Most Frequently Asked Questions

Consumer Affairs operators receive lots of calls from consumers who need help. Often they're the best resource. But they also refer consumers to other agencies or organizations for assistance. Following are the top 10 frequently asked referral questions:

  1. 1. Question - I would like to have an extension on my registration until I can have a vehicle smog check. Can you help me get the extension?

Whom to contact - The California Department of Motor Vehicles is your contact for vehicle registration issues. The Department's Bureau of Automotive Repair can help you with information on the Smog Check program.

  1. 2.Question - My landlord sent me a three-day "Pay or Quit the Premises" eviction notice. Do I have to leave? What are my rights?

Follow the link - We have a publication that can help you answer these questions: California Tenants - A Guide to Residential Tenants' and Landlords' Rights and Responsibilities. The guide includes a list of local tenant assistance organizations. Such organizations, or a legal expert or attorney of your choice, can provide you with direct assistance.

  1. 3.Question - I am being harassed by a collection agency, and I want to know what my rights are. Can you send me some information?

Whom to contact - The Federal Trade Commission offers Fair Debt Collection FAQ and Fair Collections Practices Act tips. Also check our Legal Guides on "debt collection."

  1. 4.Question - I received a notice that I had won a car. The letter says I have to pay the sales tax. I sent the company my money and have not received my car. Where can I file a complaint?

Whom to contact - Report consumer fraud to the California Attorney General.

  1. 5.Question - I want to check the reputation of a business offering me a low interest rate Visa card. Can DCA do this for me?

Whom to contact - The California Department of Business Oversight licenses many financial institutions, provides consumer information and responds to consumer complaints. You can also check with your local Better Business Bureau for reports on businesses.

  1. 6.Question - I purchased a crib six months ago, but I heard on the news that this model has been recalled and a refund is being offered to consumers. Where do I return the crib for a refund?

Whom to contact - The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission provides information on product recalls.

  1. 7.Question - I own an employment agency and I'm required to hold a surety bond. Where do I get one?

Whom to contact - Insurance companies sell the bonds. You must file with the Secretary of State for record keeping.

  1. 8.Question - How can I check to see if a nonprofit organization is legitimate?

Whom to contact - Check the California Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts and with your local Better Business Bureau for reports on the organization.

  1. 9.Question - I want to update my mobile home plumbing. Where can I get the inspection and permits to do this?

Whom to contact - Contact the California Housing and Community Development Department and its Division of Codes and Standards for information on inspections and permits for alterations to mobile homes.

  1. 10.Question - My supermarket checkout scale and barcode scanner aren't working properly. Who handles inquiries about weights and measures?

Whom to contact - County sealers of weights and measures carry out most weights and measures enforcement activities at the local level, including supermarket scales, scanners and gas station pumps. Check the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Division of Measurement Standards for more information on local county resources. Consumer guide: Are You Getting Your Money's Worth?