DCA is Here to Help All Year Long

Just because National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) has ended doesn’t mean you aren’t protected. As #NCPW2017 wraps up, DCA wants to remind consumers that our resources and programs are available any time of year. This past week, we’ve shared details on many of them.

An informed consumer is a protected consumer: consider yourself empowered! Learn more at www.dca.ca.gov.

Also, see our complete list of free publications at www.dca.ca.gov/publications/publications_list.shtml, subscribe to our award-winning magazine, Consumer Connection, and follow us on Facebook and on Twitter @DCAnews.

DCA’s Umbrella Has You Covered

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

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Consumers: Do you feel empowered? You will after this week!

The California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is proud to be a partner during the 19th annual National Consumer Protection Week (#NCPW2017), a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions. This year, it runs from March 5 through 11, so stay tuned to this blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for great tips all week!

Here are some of the ways DCA helps:

Licensing for protection

We all know someone who’s had a bad experience with an unlicensed or unscrupulous contractor who does sloppy work, lacks proper insurance or takes money upfront and disappears or leaves the job incomplete. That’s why you’ve heard our mantra “check the license” repeatedly, because this is one way consumers can help protect themselves from frauds, scams and financial harm. 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. Through its boards, bureaus, committees and other entities, DCA regulates many industries and the people licensed to work in them.

Check a license or file a complaint against a licensee by calling our Consumer Information Center at (800) 952-5210, or visit www.dca.ca.gov.

Consumer education, enforcement and special programs

Through award-winning consumer publications, social media, blogs, Senior Scam StopperSM events from the Contractors State License Board and other special programs like the Auto Body Inspection Program from the Bureau of Automotive Repair and the Veterans Come First Program from the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, 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. Our enforcement staff works with the California Attorney General’s Office and local district attorneys to fight fraud in the marketplace. In fact, many investigations are initiated by consumer complaints. 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.

Who we are what we do

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 consumer resources at https://oag.ca.gov/, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/, www.ncpw.gov and #NCPW2017.

Don’t Miss the Latest Issue of Consumer Connection!

In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled 51.3 million autos in the United States. The recalls included everything from defective ignition switches and consumer-connection-winter-2016steering wheels to acceleration issues and airbag and seatbelt defects. If you receive a recall notice, don’t ignore it. The winter 2016 issue of Consumer Connection walks you through what to do if you receive one.

This edition of DCA’s magazine continues its regular feature highlighting Department leadership. This issue includes an interview with the Executive Officer of the Board of Registered Nursing (Board), Joseph Morris. Mr. Morris discusses his background, long-term goals for the Board, and the Board’s challenges ahead.

The issue also explores a variety of other interesting topics, including recognizing a flood-damaged car when shopping for a used vehicle, fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the recently launched California State Athletic Commission’s campaign to prevent and treat concussions.

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

 

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!

 

Acupuncture: Pointing You in the Right Direction

AcupunctureIn Chinese medicine, health is believed to be from qi (pronounced “chee”), the free flow of energy in your body. Acupuncturists believe disruptions in this flow are what cause illnesses and ailments, and that the placement of needles in strategic places on the body can provide healing and relief by unblocking the energy flow.

Terri Thorfinnson, Executive Officer of the California Acupuncture Board (Board), says “The foundations of acupuncture focus on restoring balance to the patient. Acupuncture is the healing aspect of our health care system … [and] plays an essential role in health and wellness.”

According to the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center, acupuncture can be used to treat conditions such as:

  • Side effects of cancer treatment
  • Headaches
  • Chronic neck and back pain
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Sports injuries
  • Women’s reproductive health issues

Thorfinnson adds that acupuncture can also be used to treat diabetes, allergies, immune disorders, and addiction.

Acupuncturists in California are licensed and regulated by the Board. To qualify as a licensed acupuncturist, the applicant must complete specific education, training, and exam requirements.

For more information about acupuncture, read the fall 2015 Consumer Connection article on the Department of Consumer Affairs website, www.dca.ca.gov/publications/newsletter/fall2015.pdf and visit the Board’s website, www.acupuncture.ca.gov.

Don’t Miss the 10th Anniversary Issue of Consumer Connection

CC_Fall_15_FLWBR7B-1Our special issue celebrates 10 years of consumer news. In line with our previous years’ Consumer Connections, this issue features articles that help consumers stay informed about the latest trends and scams.

Read about acupuncture and the health benefits it can provide, plus information and news about LASIK surgery, consumer warnings about reverse mortgages, how to get your finances in order for the coming year, 3-D printing at home, and more. This fall issue also reports on the latest news regarding the prescription drug abuse epidemic and holiday shopping scams.

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

This Just In: The Latest Edition Of Consumer Connection Is Here!

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The latest edition of the Consumer Connection magazine is now available! This edition of our magazine features:

  • Pill…or candy?
  • Protecting against HVAC service fraud
  • E-cigarettes: Helpful or harmful?
  • Reimbursement help after school closures
  • Stronger security with credit card chips
  • New vehicle smog check test

The Consumer Connection magazine is full of informative and fun to read articles. Share what you read and help others become more informed. Check out the magazine HERE.

The Latest Edition Of The Consumer Connection Is Hot Off The Press

Pages from ConsumerConnection_Summer2014_webNEWSFLASH – The latest edition of the Consumer Connection magazine is now available! This edition of our magazine features:

  • Data breach and password protection and precautions
  • Tips for your end of summer getaway
  • Important must-know tips when hiring a locksmith
  • Covered California and Affordable Care Act information
  • Taking your pet to the Vet
  • …..and much, much more!

Not only is the Consumer Connection magazine full of amazing fun to read articles, but you will become an even more informed consumer with all of the useful information it contains. Check out the magazine HERE.