DCA’s In Your Corner

National Consumer Protection Week spotlights free resources, programs to help consumers

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is proud to be a partner during the 18th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions. This year, NCPW (#NCPW2016) runs from March 6 through 12, so stay tuned to this blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for great tips all week!

Being a savvy consumer is a year-round pursuit. Here are some of the ways DCA helps:

Licensing for protection

Through its boards, bureaus, committees and other entities, DCA regulates many industries and the people licensed to work in them. Licensing tells you that the person you are dealing with has met certain qualifications and levels of competency and offers a remedy if a service is not delivered or work is not acceptable.

To verify a license, call the Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210, or visit the DCA website at www.dca.ca.gov and click on the “License Search” button. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting DCA at (800) 952-5210 or online at www.dca.ca.gov.

Consumer education and enforcement

Licensing is only part of the story. DCA promotes and protects the interests of California consumers in other ways as well.

Through award-winning consumer publications, social media, blogs and community outreach events, DCA staff educates consumers by giving them the information they need to avoid unscrupulous or unqualified people who promote deceptive or unsafe services.

DCA also advocates consumer interests before lawmakers and enforces consumer laws. Its enforcement staff works with the Attorney General’s Office and local district attorneys to fight fraud in the marketplace. Many investigations are initiated as the result of complaints from consumers. If DCA determines wrongdoing, it can place licensees on probation, or suspend or revoke licenses.

Dispute resolution

When a dispute arises between a customer and a business in certain industries under DCA’s jurisdiction, alternative methods are available for resolving complaints without going to court in which the involved parties can work out a solution with the help of a mediator.

Learn more on our website at www.dca.ca.gov or get our publication titled, Who We Are & What We Do For a free printed copy, call the DCA Publications Hotline at (866) 320-8652. Find more resources at www.ncpw.gov or #NCPW2016.

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