When Airbnb goes bad, grounded planes and limiting doctor visits: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including what happens when Airbnb goes bad, safety features on grounded Boeing jets and urging a crackdown on homeopathic products.

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

A social media post about a doctor's office limiting patients to 'one issue per visit' has sparked a conversation about how the policy impacts health care. ( TippaPatt/Shutterstock)

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

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Does your doctor have a 'one issue per visit' rule?

An Ontario woman tweeted out a notice at her doctor's office, which asked patients to only bring up "one issue" per visit. The post attracted attention online, with some people, including doctors, against the policy and others praising it, saying it helps with wait times. Some physicians say it's a symptom of the fee-for-service system.

737 Max jets stay grounded 

Air Canada will keep Boeing 737 Max 8 jets grounded until at least July 1, hoping to ease customer travel concerns. The announcement comes after Transport Canada closed Canadian airspace to the aircraft following the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Air Canada also says its jets have all additional safety systems.

Air Canada says its Boeing Max 8 jets have both additional safety features, but will still keep the planes grounded until at least July 1. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Have a tire warranty? Read the fine print

A B.C. man bought tires with a 112,000-kilometre warranty and he says they wore out after 30,000 kilometres, but the manufacturer Continental Tires rejected his claim. The company told Go Public the tires showed "uneven wear," making the warranty inapplicable. One consumer advocacy expert says "it's a problem — and it's industry-wide."

A B.C. man spoke to CBC Go Public after his tires wore out and the manufacturer didn't honour the warranty. (Submitted by Gerald Renaud)

Search is on for plastic alternatives

As Newfoundland and Labrador considers banning single-use plastic bags, researchers at Memorial University are searching for new materials to make plastic biodegradable. They say carbon dioxide could be key to a purified polymer that could serve as a more environmentally friendly option. Check out our story on why it's so hard to shop plastic-free.

Researchers at Memorial University say carbon dioxide could be key to a purified polymer that could serve as a more environmentally friendly option to plastic. (Submitted by Kori Andrea)

Calls for action on vaccine alternatives

In British Columbia, government officials are looking into reports that some homeopathic and naturopathic practitioners have promoted products called "nosodes" or "homeoprophylaxis" as alternatives to vaccines. The officials refer to a study that found "no antibody response" to homeopathic remedies. Watch our story on how easily we got Health Canada to license our bogus kids' cough remedy.

Some health officials are urging Health Canada to crack down on homeopathic products claiming to be an alternative to vaccines. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

What else is going on

You may not have a choice but to use self-checkout. Some customers at Shoppers Drug Mart and Real Canadian Superstore say they were forced to use self-checkout. But Loblaw Co., which owns both retailers, says stores are expected to give customers the option of a cashier checkout. Walmart Canada faced similar criticism when they ramped up self-checkout efforts last year.

Starbucks looks to go greener with a recyclable and compostable to-go coffee cup. In Canada, the cup launches in Vancouver first. A strawless lid has already launched at stores in Toronto.

Construction of new homes in Canada will continue to fall for the next two years, according to a new report. Higher borrowing costs and tighter lending rules are being blamed for the housing slowdown. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says home sales sank to their lowest in over six years in February.

Rogers Media sells off its remaining magazine brands. Chatelaine, Maclean's, Canadian Business and other magazines have been sold to the same publisher as Toronto Life. The deal is expected to close in April.

The latest in recalls

This wall outlet doesn't meet Canadian standards for electrical products; these Koala Baby sleepers could be a flammable; the wall anchors supplied with these wall-mounted range hoods could cause the hood to pull away from the wall; the handle on these onion soup bowls could break, posing a burn hazard; this sleepwear for kids could pose a flammability hazard and this line of O'Brien Watersports water skis could break.

(If any links to these recalls don't work for you try using another internet browser.)

This week Marketplace investigates

When Airbnb goes wrong: A note from Charlsie Agro

A last-minute cancellation from an Airbnb host left David Jackel scrambling while in Mexico, where he was marking his 50th birthday. (Jeremy McDonald/CBC)

What happens when your Airbnb stay goes from booked to bust? This week on Marketplace we look at some of the most common complaints from travelers, including last-minute cancellations and how to avoid them.

Plus, we go undercover to investigate a sneaky new trend taking the home sharing platform by storm: covert Airbnbs. They're listings in buildings where home sharing isn't welcome. How can you spot them, and what to do if you find yourself being told to take the back entrance, avoid the lobby and even lie? We talk to industry experts to get their top tips.

I hope you'll tune in. You can watch the episode  below or stream it on CBC Gem.