Advantage Surveillance Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
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  1. 5 people found this helpful

    Low Pay For A Ton Of Hours and Travel

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Advantage Surveillance full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Gas card, CLC Lodging card, company vehicle (with gps hidden in it so they know your every move). Established company and cutting edge.

    Cons

    Travel like a dog. They make you travel at the last second for cases, You could be scheduled off and you are expected to be on call 24/7/365 and have their company cell phone on you at all times. Expect to hear things like "Need you to drive here for a RUSH job" and that "RUSH job" is 6 to 7 hours away. If you are hired in a major city and expect to work in your metro area only then you are being misled. They will send you 3 states away and have you drive 7 hours and then demand you be on site at something ridiculous like 5 AM or 6 AM and then you are not allowed to break away to go to the bathroom or do anything but sit for up to 10 to 12 hours. Then they want you to write a report and notes and then video uploads back at your hotel. They pay you for 30 mins of work back at the hotel or home when in reality it takes 2 hours to do. By the time all is said and done you are cooked and they want you back out in 6 hours.

    After that you either spend 3 days there and on the 3rd day you work a full day and then they tell you to drive home on the same day after working 8 to 10 hours. So that makes almost a 19 hour day and you are just getting home and still have to write reports and do videos and then you are up 21 hours now and then you are expected to go work a case in the morning at 6 am. Ridiculous.

    Pay is very weak. Most P.I.'s make about 25 to 35.00 an hour at a bare minimum. ASI pays about half that and you are on salary so any overtime is not very much at all because it isn't time and a half really. More like what you would be paid if you broke down your salary to hourly.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't burn your investigators out. If you are doing salary then keep your people at home more often and stop sending investigators out to other states and expect them to work at 5 am and reports and video and then go home same day and then expected to be out again the very next day again. Manage employees better. If you have a single non-married investigator then send that individual out on the long road trips. Keep the ones who are married with kids closer to home and you will keep them longer. Having investigators away from home 12 to 14 days a month will wind up stressing marriages and relationships at home. Hire more people.

  2. Be warned

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Advantage Surveillance

    Pros

    Company vehicle, hotel card, salaried

    Cons

    This is not an investigation job by any means. If you are an experienced investigator, they will tell you that you are being hired to do both surveillance and SIU work, but the truth is that it's 99% surveillance. They are more interested in having some kid that they can teach how to use a camera and sit them on a house for 10 hours. They also have no consideration for the employees, they just want to make money and you will just be seen as "equipment" to accomplish that. Plan on never being home, AT ALL! They will expect you to work 10+ hours, drive to your next case which could be hours away, and then turn right around and start again at 5am the next day. Also, they are horrifically bad at scheduling-you will be lucky to know where you will be 2 days out, much less for the week.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stick to the promises made when recruiting-especially in reference to how long of a day you make the investigators work. I don't think you realize that drive time is still work time and driving to a case does NOT count as a day off!i can't tell you how many investigators I talk to that tell me how often they fall asleep when on the road. It's only gonna take one time that one of us falls asleep and injures someone, it will come back to haunt you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  3. Prepare to sell your soul for this company.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Private Investigator
    Current Employee - Private Investigator

    I have been working at Advantage Surveillance full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Decent starting wage, company vehicle, fuel card, hotel expenses, etc.

    Cons

    NEVER home, always told that you have a rush case which causes you to cancel any plans and travel hours away at a moments notice. Read the other posts about this company and consider yourself forewarned!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop killing your employees and give them time home to recuperate!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
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  5. 1 person found this helpful

    Investigators versus Company – Don’t waste your experience. HORRIFIC

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Field Private Investigator in Charlotte, NC
    Former Employee - Field Private Investigator in Charlotte, NC

    I worked at Advantage Surveillance full-time (less than a 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 Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6. 2 people found this helpful

    Horrific

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Advantage Surveillance

    Pros

    Great job for a new person just in the field. As a matter of fact 90% of their employees are just that.

    Cons

    Very low pay
    Managers that have no clue
    Owner who doesn't care about the investigators and shows it daily

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pretend to care about the investigators. Asking them to work 60+ hours a week without overtime cause you found a loop hole with the I.R.S. and classify them as "seasonal" is no way to treat them. No wonder the turnover rate is so high. Great job there Mr. Boston!

  7. 2 people found this helpful

    A good company that allows young managers to abuse staff

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Tampa, FL
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Tampa, FL

    I worked at Advantage Surveillance full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    A small but growing corporation

    Cons

    Abuses salaried staff by expecting 24/7 work 365 days a year

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit giving young managers unbridled power to overwork staff

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  8. 1 person found this helpful

    Investigative Company Experience From Hell

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Surveillance Investigator in Columbus, GA
    Former Employee - Surveillance Investigator in Columbus, GA

    I worked at Advantage Surveillance full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Very few. They did provide the vehicle and equipment. They gave us a gas card.

    Cons

    At the time that I worked for them the area manager was awful. They did not want you to stay in hotels very often, or even stop for lunch. He played mind games and wore down employees. The pay was not that good, and I agree,they wanted you to be ready to leave the state at a moment's notice. The training was weak and ineffective.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Find some loyalty to your employees. They make your business. Not you.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9. 3 people found this helpful

    Worked like a slave.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Private Investigator
    Current Employee - Private Investigator

    I have been working at Advantage Surveillance

    Pros

    Gas is paid for, hotels are paid for, company surveillance vehicle is provided. Poor quality laptop and poor quality cell phone is also provided.

    Cons

    Work you like a slave. I was the sole investigator covering Ohio and Indiana and also worked in Kentucky very often, even driving 5 hours one way several times a week. A lot of nights away from home and in hotel rooms in crappy little towns. Do no underestimate the workload you will receive if you take a job with this company. They will do little to help ease the burden, i.e. hiring other investigators as they initially promise to do.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get off your asses and help out the investigators. Expecting them to work 70 hours a week, to complete 3,4,5 hour drives then work 8 hours then get a room, then drive home or to some other town possibly another 5-6 hours away is unrealistic and crazy. HIRE MORE PEOPLE.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. 3 people found this helpful

    This place is unprofessional.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Advantage Surveillance

    Pros

    You get a company car, gas card, and hotel card.

    Cons

    They do not have an experienced management staff. The employees are more experienced than the management staff.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire a new manager.

    Doesn't Recommend

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