Breast implants sales pitch and truck driver training: 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 how plastic surgeons market breast implants and a followup to our story about the lack of training for semi truck drivers.

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

CBC's Marketplace sent a woman's extracted breast implants for testing to find out exactly what went wrong. Chemist Pierre Blais analyzed them. (Dave Macintosh/CBC)

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. 

Shopping for breast implants

Marketplace investigated how breast implants are marketed by plastic surgeons, and we followed a woman getting her implants removed because she believes they made her sick. We sent her implants for testing to find out exactly what went wrong. Canada's health minister says she is "deeply concerned" by problems with implanted medical devices and has pledged to make changes.

Telecom complaints more than doubled

If there's a massive difference between what you expect from your telecom service and what you get, welcome to the club. The federal watchdog for telecom complaints handled 14,272 complaints last year. That was a 57 per cent spike, and most of the complaints involved wireless providers. The main grievance was non-disclosure of information and bill surprises by wireless operators.

The federal watchdog for telecom complaints handled 14,272 complaints from consumers in 2017-2018. More than 40 per cent of them were about wireless service and 29.2 per cent were about internet service. (Shutterstock)

Truck driver training could have saved lives

What does it take to haul 80,000 pounds down Canada's high-speed roads? In some provinces you need more training to give a haircut than to haul freight. Seven months after the deadly Humboldt crash, training is still optional for semi truck drivers in Saskatchewan. But the government's own internal documents say more people will die until it becomes mandatory. Our hidden-camera investigation earlier this year revealed how Canada's patchwork training and testing system leaves some new truck drivers ill-prepared to operate big rigs.

Former semi driving instructor Mel Meikle says the Saskatchewan government has known for months that mandatory training will save lives but has not acted. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

You probably shouldn't eat your placenta

As it turns out, eating this temporary organ expelled from your uterus is risky. Health Canada is warning that consuming human placenta could lead to bacterial or viral infections in mothers or their babies. Some health claims allege that it can help prevent postpartum depression, increase energy levels and boost breast milk production — but Health Canada says there's no scientific evidence to support such claims.

Health Canada is cautioning mothers and others who may be consuming human placenta preparations about potential risks for themselves and their babies. (Shutterstock)

Is Netflix still worth it?

You'll soon be paying $3 more each month for your Netflix subscription. It's the company's biggest price increase yet for both new subscribers and current members. Netflix's standard plan will now cost $13.99 a month, while the basic plan (without ultra HD video and streaming on only one device) is also increasing a dollar, to $9.99 a month. Netflix says the money will help fund upcoming TV series and films, along with overall improvements to the platform.

Netflix says the higher prices are effective immediately for new subscribers, while existing users will be notified by email before their bills rise in the coming weeks. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

What else is going on?

A Burlington, Ont., man was told he'd lose a $1,500 flight over a misspelled name. Mo Shahin took on Expedia after the online booking agency told him that he'd have to rebook his non-refundable flight because a name on the booking was missing one letter.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is taking steps to prevent entry of lettuce suspected in E. coli cases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it suspects romaine lettuce harvested in parts of California this month is the source of the outbreak that made people sick in both Canada and the United States.

This week in recalls

This Ikea extendable dining table could lead to injuries; these bicycle forks could pose a risk of injury to the rider; these wind-up toys do not meet Canadian safety requirements and could pose a choking hazard; these air freshener sprays are missing the required hazard labelling; these tahini products could be contaminated with salmonella. 

Marketplace wants to speak to you

We want to hear about your experience with short-term rental platforms like Airbnb as a guest, host or neighbour. Send us an email at marketplace@cbc.ca

We're also on the hunt for Canada's worst sale! Ever spotted a sale price higher than the original price? Items on sale all out of stock? Does the company use their pricing to make you believe you're getting a better deal than you actually are? We want to hear about it. Send us your story at marketplace@cbc.ca