I was in the process of seperating from the military and was moving with my girlfriend from Hawaii to Washington, DC to start a life as a civilian in the government.
I was spending a lot of my money helping my girlfriend get back to Phoenix, Arizona so we could stay with her parents for a few weeks while I tied up some loose ends with my job hunt in DC. I sold my own jeep to pay for her car to be shipped and to pay for her plane ticket back to Arizona.
Once in Arizona, my girlfriend gave me lots of reasons to doubt whether I should keep paying her way out to DC with me. I was a stranger in her home town and she wanted to leave me at her parents while she went out with friends all night long. So, I looked into hiring a PI to follow her to see if she was actually being trustworthy.
I found Mate Check and decided to give them a try. I had never done this before so I was a little leary to begin with. I e-mailed them from their website and set up a time to meet them near where I was staying. Sandra and a man who I could tell was likely her husband met me. I gave them my trust and spilled my guts with all the doubt and stress I was having with the move and with my girlfriend.
My girlfriend hadn't set a date for her night out and I told them I'd give them advanced notice as soon as I knew. They asked for a $500 retainer fee to cover whatever work they did when the time came. They said that when I told them to follow her that my money would cover the investigation and a WRITTEN REPORT and VIDEO SURVIELLANCE TAPE. The man kept pressing me to get a cell phone call history done and said it would cost exactly $500 to do this. This, on top of the pricey clothes they wore, made me feel nervous about giving them any money. They seemed really into their status. I declined and was hopefully planning on not having to use my entire $500 based on their hourly rates... I figured at least half of it would be enough. I however didn't think of actually getting their address or anything like that. I just had e-mail correspondance and their phone number... that's it.
I kept in e-mail correspondance to let them know anything I found out about the exact day my girlfriend was supposed to go out. Sandra wrote me and asked for an update a few days later. I e-mailed back that I think it could be during the weekend following, but it was sketchy. I wrote specifically that I'd call if my girlfriend was going out, but otherwise don't do anything. Before the weekend even happened, we had broken up and I left the same day to stay with some family in Missouri.
I called Mate Check the Monday following and the man answered. I told him that my girlfriend and I had broken up and that I was in Missouri. I gave him my address and asked to send the retainer fee to me. He said how sorry he was to hear the news, and that he'd send me the refund.........
Instead -- A week goes by with no calls, no e-mails, and no check. I call again to follow up and there is no answer. I leave a message stating my name and business of getting the retainer fee back.
I call again and then Sandra answers. I explained the same thing I had to her significant other/associate and she said that they kept the $500 for fees incurred. I asked for what!? They didn't do anything! They specifically said that no money would be charged unless they did the surveillance and a report package would be given to me. She claimed that since I NEVER got back to them to confirm if my girlfriend would be out that weekend, that her and the her associate were technically "ON CALL" all weekend, and subsequently charged me the $500 retainer fee for that status.
I never got a statement in writing or anything concerning the money they stole from me. I continued to call and to write them e-mails and they were very nasty and just kept saying they were "on call" and that was justification to keep my hard earned $500. I told them they were not only stealing, but stealing from a United States Airman who has served his country defending people like themselves... Sandra replied that she didn't care and that the fee was justified, yet again.
Anyone out there knows that an E-4 doesn't make much money. And they know that seperating and joining civilian life is a very expensive transition. I opened my personal life up to these people in hopes to have a little piece of mind in the transition I was making from Hawaii to DC. The two people at Mate Check simply preyed on that and stole $500 dollars from me. And I highly doubt that I am the first! These people don't finance those types of clothes and drive BMW's by playing the game fair.
Take it from someone who is a very strong and reliable source--- DO NOT trust these people! They are THEIVES... and in my estimation, very ANTI-AMERICAN the way they stole from a military service member.
You can trust my reliability on this matter because the United States Government trusts me. I am one of the many intelligence analysts working to keep America safe from harms way. I am a contractor working for the prestigious DIA.
Thank you and better luck to YOUR Private Investigator search!
Washington, District of Columbia