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Real estate complaints are up; bank apologizes after customer calls out racism: CBC's Marketplace Cheat Sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week.

Consumer and health news you need from the week

The economic dangers of skyrocketing home prices

The National

1 month ago
2:04
Housing sales and prices hit year-over-year record highs in the Greater Toronto Area and experts warn it is a dangerous pattern across the country, threatening the overall economy. 2:04

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The pandemic has the real estate market heating up. But some buyers say agents are breaking rules

When Carla Vanderdeen-Fenech started shopping for a home in Hamilton in late 2020, she knew it would be competitive.

What she didn't expect was to live in a friend's basement for five months while she looked for a new home. Vanderdeen-Fenech contends her family wouldn't be in a basement if agents weren't breaking the rules to milk as much money out of buyers as possible.

She filed a complaint to the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) earlier this year when she says a local listing agent broke the rules by sharing the price of a competing bid.

The 40-year-old says she's coming forward with her experience to warn others as the pandemic-era housing market continues to intensify. Read more

Carla Vanderdeen-Fenech and her husband, Philip, say they're coming forward with their homebuying experience to help others avoid the same issue. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Black customer recounts 'degrading' treatment at TD Bank branch

A Black man who says he's repeatedly experienced racism while depositing cheques at a TD Canada Trust branch in Ottawa is dismissing the bank's apology to him as hollow.

Keshna Spalding said he's been a TD customer for more than 20 years, but never had an issue until two years ago when he moved to Orléans, a suburb in the city's east end. At a branch there, Spalding said he has experienced "degrading" treatment that he believes is rooted in racism.   

"They will question every cheque that I come into the bank with," Spalding said. "Everything had to be verified, which wasn't the case before." 

Carla Hindman, TD's manager of corporate and public affairs, told CBC News the company has offered an unreserved public apology to Spalding and has introduced enhanced training and education programs about anti-Black racism in order to foster "a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity."

But Spalding said after receiving the apology, he had another negative experience at the branch. Read more

Marketplace previously investigated discrimination in the oil sands and the home appraisal industry as part of our Face Racism series. 

Eleven million Rogers customers lost their wireless coverage a week ago, and they're now scam artists have been the outage to try to trick people into clicking on fraudulent links. (Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Watch out for this scam targeting Rogers customers

Heads up: Scam artists have been using last week's wireless outage at Rogers Communications Inc. as a way to trick people into clicking on fraudulent links.

One fake claim that's been popping up alleges that "R0GERS WIRELESS INC." is offering a $50 credit to make up for the inconvenience if people click on a link.

But if you look closely, the O in Rogers is a zero, marking the link as a scam.

A Rogers spokesperson says the real credit is equal to one day's service, so the amount depends on the customer.

"Some customers have received scam text messages requesting individuals [to] click on a link to collect a credit," the company said. "These messages are not from Rogers." Read more

Black man refuses bank’s apology for ‘degrading’ treatment

The National

12 days ago
2:02
A Black man has rejected TD Bank's apology for the way staff at an Ottawa branch treated him when he tried to cash cheques for his business, which he says was ‘degrading.’ It’s an experience other Black business owners have had while banking. 2:02

Ontario largely ignored long-term care as COVID-19 crisis began, internal documents reveal

Internal provincial government documents obtained by CBC News show few signs that Ontario prepared the long-term care sector for the risks from COVID-19 before the virus began its deadly spread through nursing homes. 

CBC News asked the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Long-Term Care for all reports, memos and briefing notes concerning the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 and long-term care homes in February, March and April of 2020. 

Only a handful of documents from the ministries mention protecting long-term care residents in February, even as cases were steadily arriving in Ontario and the devastation from the infections in Italy became apparent. Read more

Last year, a Marketplace data analysis found that 85 per cent of Ontario nursing homes break the law repeatedly with almost no consequences.

Across Ontario, 3,756 residents of long-term care have died while infected with COVID-19, along with 11 staff of nursing homes. These crosses represent deceased residents of Camilla Care Community in Mississauga, Ont. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

What else is going on?

How Montreal, not long ago the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, avoided a disastrous 3rd wave
'We changed basically everything in how we do things,' says top public health official.

Apple users can say no to being tracked with new software update
New iOS will restrict what data apps can share with third parties.

Patents for COVID-19 vaccines slow global supply, raise risk of new variants, advocates say
WHO data suggests richer countries have so far received 87 per cent of doses globally.

Travel company Transat AT reaches $700M aid deal with Ottawa
Deal includes millions to provide reimbursements to travellers.

What else is going on?

Attention home buyers, sellers and agents: We want to hear from you! Have you noticed any suspect practices, found yourself in unethical bidding wars or caught anyone behaving below board in the real estate industry? Email us at marketplace@cbc.ca

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