what you paid for in your paycheck which all gets taxed. Don't even think about asking for time off, management honestly believes that you owe them every bit of your time and you should be so grateful that they give you work every day.
Expect to be overloaded with the rambling emails that are typically sent out because someone in the office is trying to justify their existence. Speaking of emails, you will get an email that says one thing and then minutes later and get another email that discounts the first, what's pathetic is that all three of those individuals work in the exact same office, which is as big as an average persons living room. Communication is a joke.
This company is not worth your time, plan to be overworked (55-60 hours a week) and underpaid. Private investigators that work for a company typically make anywhere from $25 and up, this company starts their employees out at $12-$14. Annual raise? Ha oh no never more than $1 and good luck with that. You will work over 40 hours in three or four days and your paycheck will not reflect the overtime you put in, you get paid what your hourly rate would amount to, so there is no time and a half pay its just straight pay, (hourly pay)... because they found a loop hole with the IRS. I could go on, and on, and on, but honestly I think you get the idea.... DON'T WORK HERE!Advice to ManagementAdvice
Oh management what do I have to say to you, as you know most of the investigators that come to Advantage with prior experience are overqualified for this mundane position. If you had it your way, you would send out robots to sit in these vehicles for 8+ hours just so the company can bill the client for a full days worth of surveillance, because the managers bonus is based on exceeding the prior years numbers and video minutes. Your investigators are expected to have their eyes glued to the screen or the windshield of their car and capture any and every opportunity movement is made just to have their efforts critiqued and deleted with the simple click of the mouse.
NO ONE IS ON THE SAME PAGE! COMMUNICATION IS WEAK!! Emails sent out undermine another supervisors prior instructions.
Arm your investigators with the ability to make decisions based on the fact that they're the ones in the field with eyes on the situation. Stop relying solely on Google map, things change, mobile homes and trailers move, do you have any idea how ignorant it sounds to have your office staff tell the field investigator where something is on your computer screen when it's not there in reality.
Allow your senior investigators to pick their days off. If you require an investigator to train the new employees, pay that investigator an additional amount instead of continuing to be cheap and take advantage of them, (ironic that, advantage is the name of this company). The bonus program is a joke, why would you not pay out a bonus to investigators who get over 100 minutes of video in a day, but to someone who gets 1 minute 4 days in a row. It's obvious the company does not care about their investigators, not as an employee or as an individual. Why not have your "genius" IT department create a program that has the cases entered into a system and the investigator who lives the closest assigned to that case. There is no balance between work and personal life.
You are lucky if you get an area manager who has experience as an investigator and even then their experience is questionable. Spread out the workload, why would you have an assistant if the manager will not allow them to make decisions…. do it yourself you're just making more work for everyone when you don't trust your assistant to make the right decision.
Invest in a training program and actually train your investigators the way the company wants things done, you can't expect a field trainer to create miracles when you hire inexperienced individuals. Use and update company policies, eliminate the ones that become obsolete. Obviously this doesn't even scratch the surface, this company needs to be completely revamped, but I'm sure that will never happen and this place will continue to be a revolving door for investigators. I am NOW a former employee!Doesn't RecommendNegative Outlook