What can I do about a bad mechanic? How do I fight a health insurance denial? Where can I report fraud? We've compiled this comprehensive list of resources to help answer your burning consumer questions.
If you can't find what you need below, please contact our NBC Bay Area Responds team.
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First, contact the airline. If the carrier does not resolve your issue, the U.S. Department of Transportation takes complaints here.
AUTOMOTIVE - "LEMON LAW"
California has a "lemon law" to cover new car buyers. Most used car sales are not covered, but certain "buy here / pay here" dealerships must provide a limited warranty.
California Lemon Law Q&A
"Buy Here / Pay Here" Dealership Warranty Requirements
AUTOMOTIVE - MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
The California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Automotive Repair investigates complaints against auto mechanics and dealerships, and offers free inspections of auto body work.
File a complaint
Search a mechanic's license
Get a free auto body repair inspection
AUTOMOTIVE - RECALLS AND SAFETY
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lets you search for open recalls using your car's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
NHTSA VIN open recall search
File a vehicle safety or mechanical failure complaint
ATTORNEYS AND LEGAL AID
Many lawyers are specialized. The California Bar can help you choose the right attorney. There are also free legal assistance resources available in the Bay Area.
Find an attorney
Get free legal help
File a complaint against an attorney
CONTRACTORS - HOME IMPROVEMENT AND REPAIR
General contractors must be licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs Contractors State License Board (CSLB). Contractors may not take a down payment of more than 10 percent of the project's total cost or $1,000, whichever is less.
Find a licensed contractor
Search a contractor's license
File a complaint against a contractor
Free credit reports are available to consumers once a year, but only from one industry-backed website. You can also freeze your credit files to prevent identity theft, for free. Note: your credit report is different than access to your credit score, which you may need to purchase separately.
AnnualCreditReport.com (free, once per year)
Equifax Credit Freeze (free)
Experian Credit Freeze (free)
TransUnion Credit Freeze (free)
Verify that your physician is licensed. If you have a complaint, notify the state.
Medical Board of California - Doctor's License Search
Report malpractice by a doctor
INSURANCE - HEALTH
If you have a problem with your health plan, such as a billing dispute or a denied claim, you can file a complaint, appeal, or grievance with the California Department of Managed Health Care.
File a complaint
INSURANCE - FRAUD
The California Department of Insurance regulates home, auto, and other property insurance providers. California insurance agents must hold a valid license. Penalties can be levied for fraud.
File a complaint against a property insurance provider
Search an insurance agent's license
File an insurance fraud complaint
If you paid for something online using PayPal, and the vendor doesn't deliver, you may be eligible for a refund through PayPal.
Read the PayPal Purchase Protection policy
PRODUCT SAFETY ISSUES
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides information on recalls, and reviews complaints about product safety hazards.
File a product safety complaint
Search for open recalls
USPS INFORMED DELIVERY
The U.S. Postal Service provides this free service, which sends you daily emails or mobile phone alerts when new letters and packages headed for your mailbox.
Sign up for Informed Delivery