Consumer Assistance Our toll-free telephone line, (800) 952-5210, is staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. except the first and third Wednesday of each month when we open at 8:30 a.m. Automated services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Consumer service representatives can answer consumer and licensee questions in 140 different languages, assist in the filing of complaints, mail helpful publications and refer callers to the appropriate government or private agency for more assistance. Hearing-impaired persons may call TDD (800) 326-2297. Sacramento-area consumers may call (916) 445-1254 or TDD (916) 928-1227. The hotline receives nearly one million calls each year.
To reach a specific board or bureau, please call the board or bureau directly.
If you are interested in doing business with us, please contact the Small Business/DVBE Advocate.
For additional information:
Call the Consumer Information Center at: (800) 952-5210
Department of Consumer Affairs
Consumer Information Division
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite N 112
Sacramento, CA 95834
*Disclaimer: The Department of Consumer Affairs should only be sent correspondence relevant to the boards and bureaus it regulates.
Please note that DCA cannot address concerns or questions relative to the following:
- landlord/tenant issues;
- telephone/cell phone provider complaints;
- debt collection issues;
- insurance companies;
- prepaid telephone cards;
- gift cards;
- auto purchases, license laws and issues, auto repossessions, towing, warranties, or auto parts issues (only unsatisfactory repairs through independent shops);
- internet businesses and internet service providers (These are not regulated by any state government agency in California.)
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. 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.
- 2.Question - I am being harassed by a collection agency, and I want to know what my rights are. Can you send me some information?
- 3.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.
- 4.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.
- 5.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.
- 6.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.
- 7.Question - How can I check to see if a nonprofit organization is legitimate?
- 8.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.
- 9.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?