HVAC scams and how to stop them; Why can’t retail workers get N95 masks? CBC Marketplace Cheat Sheet

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Sellers use sketchy tactics to sell HVAC contracts. We caught one in the act

This week, Marketplace and Go Public team up to uncover the tactics used to lure consumers into overpriced long-term leases for new heating and cooling equipment – and more.

Our team outfitted a test house with hidden cameras to find out what would happen if a sales rep from a company with a number of complaints inspected the hot water tank.

The veteran HVAC expert we asked to inspect the tank before Ontario Green Savings arrived found no fault. But when Axel Hermosa – a commissioned sales director for the company – knocked on the door, we heard a very different story.

“You have to have it replaced within the next six days,” he said, explaining that after 10 years the insurance no longer covers damage. “So if anything happens, I’m liable. I saw the tank… Insurance won’t cover that.”

But when we checked the house’s specific insurance policy, as well as several other insurance companies and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, they all said they cover damage caused by tanks older than 10 years.

Hermosa also said the new tank would cost about $50 more per month than the current contract, but would be efficient enough to save money in the long run. Many consumers who shared their experience with CBC never saw these savings. Continue reading

That’s just one of the nifty sales tactics to watch out for. To see the rest, check out Marketplace’s full investigation.

Hidden cameras capture HVAC scams in action

Uncovering fraudulent sales tactics used to trick people into unfair and overpriced HVAC contracts. And insiders reveal the new ways they’re getting you to sign up for other home devices too. 10:30 p.m

Marketplace Update: Instacart Edition

After last week’s Marketplace investigation uncovered hidden fees and surcharges for some grocery items on Loblaws and Costco’s Instacart, we heard from many of our viewers about their own experiences of online grocery delivery.

But that wasn’t the only reaction to our story.

Following our investigation, the NDP sent a letter to the competition bureau asking the commissioner to investigate the costs of third-party grocery delivery apps like Instacart.

“With the speed at which the latest variant of COVID-19 is spreading, more Canadians than ever are self-isolating and are forced to rely on food delivery services like Instacart,” said NDP industry critic and MP Brian Masse in a press release.

“Canadians who are doing the right thing by staying home to protect their communities should not be penalized by third-party apps that are monetizing the situation.”

The party also sent a letter to the Chair of the Industry Committee asking for the committee to meet again to discuss markup by third-party apps, among other agenda items.

We’ll keep you posted with any updates to this story, and in the meantime, check out our full Instacart investigation below.

Delivery deal or real rip-off?

Investigating hidden markups and lost sales on Instacart and testing HelloFresh, Chefs Plate and Goodfood. 10:30 p.m

Many frontline healthcare workers are being given N95-style masks. Why not those who work in retail?

In the wake of Omicron, many regulations were quickly changed to better protect workers.

For example, most frontline healthcare workers in Ontario are now required to wear N95-style masks, which filter the vast majority of dangerous coronavirus particles.

But for people working with the general public, some of these changes are lagging behind.

There is still no mandate for the widespread use of N95 or equivalent masks in most grocery stores, although there is mounting evidence that cloth masks and other inferior options do little to slow the spread of the Omicron wildfire. Continue reading

Many grocery stores still rely on single-use masks for their workers, which experts say aren’t as good as N95-style masks, to limit transmission of the coronavirus. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

Thousands of suspected breast implant-related injuries uncovered in manufacturer’s data dump, CBC analysis finds

For years, Health Canada has been kept in the dark about thousands of suspected breast implant-related injuries and complications — including multiple mentions of a rare cancer — that manufacturers have failed to report.

A CBC data analysis found that of the 5,990 new reports, more than half are suspected injuries, while the rest are classified as potential injuries or deaths if they recur, also known as near misses.

The data suggests that manufacturers received some reports as early as 2000, but these were not submitted to Health Canada’s database until nearly two decades later.

The organization launched an investigation after reviewing breast implant manufacturer Allergan’s 2017 annual report, which mentioned incidents involving breast implants that did not appear in Health Canada’s database.

Allergan declined to comment when asked by CBC News for more context on this underreporting and Health Canada’s inspection. Continue reading

Back in 2018, a hidden camera investigation by Marketplace revealed how some cosmetic surgeons whitewash the health risks of breast implants during their sales pitches.

Terri McGregor was diagnosed with breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in 2015, a rare cancer associated with textured breast implants. CBC News found their doctor’s report to the manufacturer in a 2019 data dump. (Ousama Farag/CBC News)

what else is going on

China and the Philippines suspend beef imports from Canada after a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy
The disruption hasn’t had a noticeable impact on Canadian prices, says the executive vice president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Are homeowners liable for slips on icy sidewalks?
The classic Canadian legal conundrum involves what it means to be a good neighbor.

Recall of Dewalt Jobsite Pro Wireless Earphones due to burn and fire hazard
Stop using the recalled DEWALT ® Jobsite Pro Wireless Earphones immediately.

Certain Dole and President’s Choice branded salad products have been recalled due to Listeria
Click here for the list of recalled products.

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