Complaint Resolution Program

Complaint Resolution Program

Bridging the Gap to Mutually Acceptable Dispute Resolution

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What is the Complaint Resolution Program?

The Complaint Resolution Program is part of the Consumer and Community Empowerment Division of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The Program is responsible for resolving consumer complaints which have been filed against the following industries: automotive repair, home furnishings, electronic and appliance repair, private investigator, private security, burglar alarm, repossession, locksmith, security guard, baton and firearm training, hearing aid dispenser, and cemetery and funeral. Complaints are assigned to a representative, who will assist in resolving the complaint.

What Kind of Disputes Does the Program Resolve?

  • Refunds
  • Repairs/Rework
  • Service
  • Product Exchange
  • Electronic and Appliance Service Contracts
  • Contract/Warranty Compliance

How Does the Resolution Process Work?

  • The consumer submits a complaint to DCA or one of its bureaus by phone, by mail, or online at www.dca.ca.gov.
  • Complaint Resolution Program staff review the complaint to determine whether it falls within our jurisdiction. If it is determined the complaint falls within our jurisdiction. If it is determined the complaint falls within our jurisdiction, a trained representative is assigned to the complaint.
  • The representative contacts both the consumer and the business by telephone or mail to gather additional information and facts.
  • The representative assists the disputing parties and explores settlement options with the goal of reaching a resolution that is mutually satisfactory.
  • If the dispute is not settled, the representative advises the consumer of his or her right to file a civil or small claims court action.
  • Complaints with serious violations are transferred to DCA enforcement staff for further investigation and disciplinary action, when appropriate.

What is a Representative?

A representative is a neutral, objective, third person who assists the consumer and the business in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to settle a dispute. The representative can propose terms to settle the conflict but will not decide how the dispute will be resolved.

What Does a Representative Do?

  • Listens to both sides;
  • Remains impartial;
  • Reviews complaints; and
  • Assists the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution.

Benefits of Complaint Resolution

  • Resolution services are free of charge
  • Reduces the need for costly intervention by the courts
  • Allows for a greater number of possible solutions
  • Timely complaint processing
  • Less stressful
  • Fosters communication and enhances the future relationship of the parties by clarifying issues, interests, and needs
  • Convenient and effective.
  • Allows the Program to track trend of deceptive practices and assists DCA in taking disciplinary action when appropriate

Small Claims Court or Other Civil Remedy

If disputes cannot be resolved through the resolution process, the Complaint Resolution Program advises the consumer of the option to pursue the matter through the civil court system–either by use of the Small Claims Court or through the services of a private attorney.

Centralized Complaint Resolution Program

The Centralized Complaint Resolution Program processes, resolves, and tracks complaints. This is particularly beneficial in identifying reoccurring problems within a company's operations. Participation in the Program is voluntary and free of charge.

If you would like to participate in the Program, please call (916) 574-7950.

Referral Services

We can help even if your complaint is not related to the kind of disputes we resolve. The Consumer Information Center provides information and referrals for all consumer issues.

Call our toll-free number, 1-800-952-5210, or visit our web site at www.dca.ca.gov for assistance.

Complaint Resolution Program Locations

1625 N. Market Blvd., Suite S-202
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 574-7950

1180 Durfee Avenue, Suite 125
South El Monte, CA 91733
(626) 575-7037

3737 Main Street, Suite 650
Riverside, CA 92501
(951) 782-4263

22320 Foothill Blvd., Suite 500
Hayward, CA 94541
(510) 888-7062

For Additional Copies of this Brochure write to:

Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer and Community Empowerment Division
Complaint Resolution Program
1625 N. Market Blvd., Suite S-202
Sacramento, CA 95834

Or call us toll-free at 1-800-952-5210 or visit us online at www.dca.ca.gov