Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC


  ( Heading of Division 1 amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 77. )

CHAPTER 4. Consumer Affairs [300 - 337]

  ( Chapter 4 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1394. )

ARTICLE 5. Consumer Complaints [325 - 328]
  ( Article 5 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1394. )


It shall be the duty of the director to receive complaints from consumers concerning (a) unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in the conduct of any trade or commerce; (b) the production, distribution, sale, and lease of any goods and services undertaken by any person which may endanger the public health, safety, or welfare; (c) violations of provisions of this code relating to businesses and professions licensed by any agency of the department, and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto; (d) student concerns related to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education’s performance of its responsibilities, including concerns that arise related to the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education’s handling of a complaint or its administration of the Student Tuition Recovery Fund, established in Article 14 (commencing with Section 94923) of Chapter 8 of Part 59 of Division 10 of Title 3 of the Education Code; and (e) other matters consistent with the purposes of this chapter, whenever appropriate.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 593, Sec. 1. (SB 1192) Effective January 1, 2017.)


In addition to the duties prescribed by Section 325, it shall be the duty of the director to receive complaints from consumers concerning services provided by the entities described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 234 of the Public Utilities Code.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 357, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)


(a) Upon receipt of any complaint pursuant to Section 325, the director may notify the person against whom the complaint is made of the nature of the complaint and may request appropriate relief for the consumer.

(b) The director shall also transmit any valid complaint to the local, state or federal agency whose authority provides the most effective means to secure the relief.

The director shall, if appropriate, advise the consumer of the action taken on the complaint and of any other means which may be available to the consumer to secure relief.

(c) If the director receives a complaint or receives information from any source indicating a probable violation of any law, rule, or order of any regulatory agency of the state, or if a pattern of complaints from consumers develops, the director shall transmit any complaint he or she considers to be valid to any appropriate law enforcement or regulatory agency and any evidence or information he or she may have concerning the probable violation or pattern of complaints or request the Attorney General to undertake appropriate legal action. It shall be the continuing duty of the director to discern patterns of complaints and to ascertain the nature and extent of action taken with respect to the probable violations or pattern of complaints.

(Amended by Stats. 1989, Ch. 1360, Sec. 1.)


(a) In order to implement the Consumer Protection Enforcement Initiative of 2010, the director, through the Division of Investigation, shall implement “Complaint Prioritization Guidelines” for boards to utilize in prioritizing their respective complaint and investigative workloads. The guidelines shall be used to determine the referral of complaints to the division and those that are retained by the health care boards for investigation.

(b) Neither the Medical Board of California nor the Podiatric Medical Board of California shall be required to utilize the guidelines implemented pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) On or before July 1, 2019, the director shall amend the guidelines implemented pursuant to subdivision (a) to include the category of “allegations of serious harm to a minor” under the “urgent” or “highest priority” level.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 351, Sec. 47. (AB 496) Effective January 1, 2020.)

BPCBusiness and Professions Code - BPC5.