Get it While it’s Hot: Check out the Summer Issue of Consumer Connection

Summer’s not over yet. There’s still time to take a road trip to one of California’s manyConsumer connection summer 2016 state parks. From beaches and deserts to redwood forests and mountain summits, California parks offer a variety of amazing and beautiful sites to explore. The Consumer Connection article “Time for a Road Trip!” details 10 state parks—including Angel Island, Marshall Gold Discovery, Humboldt Redwoods, and Crystal Cove—to consider for your next destination, and ways to make sure your car is as ready for the trip as you are.

Also inside this issue is an article about the recently enacted California End of Life Option Act. The new law provides legal guidelines on how terminally ill adults can choose to die in a humane and dignified manner.

Readers will also find features about the recent trend of more Americans choosing to rent instead of buying a home, dealing with the repo man, the dangers of DIY braces, wills versus living trusts, the dangers of buying from a rogue online pharmacy, and more.

To download or read DCA’s award-winning Consumer Connection magazine, visit the DCA website. You can also pick up a printed copy in the DCA Headquarters lobby at 1625 North Market Boulevard in Sacramento. Or, to have a copy mailed to you at no charge, call (866) 320-8652 or send an e-mail request to consumerconnection@dca.ca.gov. Get connected!

 

DCA Complaint Resolution Program Comes to an End

DCALogo_small 2007After processing more than 201,395 complaints and recovering $32.4 million for consumers, DCA’s Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) will close its doors on
June 30, 2016.

Established in 1994 and originally called the Complaint Mediation Division, CRP was created to consolidate and streamline consumer complaint processing. CRP staff review complaints and act as a neutral third party between the complainant and the licensee/
business to settle disputes. The CRP representative can propose terms to settle disputes but does not decide how they should be resolved.

CRP processes all consumer complaints filed against California businesses that are regulated by these bureaus: Cemetery and Funeral; Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation; Security and Investigative Services; and Private Postsecondary Education.

Fewer incoming complaints than in years past and fewer bureaus participating in the program led to the closure.

After June 30, consumers who have complaints related to the bureaus that were previously under the CRP’s jurisdiction can contact the bureaus directly or call DCA’s Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210.

Check Out the New Consumer Guide to Locksmith Companies Brochure from the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

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Did you know that California locksmith companies and locksmiths must carry a Bureau-issued registration card and a California-issued driver’s license that consumers should ask to see before allowing them to conduct business?

Or did you know that your auto insurance company may offer locksmith benefits or recommend a locksmith if you get locked out of your car?

Learn more when you read the new Consumer Guide to Locksmith Companies brochure created by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/locksmith.

Check Out the New Consumer Guide to Alarm Companies Brochure

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The California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services wants consumers to know the ins and outs of purchasing a home security alarm system. This new brochure tells who at alarm companies must be licensed, what should be included in the contract, how to choose a reputable company and how to file a complaint against an alarm company. See it now at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/alarmco.pdf.

Locksmiths: Protect Yourself From Unlicensed Activity

shutterstock_locksmithYou lost your keys and need a locksmith. Finding one is easy nowadays with smartphone technology – just search “locksmith,” call one of the results that pops up, and a locksmith is en route to the rescue. So simple, right? Wrong.

What the search engine doesn’t tell you is that unlicensed locksmith activity is a growing problem in California. The search results could potentially lead you to someone seeking to conduct illegal activity at your expense. What you also might not know is that California has requirements locksmiths must meet in order to legally do business.

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) regulates locksmith companies and locksmith employees in California and wants you to be an aware and informed consumer. An informed consumer is one of the best deterrents against illegal locksmith activity.

Here is some handy information to keep in your back pocket when it comes to locksmiths:

  1. By law, a locksmith company must hold a BSIS locksmith license and an employee of a locksmith company must hold a BSIS locksmith employee registration.
  2. Identify a licensed and reputable locksmith before you need one. Individuals who possess a locksmith employee registration, but do not work for a licensed locksmith company are operating illegally.
  3. Check the license online or by calling (800) 952-5210.
  4. Check the business name and license number on the vehicle.
  5. Ask the locksmith to provide proof of his or her BSIS license or registration.
  6. Check the Better Business Bureau’s website for information.
  7. Get an estimate of the charges before you authorize the work.
  8. Always get a receipt for any work completed.
  9. If something doesn’t seem right, do not authorize the work to be started.
  10. Contact BSIS to file a complaint or report unlicensed activity.

Conducting business with unlicensed individuals is risky. Remember to check the license and report unlicensed activity online or by calling (800) 952-5210.

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