Now Online: New Board of Barbering and Cosmetology Consumer-Safety Pamphlets

bothCovers (2)New safety tips are available from the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology!

The latest pamphlets, Chemical Exfoliation Safety Tips and Waxing Safety Tips, are now available online for viewing and downloading. Check them out for important safety information, and take a look at the other downloadable publications, including Pedicure Safety Tips, Manicuring, and fact sheets on topics such as chemical hair services, medical spas, skin tag/mole removal, and whirlpool foot spas.

For more information, visit the Board’s website at or call (800) 952-5210.

DCA Brings Home Seven Gold and Four Silver Awards!


The Department of Consumer Affairs brought home seven gold and four silver awards at this year’s State Information Officers Council (SiOC) Awards held on May 13, 2015, in Downtown Sacramento. DCA received the highest number of total awards in this year’s contest, with CalPERS coming in second with eight. The yearly awards recognize the best of the best in State service in the arena of communications. DCA’s Office of Public Affairs, Office of Publications, Design and Editing, Medical Board of California, and State Board of Pharmacy submitted entries in this year’s contest. SiOC posted a press release with the entire list of winners the following day on their website.

The awards received by DCA were as follows:

Gold Category 1C, Feature
Candy … or Pill?
June Vargas Consumer Connection magazine, Fall–Winter 2014

Candy or pill

Category 2B, Special Report
California Board of Registered Nursing 2014–17 Strategic Plan
Kari Keating

BRN Strat Plan Cover

Category 3C, Brochure
Telemarketing Scams: What to Do Before You Pick Up the Phone
Kari Keating, Laura Kujubu

Pages from telemarket_scams

Category 4C: PSA
Natalie Coughlin—Prescription Drug Awareness Medical Board of California Cassandra Hockenson, Bryce Penney, Cesar Victoria

Category 5B, Brand Identity Package
California State Board of Psychology Project (website, For Your Peace of Mind booklet, Journal newsletter, 2014–17 Strategic Plan)
Kari Keating, Carol Stover

Psych websitePeace of Mind coverPages from spring2014-1Strat Plan Cover

Category 4A, Video: Training or Education
Board of Behavioral Sciences Apply for an Associate Clinical Social Worker Registration in California
Cristina Valdivia Aguilar, Bryce Penney

Category 5C, Photography
Mattress Burn Test, BEARHFTI
Cesar Altamirano

Unknown Unknown-1

Category 3B, Magazine
Consumer Connection Spring 2014
Carol Stover (designer), Laura Kujubu, Cristina Valdivia Aguilar, June Vargas, Monica Vargas, Lisa Stratton (writers)

Pages from spring2014

Category 3C, Brochure
Subcontractors and Drop-off Points: Guidelines for Registering (BEARHFTI)
Cesar Altamirano, Laura Kujubu
BEARHFTI Subcontractors

Category 4B: Video: Education, Outreach, or Marketing
Dr. Michael Bishop – Prescription Drug Awareness Medical Board of California
Cassandra Hockenson, Bryce Penney, Cesar Victoria

Category 4C: PSA
Board of Pharmacy Prescription Drug Awareness PSA
Bryce Penney, Joyia Emard

Know Your Hearing Aid Warranty Rights

SLPAHADB_logoThe Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board (Board) wants to remind California consumers of new hearing aid warranty provisions that went into effect January 1.

The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act provides a 45-day warranty on all new and used hearing aids, although dispensers of hearing aids can provide a longer period than 45 days.

The dispenser is required to provide the buyer a copy of the signed purchase agreement that includes the language of the new warranty provision. Additionally, upon delivery of the hearing aid, the dispenser is required to provide the buyer with a delivery receipt that must include the delivery date and expiration date of the 45-day warranty period.

For any adjustments, replacements, or services that require the hearing aid to be out of the buyer’s possession, the warranty period will be interrupted and will resume on either the date that the repaired or serviced hearing aid is returned to the buyer, or five days after the buyer is notified that the hearing aid is available to be picked up.

Consumers should also be aware that if adjustments to a hearing aid are necessary during the 45-day warranty period for a specific fit of a buyer, but the hearing aid still doesn’t fit satisfactorily, the hearing aid can be returned (under most circumstances) for a complete refund.

To verify that a hearing aid dispenser is licensed or to file a complaint with the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board, visit the Board’s website.

ICYMI: Bureau of Automotive Repair Tests Counterfeit Airbags

As part of an investigation by ABC’s 20/20, the California Bureau of Automotive Repair was asked to test counterfeit airbags to demonstrate how dangerous they can be as illustrated in the video above. Please note no one was injured during this test.

For the complete ABC 20/20 story, click here.

News from The DOI Page: Husband and Wife Arrested for Practicing Medicine Without a License

DOI_WORDPRESS_BEAR-FLAG-2010-themeA Downey, California husband and wife have been arrested for the unlicensed practice of medicine. Jose Alfredo Martinez and Emma Haydee Gonzalez were arrested Thursday following an investigation by the Health Quality Investigations Unit within the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Division of Investigation…Click here for more details.

BPPE Participates in Webinar for Students Affected by Corinthian Colleges

BPPE Logo Final2

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education participated in a webinar earlier this week for students affected by the Corinthian Colleges school closures. You can view the webinar here.

Please note you will need to register to view the archived webinar

Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to Assist Everest College and WyoTech Students

BPPE Logo Final2

SACRAMENTO – Staff from the California Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (Bureau) will be at Corinthian Colleges’ 13 Everest College and WyoTech campus locations in California Tuesday and Wednesday, April 28-29, to advise students about their options now that it appears the schools will be closing.

Read more here.

Emergency Decision Halts New Student Enrollment at Corinthian Colleges’ WyoTech and Everest College Locations

BPPE Logo Final2

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education has issued an Emergency Decision effective at the close of business April 23, 2015, ordering Corinthian Colleges’ Everest College and WyoTech locations in California to cease enrolling new students.

Read the news release here.

Hiring a Contractor Step-by-Step

Preparation is key when hiring a licensed contractor, and as Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  So how do you properly prepare for a construction project, and who can you trust to give you such advice?  Start with those who regulate the contractors.

The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) protects California consumers by licensing and regulating the state’s construction industry. Hiring a CSLB-licensed contractor is an essential factor in consumer protection.

Here are some tips CSLB recommends when hiring a licensed contractor.

Create a Project Folder
Start with a file folder to store all of your paperwork. You will need to keep track of contractor and subcontractor information, insurance papers, receipts, and other project documents.

Material Costs
Hiring a Contractor sinkYour contractor will help you determine the total cost of materials, but it is a good idea to do some research before you start the interview process to keep control of your cost estimates. The cost of a faucet might range from $30 to $300, so it is important to get an idea of what you like and what fits into your budget. Pick out products you really like, but have a backup with a different price point. Make sure to note the brand, model number, and price of all the materials you want to use.

You’re Ready to Interview a Licensed Contractor
Before hiring a licensed contractor you should interview and get bids from at least three. Ask your friends, family, and people you trust about any contractors they’ve worked with successfully. Another source could be your local builders association, and there is always the Internet. But before you hire your contractor, be sure to get his or her license number and check it at or by calling (800) 321-CSLB (2752). CSLB’s database will be able to tell you if the contractor is in good standing, is licensed for the trade work involved in your project, and if the contractor has worker’s compensation insurance for employees.

When the contractor arrives, the first thing you will want to do is make sure the name on the contractor’s license matches his or her driver license or other photo ID. Now it’s time to discuss your project.

CSLB pocket license

Hiring a Contractor drivers license

Check the Candidates Twice
After interviewing a few licensed contractors and selecting a favorite, it’s time to check references. This is a chance to check the contractor’s professional reputation. Ask for a list of people who have had similar work done by that contractor. If the references tell you about positive experiences, ask to see the project in person. Be sure to view at least three other projects to help ensure you are going to get the quality of work you desire.

You Found THE ONE, But are You Ready to Sign a Contract?
Hiring a Contractor expertsYour hard work is paying off and it is finally time to sign a contract, but don’t rush to sign on the dotted line. If yours is a large, more complicated project, such as new home construction or an extensive remodel, this is a good time to have an independent expert review your project plans. You can go to a local builders exchange office and use one of their “plan check rooms” to have one of the qualified pros, who volunteer their time, review this for you.

This is also the time to add more paperwork to your file. If this is going to be “your contractor,” then be sure to get copies of the workers’ compensation and general liability insurance policies. CSLB’s website will have information about the workers’ compensation insurance on the contractor’s detail page.

The Contract Check List
Hiring a Contractor checklistThe contract should include the contract start and completion date; a payment schedule for work (but only pay for work after it has been completed); planned details of the project; detailed information about the materials to be used; a list of all sub-contractors; the stipulation that the contractor will obtain all building permits, take care of debris removal and clean up, and locations where the materials will be stored; and the deposit amount. By law, the deposit can’t be more than $1,000 or 10% of the total bid, whichever is less, unless the contractor has what’s called a blanket performance and payment bond on file with CSLB. This bond will be noted on the contractor’s detail page on CSLB’s website or you can call the toll-free automated information line. Contracts also are required to include such information as mechanics liens, how to contact CSLB, and the three-day right to cancel.

Once you know who all of the subcontractors, workers, and material suppliers will be, have each sign a lien release form. (Standard lien release forms are available on CSLB’s website.) Double-check the list and get a qualified professional to review everything before you sign your contract.

Congratulations! You Hired a Contractor
Hiring a contractor can be quite an experience. It’s important for you to participate in each step of your project, visit the worksite regularly, and take photographs. Pictures will help you document the progression of the project, and can be a useful tool if problems arise.

Remember, the Contractors State License Board is here for you. If you have questions, or need help, check or call (800) 321-CSLB (2752).

Additional resources can be found in the Consumer section of CSLB’s website.