Battle of the food delivery apps and reselling Ikea furniture: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including our investigation into food delivery apps, the CRTC creating an internet code of conduct, and Ikea's pitch to buy back your used furniture.

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

CBC's Marketplace examined three major food apps — Uber Eats, SkipTheDishes and Foodora — to test how they deliver food, as well as some of the labour issues facing couriers who work for these companies as 'independent contractors.' (Neil Hall/Reuters)

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

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday. 

Ikea wants your used furniture

You can trade in those old Ikea chairs for new stuff — as long as you can haul them to the store yourself. The retailer has launched a new program that will let you bring back gently used furniture to resell. It reduces waste and earns you store credit, but only dressers, tables, chairs, cabinets and stools are included in the list of eligible furniture.

Ikea's used furniture reselling program just launched in Canada. (Shutterstock)

How to fight for your bank records

Have you ever noticed a change to your bank account that you didn't authorize? An Edmonton woman said she fought with CIBC for two years to find out how $691 was moved from her account in 2016. Rhonda McMillan said the bank slip she finally received appears to show that a manager and another employee signed their own names authorizing the transfer, without her knowledge or permission.

Rhonda McMillan fought for two years to get a document she believes shows unauthorized activity on her account. (Trevor Wilson/CBC)

Telecom gripe? CRTC wants to hear about it

After countless complaints about telecom service, the CRTC is asking for your help to create an internet code of conduct. The code would establish consumer-friendly business practices, including making sure contracts are easy to understand and making it easier to switch providers to take advantage of competitive offers. Canadians have until Dec. 19 to submit comments by completing an online form

Canada's telecommunications regulator is inviting public comments on the creation of an internet code of conduct for service providers to address increasing complaints about service. (CBC)

How to spot a fake locksmith

If you're looking to hire a locksmith, be sure to check their credentials. Several Canadians have contacted CBC News to tell their stories of how they were duped by people claiming to be locksmiths in paid ads appearing at the top of Google search results. Professional locksmiths recommend checking for fake addresses, and warn that most fakes will say they have to drill out your lock, but that usually isn't the case.

Homeowners who've called locksmiths they found online say they feel preyed upon by the first companies that showed up in Google. (Shutterstock)

Canada Post halts shipments from outside Canada

If you're expecting a parcel delivery, whether it's domestic or international, expect to wait longer than you thought. Canada Post's labour dispute with its workers has created a 30-day backlog of undelivered mail. The Crown corporation issued new contract offers this week in an effort to resolve the dispute before the holiday shopping rush. In the meantime, it's asked its international partners to halt mail and parcel shipments to Canada.

Trucks full of undelivered parcels are shown at a Canada Post distribution hub in Mississauga, Ont. on Friday. (Canada Post)

What else is going on?

Vaping company Juul Labs Inc. is stopping sales of some e-cigarette flavours, but only in the U.S. Amid allegations it markets its products to teens, Juul said it will stop selling some flavours, including Mango and Cucumber. They will still be available online and no restrictions will be put in place in Canada

Walmart Canada is adding more self-checkout kiosks and revamping its "scan and go" system. The company said some cashiers have been re-deployed to other positions such as customer support for self-checkout.

This week in recalls

These baby carriers could pose a fall hazard; these vaping products do not meet requirements of the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations; these custom residential elevators could pose an injury hazard to consumers in the elevator cab; these bar stools could pose a cut hazard.

Watch this week: Battle of the food delivery apps

It's a battle among the top three food apps: Uber Eats, Skip The Dishes, and Foodora. We tested the delivery giants for speed, cost, and hidden markups. We also examined some of the labour issues facing couriers who work for these companies as "independent contractors."

There's a lot to consider when deciding which one to use. What matters to you? Take our poll.


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

With files from The Canadian Press