What’s in your water and probiotics: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet


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

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Feeling duped by water heater rentals

If you’re buying a house, beware of the fine print. You could be on the hook for an expensive water heater rental for more than a decade. A Waterdown, Ont. woman bought a new home, but didn’t realize it came with a 14-year contract with Enercare. The company says new homebuyers should talk to a real estate lawyer to review any contract agreements.

Homeowner Nadia Mendola was surprised to discover she’s on the hook for a 14-year rental contract for a hot water heater in her new home. (Nadia Mendola)

Bank accounts frozen

Some Simplii Financial customers have been left with declined debit cards when trying to pay at checkout. PC Financial recently rebranded as Simplii, but the transition wasn’t simple for everyone: some people found their accounts frozen. The company has advised all clients to activate their new Simplii cards by making a transaction with their existing PIN before April 10.

Simplii customers are advised to make a purchase with their new cards by April 10. (CBC)

No dialing down Internet prices

There are lower-cost options for internet out there, but most Canadians are still with bigger — and pricier — brands. Bell, Rogers, Telus, and the other large companies still account for 87 per cent of residential internet subscriptions in Canada. One expert says the four main reasons for this are fear of change, establishment trust, habit and fear of lower quality.

There is plenty of competition in Canada broadband internet sector but Canadians are sticking with big, well-known companies. (Shutterstock)

Saks 5th Avenue data breach

Review your credit card statements if you’ve shopped at Saks in Ontario. Hudson’s Bay Co. says customer payment information might have been compromised in a “data security issue.” HBC is asking clients to check statements to ensure there hasn’t been activity or transactions they don’t recognize.

A data breach at department store chains Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF Fifth and Lord & Taylor has compromised the personal information of their customers. (Richard Drew/Associated Press)

What else is going on?

Tim Hortons plummets in Canadian brand rankings. The coffee chain dropped from 4th to 50th in research firm Leger’s annual ranking of brands. A major factor seems to be recent cutbacks on employee hours and benefits in response to the minimum wage hike.

Ford Fusion safety recall causes steering fix delay. A New Brunswick man says his 2017 Ford Fusion may not be safe to drive due to a safety recall, but dealerships don’t have the parts available to fix the problem.

Canadians are tuning out food recalls. A new study says Canadians miss many of the food recalls issues each year. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency disputes that claim, saying they get the word out through the website, Twitter, Facebook, and its email notification list.

This week in recalls:

These ham products could be contaminated with Listeria; these beer bottles could contain broken glass; these plush bunnies could be a choking hazard; this cheesecake contains wheat which is not declared on the label; these USB chargers could pose an electric shock and fire risk; these children’s toys could be a choking hazard; this power bank’s battery could overheat and ignite fire; this thermal laminator could be a burn risk.

Watch this week: What’s in your water and probiotics

​What’s in your bottled water? We asked a lab to test five of the top-selling brands of bottled water in Canada. Regardless of the source, tap water or spring water, all brands had bottles containing microplastics. Find out what this could mean for our environment and for your health. And … what you need to know about probiotic yogurt.


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