Door-to-door sales tactics and Airbnb changes: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet
Plus: Retailers taking a stand on gun control, and doctors want you to stay away from colon cleanses
Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.
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Shifty door-to-door sales tactics
A former Bell sales rep says he was coached to not mention fine print in contracts, and to fudge on prices and internet speeds. Other door-to-door Bell salespeople also say they misled customers, especially on price. Consumer advocates advise you get a written contract and read the fine print. Bell says this conduct would violate their standards.
Changes coming to Airbnb
Airbnb is trying to fight a slowdown in its listings by bundling posh properties with high-end travel services. The company has been hit by stricter short-term rental regulations in many cities, leading to a reduction in available properties. The new services also target travellers who were wary of renting a stranger's home.
Retailers take a stand on gun control
Mountain Equipment Co-op is dropping products from brands owned by Vista Outdoor, a company that makes guns and ammunition. Although MEC doesn't actually sell guns or ammo, consumers have been calling the company out for selling Vista's products after last month's school shooting in Florida. Vista products will remain on shelves until current inventory is gone.
The dangers of colon cleanses
Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah swear by colon cleanses, but experts say there's no scientific evidence to support them. The treatment is like an enema but with much more fluid (up to 60 litres, the equivalent of a Honda Civic's gas tank). Doctors warn they can do more harm than good; risks include an imbalance of minerals, infections, intestinal tearing and even death.
What else is going on?
Gift cards in the mail. Loblaw has started to mail out $25 gift cards as compensation to try to make amends for a price-fixing scandal. The grocery giant allegedly agreed to bump up the price of bread for roughly 14 years.
This week in recalls
These children's nightgowns don't meet flammability requirements, the handle on these kettles could detach, these biscuits could contain undeclared peanuts, this lasagna could contain rubber, and these candies may contain harmful bacteria because of a mice infestation.
Duped at the door?
In a joint investigation with CBC's Go Public, we look into the sales tactics of Canada's telecommunications giants. After hearing hundreds of complaints about the largest of these, Bell, a Marketplace producer gets a job inside the company contracted to sell Bell products door to door.