Investigating sales tactics and condos rush to ban weed: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including a public inquiry into sales practices used by telecom companies, Hudson's Bay dropping Ivanka Trump's clothing line and condo boards clamping down on cannabis before legalization.

Plus: Hudson's Bay drops Ivanka Trump's clothing line

A Marketplace producer went undercover selling Bell products door-to-door in December and January. Now the CRTC has launched a public inquiry into 'possible misleading or aggressive' sales practices by telecom companies. (Hidden camera footage/CBC Marketplace)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Telecom sales tactics

Have you ever felt pressured by employees selling TV, internet and wireless services? The CRTC is inviting you to raise your complaints online or at a public hearing starting Oct. 22. Earlier this year, our hidden camera investigation captured misleading sales tactics used by a company selling Bell services door to door. Since then, hundreds of customers have reached out about not receiving what a salesperson promised.

More from Marketplace: Misleading sales tactics for Bell services.

The Bay drops Ivanka Trump

You won't find Ivanka Trump's dresses at the Bay for that much longer. The company will be dropping the clothing line from its department stores and has already removed the brand from its website. HBC didn't say whether an ongoing boycott against stores carrying Trump family products factored into its decision, but said it pulled the line due to lack of sales.

Condos rush to ban weed

If you plan on smoking at home after weed is legalized, you might be out of luck if you live in a condo or apartment. Across the country, condo boards are scrambling to enact rules banning pot smoking inside units, on balconies and in common areas. The new rules could pit a medicinal pot smoker against a neighbour who complains about contamination of their living space.

Condominium corporations and apartment buildings across the country are rushing to enact rules that would ban pot smoking inside units, on balconies and in common areas. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Extra fee on cellphone bills

If you have a cellphone plan with Bell, Rogers or Telus, you might want to look a little closer at your wireless bill. The system access fee — typically $6.95 — was dropped by the big three in 2009 after facing competition from new providers who didn't charge it. But customers who didn't migrate to a new plan still pay it. A class-action lawsuit alleges companies misled customers into thinking the fee was a government charge.

More from Marketplace: How to get a better plan (2016). 

What else is going on?

U.S. beer drinkers pay more as aluminum tariffs hit cans. President Donald Trump's tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum are raising prices for a range of Wisconsin-made goods that use metal for product containers.

Can greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by making cows and other animals less gassy? Livestock are responsible for about 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and scientists are trying to breed animals that burp less, adjusting diets so they produce less methane.

The last U.S. Blockbuster thrives on great customer service. The owners of the Bend, Ore., location haven't updated their hardware since the '90s — including a computer system that uses floppy disks.

What should we investigate next?

Our TV season has wrapped until the fall. Miss an episode? Watch Marketplace investigations on demand here. We are busy working on new stories and want to hear from you. What do you think we should investigate next? Email us at


Avneet Dhillon is a multi-platform journalist with CBC News based in Toronto.