Think you're safe from problems when you buy a new home? Think again. Dave Prosser and Sylvia Potter bought their brand new home just three years ago, for a few hundred thousand. It was supposed to be their dream home, but instead they're living a new home nightmare.
Thinking of buying a used car? You're not alone. In this slowing economy, people are looking to save cash whenever and wherever they can. But when you're looking for a bargain vehicle, you also want to make sure it's safe. Used car dealers know that and if you've dropped by a dealership lately, you may have been offered a free vehicle history report. In Canada, the most popular vehicle history report is called Carfax. For about $40, you can run unlimited checks on vehicles for a month. But if you rely solely on that report, you could be steered in the wrong direction. As Erica Johnson's report reveals, there can be big problems with Carfax. So when you're searching for the secret history of a used car, it's probably wise not to put all your trust in one vehicle history report.
What you need to know... about kids and cellphones. Need a cellphone for your kids? Marketplace has uncovered new evidence about possible health risks linked to kids and long-term cellphone use. So if you're shopping for a cellphone for your child, or if they're already using one, we have some tips to keep in mind. Also: Do you really need to pay $150 to clean your food?
Searching out an alternative therapy or health remedy? Ailing Canadians are spending up to $200 a session in clinics and even buying the $20,000 "miracle" machine called the EPFX for home use. It's name is as intriguing as its health claims. For those suffering with a serious illness, they are desperate for a miracle cure. Erica Johnson shows how to avoid getting taken advantage of during a time of ill health.
We're all looking for a quick financial fix in these tight economic times. Canadians are buying into new schemes that promise fast cash through high-return investments. Marketplace investigates a company called BIM (Business in Motion) that claims big returns once you buy in. BIM's main product is the UltraLife Club, a travel package that promises vacation deals. Attend a presentation and you're pitched a membership for $3,200 and are told you can earn thousands in commissions by becoming a distributor and selling to others. But is BIM really selling access to vacation deals or are they profiting primarily from new memberships? If it's the latter, what kind of a scheme are people really buying into?
Who doesn't want to win $500,000? That's why so many Canadians are playing the Reader's Digest sweepstakes. But now some of those people feel confused by the sweepstakes' marketing. The letters from Reader's Digest use language like "completed cash release confirmation," "cash guaranteed for award…" and "a prize reference code." And the envelopes are stamped with words like "urgent," "reply immediately," "don't delay!" The sweepstakes mailings come with brochures, advertising products for sale -- like CD's, books and DVD's. Now, you don't have to buy the products to play the sweepstakes, but some Canadians have been confused and spent thousands, thinking they're days away from winning the big prize. As Erica Johnson reveals, the U.S. has cracked down on the sweepstakes' marketing, but in Canada, it's business as usual.
You might find you're paying for something known as "credit balance insurance." Depending on your credit card, it could be called "BalanceProtector" or "Account Protector," but the idea is the same: for a fee, credit balance insurance promises to cover your monthly minimum credit card payments in case of loss of income to due job loss or extreme illness. But is it worth the cost? Wendy Mesley investigates. Also: Does this $200 gas-saving gadget work?
In a split second, do you think you could tell the difference between a real or an imitation gun? Imagine if that gun were pointed in your direction in what could be a life-or-death situation. It's not a pleasant scenario, but unfortunately it's becoming a familiar one for police. Imitation guns, designed to look like the real thing, have been used in home invasions and robberies. Kids have even brought them into schools - with predictably terrifying results. At a time when a climate of fear and danger exists around guns, Erica Johnson investigates how accessible imitation handguns are and how Canadian laws are ineffective when it comes to cracking down on this problem.
We've all heard puppy horror stories about sick dogs from bad breeders, but many pet stores promise problem-free dogs from first-rate breeders. They claim the dog was raised in optimum conditions, with room to run free and healthy surroundings. But that isn't always the case. Some pet store dogs come from less than ideal places, and as Wendy Mesley discovers, it's a long and surprising journey from the breeder to the buyer.
Need a loan? As the economy continues to shrink, banks are becoming more and more reluctant to approve new loans -- especially if your credit rating is less than stellar. But if the big banks can't help, it seems that a number of other companies will. A crop of legitimate-looking loan companies are appearing online and in newspapers, advertising a fast financial fix for those with bad credit or no collateral. However, these kinds of loan companies could be out to scam you when you need your money the most. That's what happened to Floyd Girouard, a trucker from Abbotsford, B.C., who turned to an online loan company when his bank turned him down. To his surprise, he qualified for a $30,000 loan. The catch? He had to wire a $3,000 deposit before they'd release the money. He reluctantly wired the deposit -- and never heard from the company again. Girouard fell for an increasingly common scam called "Advance Fee Loan Fraud." Advance fee loan fraud is when an upfront payment is required for a loan -- a practice that's illegal in both Canada and the U.S. Last year, Canadians were bilked out of an estimated $60 million using this scheme. As Erica Johnson reveals, it's all too easy to fall prey to online fraudsters, but not so easy to track them down to get your money back.
Like any commodity, electricity and natural gas prices go up and down with the markets. In some provinces, you have a choice when it comes to who will supply your power -- a public or a private utility. Ontario and Alberta have deregulated both utilities, and in Manitoba and B.C., you can pick your natural gas provider. But since deregulation, consumers have complained about pushy door-to-door sales from utility marketers, leading some to enter into contracts that have raised their bills by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. With so much at stake, the sales people are supposed to follow provincial codes of conduct governing their behaviour during the sales pitch. The rules state they can't mislead consumers, make false statements, misrepresent who they are, nor can they exert undue pressure. But as Wendy Mesley reveals in a hidden camera investigation, every sales agent we tape appears to be overstepping the rules.
Thinking of renovating your home? As resale prices and new home construction drops due to the recession, more and more people are staying in the homes they have and trying to improve upon them. If this sounds like you, you've likely already heard of a company called DirectBuy. In their ads and infomercials, DirectBuy promises "manufacturer-direct wholesale prices on practically everything you need for your home," and includes glowing testimonials from people who say they've saved thousands of dollars by becoming a member. And while some people are happy with DirectBuy, a lot of complaints have flowed into Marketplace about the company. The most common complaints are about their high-pressure membership sales techniques and the high extra costs when buying products from their catalogue. So how much is too much to pay for everything from curtains to the kitchen sink? Erica Johnson investigates.
Marketplace has seen it all when it comes to bad service, unsafe products and schemes. Over the years, we've seen companies come up with all kinds of tricky ways to separate customers from their cash. We call them the seven sins of the marketplace; a list of how companies try to reach into your wallet.
Looking for a new home? Most people call up a home inspector to check it out. It may look like a nice home in a nice neighbourhood, but it could it be hiding big secrets. As Erica Johnson reveals, many Canadians are buying patched-up houses that disguise evidence that they were former grow-ops. If not properly cleaned up, it can lead to six-figure repair bills, like mold, structural and electrical problems. In some cities, when police bust a grow-op, they contact the municipality to make sure it's cleaned up before it goes to market. But our research reveals that doesn't happen across the country. And even when it does, it doesn't always protect consumers. Most grow operations go undetected by police. So we team up with contractor Mike Holmes to put home inspectors to the test. Will they spot the glaring signs of a former grow-op?
More than one million Global Positioning System (GPS) devices were sold in Canada last year, making them one of the hottest gadgets on the market. But are they a safe way for drivers to find their way? In an exclusive interview, Erica Johnson speaks to an Ontario mother whose daughter was struck and killed by a driver distracted by his GPS. With no statistics available regarding the use of portable navigation systems while driving, Marketplace conducted the first-ever poll in Canada on the use of portable GPS devices on the road, with surprising results: More than one third of respondents (35 per cent) say their GPS actually distracted them, or that they lost concentration. Nearly half of respondents (47 per cent) program their devices while driving. Research professor Paul Green of the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, who oversaw our road test about the potential distractions of GPS devices, advises that drivers should never take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds at a time. However, in one test, a driver glanced away from the road for seven seconds to program their GPS device. "Every time you look away, that's another time period that you’ve lost a sense of what's happening while driving," says Green. Yet despite the problems of distraction, manufacturers of portable GPS devices still allow drivers the option of programming while the car is in motion, instead of completely locking them out.
Robert Kiyosaki, best-selling finance author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, has spun-off his book into a self-help empire of TV shows, board games and investment seminars -- a string of which are scheduled across Canada. But rumblings are being heard from the hundreds of hotel ballrooms across North America where Kiyoaski's Rich Dad seminars are staged. The complaints? That initial Rich Dad sessions focus less on education and more on marketing and upselling further sessions that cost up to $45,000. Marketplace investigates these concerns using hidden camera and reveals the aggressive sales tactics used, where participants are urged to increase their credit card limits after being pressured to spend tens of thousands of dollars on advanced courses. Erica Johnson asks Kiyosaki directly: what's really going on? Are Canadians being lured by the Rich Dad name to spend money on weekend workshops that seem really designed to sell them more workshops?
With increasing North American obesity rates and many Canadians making New Year's resolutions to lose weight, it's a regular smorgasbord of waistlines for diet companies to tap into. One such company is Canada's Herbal Magic. Erica Johnson puts the company to the test and raises questions about its supplements, how they're sold, and what evidence there is to back up some of its claims. Johnson speaks with the company about the qualifications of its "personal health coaches", its food plan and the products. She also speaks with experts about what evidence exists behind some of Herbal Magic's pricey products.
Does shock, anger or confusion best describe your reaction to your cellphone bill? For several months, Marketplace has collected bills and stories from Canadians about the astronomical and sometimes mystifying charges they have received. On Canada's Worst Cellphone Bill, Wendy Mesley investigates the story behind huge bills many Canadians rack up from using their cellphones. After careful review, we whittled the bills down to a handful of finalists, with three being put to a nationwide poll commissioned by Angus Reid Public Opinion. One thousand Canadians (18 years or older) voted online for the story that best demonstrates the frustration consumers face from their cellphone carrier companies. Wendy announces Canada's winner (or maybe loser) who has really been put through the wringer by their phone company -- and speaks to the bill-holder's cellphone company. Also, we reveal how much cell service actually costs and how little it costs their carriers.
A Marketplace investigation reveals the newest way thieves are stealing your credit card and debit card information. They're breaking into stores, gas stations and restaurants and actually ripping out the hard drives attached to the point of sale terminals used to swipe your plastic. While stores and restaurants are keeping quiet, and credit card companies cover your losses, in the end, we all pay a price -- and for the crooks, it's a windfall.
It's never easy to have to consider putting a loved one into a retirement or nursing home or a long-term care facility. However, once you've made that tough decision, you want to know that your parent, relative or friend is taken care of. Yet, when it comes to fire safety, thousands of nursing and retirement homes are leaving our most vulnerable unprotected. Sprinkler systems are required in all newly built nursing homes across Canada. But in most provinces and territories, many older nursing homes aren't required to retroactively install them. Firefighters agree that the installation of sprinklers in buildings often means the difference between life and death in a fire. Suffocation from smoke is typically what kills first in a fire, and sprinklers help to control smoke and provide more time for people to escape - time which is especially vital in nursing homes, since residents are not always easily mobile. But despite multiple deaths related to fires in nursing homes without sprinklers, Erica Johnson reveals that many provinces have yet to sound the alarm for increased fire safety. Also: If you're in debt and struggling to get your personal finances on track, whom do you turn to? For decades, charitable credit counselling agencies have offered help to indebted Canadians. However, in the U.S., a new style of counselling has emerged in recent years, giving rise to consumer complaints about hefty fees and lack of face to face counselling. These complaints prompted a crackdown by US regulators. Recently, a couple of U.S. credit counseling companies set up shop in Canada. Marketplace tests one new agency to see whether some of the same issues could now be creeping into the credit counselling sector here. How do they suggest people curb their spending? How much counselling do they give about managing money? And most importantly, how do they offer to help make an individual's debt go away?
If you've ever suffered from back pain, you know how debilitating it can be. So it's not surprising that many Canadians are willing to pay thousands of dollars for treatments that promise long-term relief. The latest high-tech, high-priced back pain treatment is called "non-surgical spinal decompression therapy." One of the most popular machines is called the DRX9000, which can pull on your back with over a hundred pounds of force. The Low Back Clinic, one of Canada's largest chains offering this treatment, claims the pull from the DRX9000 separates your vertebrae so discs can be restored. Many Canadians are paying big bucks - up to $5,000 - to get the DRX9000 treatments. But does it really work? Marketplace's Erica Johnson puts the machine to the test and reveals potential hidden dangers you need to know about.
When you go to the supermarket and buy fish, you rely on the label to tell you what kind of fish you're getting. Unfortunately, when it comes to seafood, you may not be getting what you pay for. Using cutting-edge technology, we test more than 150 pieces of fish -- everything from halibut to pickerel, sea bass to shark -- bought at supermarkets in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The results? We discover that one out of every five fish is mislabelled, which means many Canadians are being overcharged, left unable to make wise ecological choices, and are vulnerable to food safety concerns. So what does Canada's food safety and labeling regulator, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, have to say about this? Erica Johnson takes the results of our investigation and gets some surprising answers.
Has your home insurance gone up? Wendy Mesley looks into why many insurance companies are checking your credit scores, and discovers that this can be happening without homeowners' knowledge or express consent.
The fitness industry in this country is huge, worth more then 2 billion dollars a year. As the new year arrives, many Canadians may be thinking of joining a gym. But before signing up, watch the season premiere of Marketplace. In his debut with the program, Tom Harrington investigates the sneaky charges and over-billing that have been plaguing the gym industry for years. Just how bad is it? Marketplace commissioned the first-ever poll on this topic in Canada, and uncovers a startling percentage of Canadians are getting ripped off. Canadians are clearly fed up, so we also asked people to fill out an online survey, telling us their stories in our Big Gym Ripoff Search. The results are clear. The gym with the most complaints is one of Canada's largest chains. Watch as we tell the unsettling story of an industry gone awry through the experiences of three frustrated people who, despite their best efforts to cancel, keep getting charged.
Erica Johnson investigates one of the country's fastest growing alternative health treatments: homeopathy. Ontario homeopaths are about to become the first province in Canada to regulate homeopathy -- lending credibility to this unproven practice. Canada's leading consumer ally takes a long hard look at the theories, and the remedies. For the first time in Canada, we conduct a test of homeopathic medicines, investigating the science behind these so-called medicines. In light of our results, we ask both the Ontario government and Health Canada why they are lending credibility to the homeopathic industry. Johnson also meets up with a rep from the world's leading manufacturer of homeopathic medicines, who admits that even the company says how homeopathty works is a mystery. Watch, as we witness a Vancouver group of skeptics taking part in a group overdose of homeopathic remedies. Perhaps most disturbing we learn that some homeopaths are treating cancer patients with homeopathic remedies. A leading cancer specialist says there is no role for homeopathy in the treatment of cancer, that it is a "scam that is not evidence-based."
A controversial oral contraceptive called Yasmin has become the country's top-selling birth control pill. In the United States more than 4,000 women have taken legal action against the manufacturer, Bayer, and more than 800 in Canada have joined a class-action lawsuit. Co-host Erica Johnson meets young women who have taken Yasmin or its sister drug Yaz and experienced serious health problems, and asks why so many others are unaware of the health risks associated with these pills.
Marketplace goes undercover to expose the techniques used in door-to-door sales of water purification systems -- devices that can cost thousands of dollars, but which most people simply may not need. Co-host Tom Harrington investigates the scare tactics used to entice people to buy -- and meets an elderly woman who spent $3,500 on a purification system.
Marketplace joins forces for the fourth time with contractor Mike Holmes, this time to investigate the shady world of shoddy roofers. Co-host Erica Johnson discovers that some roofers are experts at taking your money, eluding the authorities, and re-inventing their companies -- but not so great when it comes to protecting your house. We set up a "bait house" -- badly in need of a new roof, and equipped with hidden cameras -- and watch as a surprising number of roofers fail to meet Mike Holmes' checklist of "good roofing 101." Then we chase the stories of two roofers with a trail of unhappy customers -- and tracks down the roofers themselves.
Canadians are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. As a result, people are getting sicker and are taking longer to get well. It is now not uncommon for people to be administered antibiotics through an IV because the usual drugs in pill form can't fight off their infections. While we've all heard that over-prescription of antibiotics to people is one cause of the resistance, what many Canadians don't know is that another major cause is because the animals we eat are also given large amounts of antibiotics. And not just when they're sick: healthy animals can be fed antibiotics every day because it makes them grow bigger, faster. In an important story about human health, and the food we eat, Marketplace tests 100 samples of chicken bought at major supermarkets from across the country. In Superbugs in the Supermarket, we name popular brands, and also reveal surprising information about organic poultry that claims to be raised without antibiotics.
Co-host Tom Harrington investigates what some call the best kept secret in the car insurance industry: why insurance companies prevent people from claiming diminished value insurance on vehicles that have been in a significant collision. Harrington's own car was in a collision and he takes it to a dealership for an appraisal and discovers how much value it has lost -- even though the damage was repaired expertly to the manufacturer's standards. He talks to a B.C. man who is taking his insurance company to court, and travels to Georgia, where paying out diminished value insurance claims has been the law for almost a decade. Will the laws ever change here?
We follow up on some of our favourite stories. See what's changed, and who's been busted since we "Busted" them.
More and more Canadians are living with debt. The latest figure puts Canadian consumer debt at around 1.5 trillion dollars. That's big money, and with rising default rates and late payments, collecting that debt can be difficult. Enter the debt collector. Debt collection can be a ferocious business, and while many collectors play by the rules, what happens when they don't? Viewers have sent us horror stories of collectors becoming wolves at the door -- hounding them with scare tactics. Some have been victims of mistaken identity, caught in a Kafkaesque nightmare, afraid to answer their phone; in other cases, they're chased by collectors when they don't even owe any money. No one is saying that it's okay to not pay your bills, but when collectors cross the line, can you count on the rules in your province to protect you? Erica Johnson investigates.
Marketplace is once again on a mission to find Canada's Worst Cellphone Bill. We revist Canada's cellphone industry and uncover more horror stories. Co-host Tom Harrington looks into some incredible cases, including a woman being asked to pay a cancellation fee even though she's being deported, and an octogenarian war veteran who's out of pocket because his minutes expired. Also, Harrington asks Industry Minister Tony Clement what the federal government is doing to protect Canadians with respect to the telecommunications industry.
How many personal care products have you used today? Shampoo, deodorant, lotion, makeup, diapers, baby wipes, etc. -- the products add up, and so do the chemicals. That's why about 64 per cent of us say we're using more "natural" items. But how can you tell if a product is really natural or organic? Marketplace takes a closer look at some of the green labelling on personal care products. We discover that many of those natural and organic labels are often misleading or exaggerating their claims. It turns out that labels such as "natural" and even "organic" are not regulated. They're just marketing terms. Some of the "so-called" natural products on the market are no different than the regular, often cheaper brands. Erica Johnson separates the truly green products from the "greenwashed" -- products that look green, but really aren't -- in our top ten countdown of the most misleading natural products.
At Marketplace, we've revealed just about every kind of scam there is -- it's our job as Canada's consumer watchdog. And yet week after week, our mailbag is overflowing with stories of Canadians getting ripped off by the same old cons. Why do Canadians keep falling victim, over and over again? In Won't Get Fooled Again, our special season finale episode on April Fool's Day, we're turning the tables on our viewers - and for the first time ever, Marketplace will be running the scams instead of exposing them. And instead of grilling the bad guys, we will be confronting the "victims" with one simple question: "Why do you fall for it?" The show also features interviews with real-life con artists to give viewers an inside look at the anatomy of a swindle. And we reveal the simple but effective psychological tricks they use to rope in their victims -- the clever behavioural tactics that have been used time and again to rope in everyone from teens to octogenarians.
For the first time ever, Marketplace will be running the scams instead of exposing them.
Marketplace launches our 39th season with a special one-hour episode that takes on Canada's major store chains. Just how bad is their customer service? We reveal frustrating shopping experiences on hidden camera, commission a poll -- where Canadians tell us which stores are the worst -- and we name names. Then, we put professional secret shoppers to work across the country, documenting just how bad customer service can be. Even host Erica Johnson can't believe what she finds, shopping at the three stores rated worst. Complaining experts weigh in, and stores react when we reveal who wins at being worst.
Lots of people swear by it, as evidenced by its status as Canada's top-selling cold remedy. But does COLD-FX really do what the company claims? Marketplace puts COLD-FX to the test, and discovers that there may be more clever marketing than proven science at the heart of their success. Host Erica Johnson also reveals where the processing of this "Proudly Canadian" product takes place, and speaks with company insiders who reveal a dirty secret. Also, what does Don Cherry have to say?
Leaky roofs. Mouldy walls. Broken doors and windows. Would you want to live in such a place? Probably not. But some tenants of one of Canada's largest landlords have had to endure those conditions for years. Now, Marketplace is exposing renters' horror stories about a multimillion-dollar company that just hasn't seemed to care. In Trouble for Rent, Tom Harrington meets tenants of a national rental company and uncovers a disturbing history of unhealthy homes, poor maintenance and corporate callousness. On hidden camera we hear what tenants are told when shopping for a new apartment and with the help of experts we put apartments to the test. What we find is troubling so we go looking for answers from the people at the top.
Canadians love their soft toilet paper, and some of the softest toilet paper comes from new trees. For the environmentally conscious shopper, eco-labels on products such as toilet paper can put their mind at ease -- a guarantee that the forest the paper comes from is being protected. Organizations promising the long-term protection of forests have standards companies must follow before they can put those logos on their products. You may have seen them on paper products, or wood products. But what do these eco-logos mean on the ground? And what do they mean to Canadians? Marketplace's Tom Harrington wants to find out what's behind one prominent eco-logo. He tracks down a popular toilet paper brand found in Canadian supermarkets to its source, the New Brunswick forest from where it comes, and discovers the answers aren't always clear cut.
Millions of Canadians are trying to do the right thing for themselves and their families by buying healthy food. But how much can they rely on the health information on food labels? More and more, companies are slapping hollow claims on their products to drive up sales -- and obscure potential health risks. In this year's Top 10 countdown of Lousy Labels, Erica Johnson finds the truth behind the latest buzzwords on food packaging. It will make you think twice before filling up your shopping cart.
We Canadians are tolerant people. We'll grudgingly put up with long lineups, discourteous drivers and other invasions of our personal space and patience. But don't you mess with our lawns and gardens. Tom Harrington reveals the story of how, for many unwilling clients, Canada's largest lawn care company has become a more invasive pest than the ones they promise to get rid of. What do you do with a lawn care outfit that won't take no for an answer? Marketplace exposes their over the top tactics, and we speak with an insider who worked for the company.
Tom Harrington exposes the aggressive practices of a job search marketing firm -- one that acts more like a recruitment agency. While this firm does have all sorts of clients, it seems to specifically target new Canadians, charging them for services and information widely -- and freely -- available. Recruitment Rip-Off takes us inside the operation, and includes heartbreaking testimony from the victims.
The materials in them are downright cheap. Even crafting the lenses is hardly labour-intensive. So why are prescription eyeglasses so darned expensive? Tom Harrington focuses in on the outrageously high price of spectacles. In this eye-opening report, we test recent changes in retail and regulation, to see if anyone's offering a better deal.
You've got a problem with something in your home, and you need it fixed -- fast! But who do you call? And who can you trust? In a special one-hour edition of Marketplace, Tom Harrington tests the skills and ethics of home repair services. Among Canadians' top complaints: overcharging, suggesting or performing unnecessary work and shoddy quality. We put home service trades-people to the test, in a house wired up with hidden cameras. We watch them while they work on what should be a fairly simple repair job -- only to get charged for unnecessary work. And you won't believe what happens when we call them on it.
Going on vacation? Think travel health insurance is going to protect you if something goes wrong? Marketplace exposes an industry that's set up to fail -- convoluted medical questionnaires that can trip people up, travel agents on hidden camera giving dangerous advice, and travellers left on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Watch what happens when Erica Johnson goes looking for answers from a multi-million dollar industry that "regrets your claim is denied."
Canada has the highest rate of hospital acquired infections in the developed world, and Canada's consumer watchdog wants to know why. Erica Johnson puts hospital cleanliness to the test, and finds a mess that is making you sick. With hidden cameras, including Canada's first hidden camera glo gel test, insider interviews and expert opinions, Marketplace uncovers why people in Canadian hospitals are too often getting sicker instead of better. Note: Marketplace went inside eleven hospitals in Ontario and British Columbia. We decided to only name the Niagara region hospitals because that is where there was a major C. difficile outbreak last year, that is where Gary Ball died, and those are the hospitals Dr. Kevin Smith supervises. We didn't name the other hospitals, because it would be unfair as we didn't ask hospital representatives to speak to us on camera. They were illustrative of dirty hospitals across the country. As Dr. Michael Gardam says in our story, "I would suggest you could probably find examples of this in pretty much every hospital in the country."
In its season finale, Marketplace expands on its popular "Busted" segment with an hour-long special, The Busted Edition. Co-hosts Erica Johnson and Tom Harrington report on shocking claims and shoddy services that drive Canadians crazy. It's an hour of television that will have the country shouting, "You're Busted!" at their TV sets. Anti-viral tissue claims, bank fees, outrageous markups at a national car service chain, cable and phone service charges, fast-food marketing spin, extended warranty fine print -- even charities and government watchdogs get "busted" by Marketplace in this wide-ranging exposé.
They're on your bedding, your kitchenware, and the cleaning products you use: labels claiming products are "non-toxic", "biodegradable" and include "natural ingredients." But are these common household products really as eco-conscious - or as safe - as you think? Erica Johnson investigates so-called "green" household products, putting them to the test, and uncovering surprising truths about some popular brands. She counts down ten products which deserve a Lousy Label for their claims to be greener and safer.
Marketplace is back at it again, putting home repairmen to the test. We're wiring up homes with hidden cameras, rigging a simple, everyday household problem, to find out if repairmen we invite in can figure it out. Turns out, not every repairman can diagnose the problem. This week, we wade into the world of backyard pools. In the pool business any type of handyman could show up. How would you know if they're really doing a good job? Can you trust them to fix your problem? Is your money well spent? Or will you be sunk? When it comes to testing pool repairmen, Marketplace didn't find much depth.
Thousands of dogs are ill or dying across North America and it's been going on for years. No one can say what, exactly, made the dogs sick. But owners say they fed their dogs a seemingly harmless product: a popular chicken jerky treat. There are warnings on both sides of the border about the treats, which are made in China and marketed by some of the biggest pet food companies. But there is no definitive link between the treats and the illness. And there have been no recalls. Tom Harrington is on the trail of the mysterious illness, putting the treats to the test, and asking questions about a product that is not regulated in Canada. We ask: when things go wrong, who is fighting for Fido?
Buying a new car can be a gamble: you could end up landing a lemon. So what happens if you buy a faulty car that just can't be fixed? After hearing from car owners across the country who claimed they bought a lemon, Erica Johnson goes searching for answers. She discovers just how difficult it is for owners to get help - from dealerships and from automakers. And she reveals a possible solution on the other side of the border: lemon laws that protect owners from getting squeezed when something goes wrong. Plus - Erica Johnson takes a closer look at Apple's latest smartphone. Is it as consumer-friendly as it claims? Check out this week's Busted!
In four decades of Marketplace, we've come across a lot of products - and a lot of pitchmen - that proved to be too good to be true. We're revisiting three of the most outrageous stories, and the people behind them: from an outrageous inventor pitching a $20,000 electronic cure-all; to guarantees of a job in a troubled economy; to a juice marketed as a miracle in a bottle. Where are they now?
When it's time to get our teeth checked, most of us trust our dentist to determine the treatment plan and how much it will cost. They are the experts, aren't they? Co-host Erica Johnson puts dentists to the test: how does one know for sure what work needs to be done and how much it should cost? We reveal that dentists themselves can't even agree. In Money Where Your Mouth Is, we send a researcher with hidden cameras to 20 different dentists in Toronto and Vancouver. We want to know: what treatments are recommended for her pearly whites? We discover a wide variation in treatments and costs. It seems dentistry is not that black and white after all -- there are various shades of grey. Marketplace wants to know why -- to get answers for the millions of Canadians who visit their dentist every year.
Is the steak you buy as safe as you think? We're taking a sharp look at a little-known process which could affect what you eat. It's a common industry practice that makes steaks and roasts tender, but critics say it can also make beef more susceptible to bacterial contamination. Tom Harrington puts beef to the test, shows you the risks, and reveals what you're not being told.
The price for premium gas blends is as much as 15 cents more per litre than regular gas. Gas companies make the pitch that premium's better for your car. While it's true that some car makers recommend putting premium fuel in their high-end models, what about most of us who drive regular cars? Marketplace takes on Canada's big gas station chains and asks whether Canadians are being misled into paying millions more at the pumps than they need. It's the Marketplace gas challenge: Premium vs. Regular. You won't believe what we find out.
Marketplace puts six of the largest hotel chains in Canada to the test. We're investigating the cleanliness of Canadian hotels - in the most comprehensive test of its kind, ever. This month, we'll reveal the risks you don't see - and what you can do about them.
Last week's investigation of hotel cleanliness got Canada talking last week. Now, we're digging deeper - testing how well chains are maintaining their hotels. We reveal some of the most surprising results yet, and what the companies could be doing to clean up their act and protect their guests.
What happens when you give shady repair companies a second chance? Last season we put garage repair companies to the test - and some of them tried to rip us off. Now we're putting them to the test again. We want to know: have they changed their ways?
Tom Harrington investigates flame retardants in our homes and reveals the toxic chemicals used to prevent or slow down the spread of fire may be making us sick, and may not be as effective as you think. From blood tests to fire tests to hidden camera, Marketplace is putting flame retardants in the hot seat. We want to know: are you getting burned?
Are you under attack by telemarketers? Why doesn't the Do Not Call list protect you? Marketplace takes on telemarketers from hell. We're out to catch them breaking the rules. We go undercover half a world away, sending hidden cameras into a Pakistani call centreinside a call centre that might be calling you.
Marketplace is at it again - wiring up another bait house with lots of hidden cameras. This time, we're testing air duct cleaners; yup air ducts... the things that carry hot and cold air from your furnace through your house. Watch what happens when the duct cleaners discover our hidden cameras and we discover they're better at cleaning wallets than air ducts. When Tom Harrington confronts them, it's one big dust up!
Are you frustrated with banking fees? Marketplace reveals three sneaky ways the banks fatten their profits at your expense. We also give one family a financial makeover and reveal easy money-saving tips.
Have they cleaned up their act? We revisit two stories, and see what happened after the Marketplace bust. Dirty Hospitals: have they kept their promise to clean up? Clean Water, Dirty Tricks: Are they still spouting the same old scam?
What they don’t want you to know about prices. You've sent us e-mail after e-mail asking why things cost as much as they do. It's a mission that people behind the prices don't want us to take. But we're choosing to accept it. Marketplace investigates shocking secrets about pricey cosmetics, the massive mark-up on hearing aids and the real reason we pay more than Americans for everything.
Across Canada, only 20% of kids who need looking after can get into a licensed daycare that has rules for safety and training. Most children go to unlicensed or private daycare....an unregulated industry...where no one's checking up. Marketplace goes undercover to investigate unlicensed daycares and find there's no oversight.
Contractor Mike Holmes joins Marketplace to investigate home repair red flags, inept inspectors and more. When a home reno or inspection goes wrong, it's Mike's mission to "make it right." Go inside the industry, and get tips to avoid your own home repair headaches on Mike Holmes: Home Ripoffs.
How much salt is hidden in your food? We've got 80 Canadians, 80 containers, and one of our most unusual tests ever! We're looking at Canadians' diets and find startling salt facts; the shocking amounts of sodium in your food and how Ottawa lets the food industry get away with it.
We investigate the costs of parking at hospitals in Canada, find who's really making money off those lots and how it's affecting ordinary Canadians. In many cases, people told us that high hospital parking rates are keeping them from visiting loved ones or cause them to skip their own appointments. The cost and the stress doesn't belong in our health care system, one doctor said. "Parking fees are a penalty for having a disease," says cancer specialist Dr. Bob Winston. "It seems like an unfair tax on my patients." Do high hospital parking rates keep you from your appointments? Should we pay for hospital parking at all?
We're on the trail of false claims, rounding up big names with their hands in your pockets. We're cracking five cases that will have you yelling, "You're Busted!" Has Air Canada come through on its promise to improve punctuality? And is that high-end Kobe beef you're paying for actually Kobe beef? Tom Harrington and Erica Johnson are on the case.
If a deal sounds too good to be true... then it probably is. We delve in Dealfind, the largest Canadian-based e-retailer. It claims to offer unbeatable deals... so why are so many people not getting what they paid for? How can it offer a $299 service for just 24 bucks? Many Canadians are finding it can't. "I'm beyond angry," says one Dealfind customer. Find out why in What's The Deal?
To launch our 41st season, host Erica Johnson reveals how pet owners may be paying hundreds of dollars for questionable treatments and procedures at the vet. On hidden camera, the Marketplace team goes undercover with our four-legged sleuth, Marshall, a healthy bulldog, taking him to ten veterinary clinics. We put the vets to the test on what they'll recommend for routine pet care needs. Some vets we visit prescribe vaccines our undercover dog doesn't need, testing that's unnecessary, expensive medications and pet food, as well as differing diagnoses for a common condition. And we reveal five ways that your vet bill may be inflated and how to keep your pet healthy and your vet costs down. With 14 million dogs and cats in Canada and a 90 per cent jump in household pet care spending since 1997, no wonder pet owners facing soaring vet bills are Barking Mad. We take our results to health and nutrition experts, as well as disgruntled pet owners, who tell us that they're not impressed. "I think that's in pretty poor taste, if they're charging for stuff we don't need," one dog owner tells us. And we also take your concerns to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). "You need to have a very active conversation with your veterinarian," Dr. Jim Berry says, CVMA president. "We will find lots of ways to work with you to maximize the health of your pet and to minimize cost." Watch our full investigation for more on what we uncover. And you can join the Marketplace watchdog team by sending us your vet bills. We're building a map of what Canadians coast to coast pay for basic services at the vet.
It's the wild west for moving companies, so this week, Marketplace is wiring up a house with hidden cameras and getting ready for a showdown. We found a great deal online, but what's going to happen at high noon? Bandit movers are robbing Canadians across the country with a truckload of tricks. From sneaky hidden charges to surprise contracts, fly-by-night movers make an already stressful day worse. "I got robbed right in broad daylight and the worst thing is I called them to come to my house and rob me," one angry customer tells us. So Marketplace is tracking down one shady outfit. What happens when we decide not to stand up to their scare tactics? A showdown on the street. How can you protect your wallet and your stuff from moving company mayhem? The Marketplace Survival Guide gives you everything you need to know to avoid your own movin' day showdown.
Marketplace is checking back in to six of Canada's largest hotel chains, testing to see if they have cleaned up their act after we revealed The Dirt on Hotels last year. Are the stains on the sheets and walls gone? Are the bathrooms and ice machines free of bacteria? After Marketplace uncovered what's really between the sheets and hiding in Canada's seemingly clean rooms last year, hotel chains promised to improve their cleaning practices. But did they? Despite promises to address the shocking conditions, bedroom surprises still lurk in some of Canada's most popular hotels.
Canadians are installing spray foam insulation in their homes in ever-expanding numbers. It's sold as energy-efficient, easy-to-apply solution, but when the job goes wrong, it can be a nightmare for homeowners. Tom Harrington takes you inside the walls and up into the attic to explore a home renovation horror story, a foul-smelling foam job that's driven a family from its home.
Are you sick of door-to-door salespeople and their high-pressure tactics? Watch as we reveal the secret psychology of persuasion used by door-to-door salespeople, and show how some Canadians are fighting back.
When you trust someone else to take care of your car, can you trust that they're not taking you for a ride? This week, our undercover investigation reveals ripoffs at a popular oil change chain. We're going in for the advertised $19.99 oil change, but you won't believe the charges we end up with. And did they even do the work? We go up on the hoist to show you what's really going down at these oil change shops.
It's a shopping trip you won't want to miss. We're doing some testing - and about to reveal secrets behind the food lots of us buy every week. Erica Johnson and Tom Harrington will reveal food secrets that just may change the way you eat.
"I'm afraid we're being gouged." Marketplace hits the road putting prices to the test in Canada and the US checking in on products at some of the largest retailers. It's no surprise that Canadians pay more than our friends south of the border for some items, including how we're being shut out of cheaper US car prices. You'll never believe what we find on our cross border shop-a-thon.
It's a little machine that can save your life... if you can find it in time. Are those publicly accessible defibrillators really that accessible? It's a scavenger hunt like you've never seen as our Heart Start Patrol hunts down these mighty machines. Find out why Canada needs A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM.
You think you're covered... but what if you're not? Ordinary Canadians are in financial ruin after discovering they lacked the coverage they thought they were paying for. This week, Marketplace gives you a a crash course in insurance as we check the fine print, reveal the loopholes and show you how - for travel, your home and your car - you may not be covered.
Had it with frustrating packaging? Tape, twist-ties, impossible-to-open plastic... we asked for your nominations for Canada's most frustrating package and now we're handing out the first-ever Wrap Rage awards! Over-packaged products can be a pain - they take ages to open and produce so much waste that even environmental icon David Suzuki had a nomination, saying he's "pissed off."
Eight sorority sisters take the Marketplace Detox Challenge, testing the claims behind TV star Dr. Oz's "detox" cleanse. Detoxing has become a multi-billion dollar industry and Canadians are gulping down detox elixirs and going to extremes to cleanse their bodies. We ask: is there real science behind the claims, or are we just swallowing a story?
Marketplace puts retailers' return policies to the test. Out of luck, because you've lost your receipt? Don't have the original packaging? Missed the 30-day deadline? Retailers don't have to give your money back, or offer an exchange or a credit. That means a successful return often comes down to a shopper's individual abilities. We teach three Canadians the secrets of negotiation - then challenge them to do successful returns. We reveal what it takes to get past the point of no returns.
Can sport products make us push farther, run faster, become fitter? We're holding our own trials and asking some of Canada's greatest Olympians what works for them. Clara Hughes and Simon Whitfield join co-host Tom Harrington as Marketplace digs into the world of sports drinks, performance foods and specialized athletic gear.
It's tax season, and Marketplace is putting financial advisors - the people you trust with your cash - to the test. We talk to ordinary Canadians who've felt the bite of bad financial advice, and use hidden cameras to catch outrageous promises from some big institutions. We'll show you the tactics to watch out for and give you tips on figuring out who to trust with your money. Plus, we bring you the whole grain truth about Subway's bread.
Nearly 60% of Canadians have tried an adventure sport like rock climbing, parasailing or ziplining. But those adventure sports can lead to terrifying misadventure... or worse. What's really behind that waiver you had to sign? Who's looking out for you when you’re left Up in the Air? Also, Canadians drink almost 10 billion cups of tea every year. But what's lurking in your cup? We tested tea for pesticides, and found that tea can be a strange brew indeed.
Erica Johnson investigates turkey and reveals the darker side of white meat. Undercover footage shows what one activist calls "the worst abuse I've ever seen inflicted on an animal," raising troubling questions about animal welfare on Canadian farms. Also, Tom Harrington enlists a popular prankster to surprise Canadians with personal information they've shared on social media. How exposed are you on social media?
From lost luggage to lengthy delays to oversold flights, who's looking out for you when you fly in Canada? Tom Harrington reveals the rights you have as a passenger when things go plane wrong - and when airlines won't give you the straight goods.
When we're eating out, we expect the places that make our food to be as clean as possible. But almost two million of us get sick every year. What's happening behind the scenes? Marketplace goes undercover in some of your favourite chains to reveal Canada's Restaurant Secrets. We've pored over thousands of inspection reports from coffee shops, fast-food and family dining restaurants and we'll reveal who comes out on top. Celebrity chef Roger Mooking joins us for a crash course in kitchen hygiene in our special one-hour season finale! Where does your favourite restaurant rank?
We're back, with a whole new season of shows, and we're on the hunt for Canada's Dumbest Charge. Sick and tired of being nickel and dimed by big companies? We hear you, Canada! That's why we've been on the hunt for the fees that frustrate you the most.
Is gluten-free better for you? Tom Harrington investigates The Truth Behind the Trend. Celebrities are touting the benefits of gluten-free diet, and companies are pitching their own gluten-free products. We reveal how a serious disease is becoming a marketer's dream, and what you should know before dropping gluten from your diet. PLUS: You nominated. You watched. You voted. Now we reveal Canada's Dumbest Charge. And Erica and Tom are taking your winning fee to Ottawa to try to get it stopped.
Natural cure-all ... or waste of cash? This week, in Remedy or Ripoff?, Tom and Erica check out four natural products to see if the science lives up to the hype. And we take a look at the recall madness that's affected millions of cars and trucks across North America, and find out what you should know before you get back behind the wheel.
This week, we're faking out fake reviews. The better the reviews, the more we trust a business. And for companies that means a better bottom line. In a months-long investigation, we went undercover posing as a new business, and discover how companies can buy a positive reputation online. We reveal an entire industry devoted to helping businesses mislead you. Host Erica Johnson reveals how cheaters pull it off, and how you can spot a faker.
Are you really getting the mileage you were promised when you bought your car? Host Tom Harrington reveals what you're not being told about those numbers on the window. After Marketplace hears complaints from viewers across the country, host Tom Harrington hits the road, putting a popular pickup truck (that promises fuel efficiency) to the test. We visit car owners and showrooms, revealing the truth about fuel efficiency ratings, and why car companies should have known for years that Canadian ratings may be unrealistically low. And, we have an update to last week's show investigating online reviews, and the entire industry devoted to faking you out. We sum up your reviews of the show, and your stories about online reviews, including a Nova Scotia man who posted a negative comment on TigerDirect, which the company changed.
This week: We're at the checkout and Tom and Erica have found a new front in the price wars. It's the Battle of the Sexes, and here's what we want to know: Who's going to pay more, men or women?
Should you vaccinate your child? Overwhelming evidence says you should, yet many parents hear conflicting advice even as disease outbreaks make news. The stakes couldn't be higher. Erica Johnson examines the confusion, investigates the source, and reveals how trusted health practitioners may be putting your kids at risk. It's an investigation every parent should see.
Canadians spend big bucks to keep our pets safe and healthy. But do the things we buy really work? Marketplace investigates pet safety products, putting them to the test and revealing why they could put your pet, and your family, at risk. If you drive with your pet in the car, chances are you own, or have considered buying, a restraint. But would they really protect you and your pet when it counts? Tom Harrington crash tests best-selling brands. Plus, Erica Johnson examines what's really inside products that are supposed to keep fleas off your pet and out of your home. We reveal why there's Paws for Concern.
Fed up with an appliance on the fritz? Wondering why they just don't last like they used to? Considering buying a major appliance or picked one up during Boxing Week sales? We kick off 2015 by revealing five secrets appliance makers might prefer you didn't know.
Marketplace bites into breakfast, spilling juicy secrets about premium orange juice and putting popular breakfast sandwiches to the test. About two-thirds of us have bought premium orange juice in the past six months, many convinced by claims of pure and natural juice, which make it seem like oranges fall off the tree into the carton. But that's not the whole story. Tom Harrington talks to juice lovers and an expert who wrote the book on OJ, revealing just how much it is processed and what the labels don't tell you. Plus, just about everyone's trying to make healthier choices in the new year. So Marketplace is digging into breakfast-on-the-go, a booming business with restaurants hungry to win you over. Erica Johnson joins the morning commute in Toronto, serving up breakfast sandwiches. We crunch the numbers on the trendy take-out meals, revealing sodium, fat and calories - and better ways you can start your day.
We rely on pharmacists when we're sick. But what happens if they make a mistake? We're investigating pharmacy errors, taking hidden cameras into 50 Canadian pharmacies in the largest test of its kind in Canada. Do pharmacists dispense the right advice and catch potentially dangerous drug interactions? And who's tracking the mistakes that happen?
Seems everyone is watching their money this time of the year. So we reveal three ways to keep your money in your pocket, from a tourist fee you may not have to pay to bank discounts they may not be telling you about to questionable warranties. We send an Ontario couple to do some sleuthing at one of the top tourist destinations in Canada. We outfit them with hidden cameras and send them to Niagara Falls restaurants, hotels and other attractions, investigating a tourism fee that many businesses charge. Host Tom Harrington reveals what visitors are told about the fee, where it goes, and whether you really have to pay. Plus, we investigate extended warranties. Lots of people buy them to protect their digital devices. So what are you told at the time of purchase and will it really protect you if something goes wrong? And, Erica Johnson looks into banking fees. The Big Five all offer discounted plans for seniors, so they can really save. But even after years of being a loyal customer, do they even tell you about them? We help our Marketplace viewers set things right, and reveal ways you can stash your cash.
Canada's universal health care system is a source of national pride: Money or income doesn't determine access when you need emergency care. At least it's not supposed to. A Marketplace investigation finds almost every province charges for ambulance services, with fees ranging from $45 to hundreds of dollars, and reveals other costs that can't be measured in dollars and cents. Host Erica Johnson meets Canadians who are stressed emotionally and financially after using ambulance services in emergencies. We reveal how some are risking their lives, or those of their loved ones, by delaying calling an ambulance or finding other ways to the hospital. We show how many Canadians are making that dangerous calculation, delaying an ambulance because of cost. Plus, we visit one province that has opted to remove ambulance fees, and show how a vast majority of Canadians want the same across the country.
No doubt you've spotted them in the grocery store: Food with labels that claim to be a healthier choice. But are those claims supported by the facts or are they really just Food Fiction? Hosts Tom Harrington and Erica Johnson hit the grocery store to check out some popular foods covering a whole day's worth of meals. With the help of nutritional watchdog Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, we break down the foods, revealing what's really inside, and tell you what the labels don't.
We dig into two common checkout complaints: being put on the spot for charitable donations and poor customer service. Tom Harrington investigates the practice of so-called "checkout charity." Some of the country's biggest retailers are asking for your donations at the cash, even though many Canadians say they don't like it. So why do companies do it? Who's it helping? In Doing Good, Feeling Bad, we raise some big questions about those little charitable donations. Plus, Erica Johnson looks at bad customer service, turning the cameras on shoppers. We want to know: What does it take to get Canadians to complain? We wire up a Toronto shop with hidden cameras, dish out some bad service, and see what happens. With the help of a customer service expert, we reveal why so many of us are reluctant to Speak Up For Service.
Canadians are taking on record levels of household debt, and money is top of mind for many trying to tighten their belts. But if you need cash, are companies being clear about what you're signing up for? In Uneasy Money, we investigate the business tactics of a popular loan company that offers easy loans to people who need money. Erica Johnson investigates how high interest rates and added charges can add up to a bad bottom line for borrowers. And we put a major bank to the test about the biggest debt that many of us ever sign up for: A mortgage. Not all mortgages are created equal, but how upfront is the bank about what's hiding in the fine print?
This week, we're looking at dumb charges that you hate to pay. Got a fee you're sick of forking over? Let us know; we're going to continue to look at all the ways you get nickel and dimed.
It's the kind of drugstore remedy that sounds great: Nighton says it relieves kids' fever, pain and inflammation, with no side effects and no dyes. It's even licensed by Health Canada as safe and effective, a powerful stamp of approval that gives parents extra peace of mind. And yet, there is absolutely no scientific proof Nighton works as it has no active ingredients. In fact, Nighton is really nothing. We know: We made it up. So how can a fake, unproven product get a very real government licence to make powerful claims? In LICENCE TO DECEIVE, a months-long investigation into drugstore remedies and their claims, we raise serious questions about the government agency that's supposed to keep you and your family safe and healthy. We uncover a troubling lack of oversight for some over-the-counter remedies and a lack of scientific proof behind some claims. We reveal how consumers can be misled with potentially dangerous consequences.
Tired of bringing home the bacon only to find that there's less bacon in the package than there used to be? We're looking at the Grocery Games that manufacturers play. Tom Harrington reveals the five ways that companies get you to pay more for less, and why you may never know it. In a shopping challenge, Marketplace viewers go head-to-head in search of shrinking products. All over the store, they find examples of products where companies have downsized the product, without always reducing the price. We talk to Edgar Dworsky, a U.S.-based consumer advocate, consumer protection lawyer and founder of consumerworld.org, about how companies downsize. And we also hear from Kate White, a University of British Columbia professor and marketing expert, who lets us in on industry packaging secrets.
If you could see into the future and find out if you'll get sick, would you want to know? What would you do? What would you change? We investigate home DNA kits. They promise you insight into your medical makeup. For little money or trouble, companies say they can examine your genes and predict your risk of everything from cancer to heart disease. But what's the real cost of these tests when it comes to your privacy? And how accurate are they anyway? Erica Johnson puts a booming business under the microscope.
Can you train your brain to be better? In a powerful journey into the world of memory, Tom Harrington explores the fears of many Canadians, and his own, when it comes to memory loss. Having lost his parents and father-in-law to Alzheimer's, Tom puts himself, and an industry, to the test. From popular brain training games to new technology that claims to improve brain function, he examines the promises and pitfalls of a multi-billion-dollar business in his most personal investigation yet.
We go dumpster diving to find out if take out coffee cups really get recycled. And is slower really safer on the highway? We put speed limits to the test. And comedian Nile Seguin takes on social media to find out how much is too much sharing.
We rely on best before dates to make sure food is fresh and we don't get sick. But how reliable are they? Supermarket insiders tell all and share common tricks some grocery stores use to give your favourite foods a second life.
Fish oil, vitamin C, and protein powder: We spend more than a billion dollars every year trying to supplement our diet with essential nutrients. In a first of its kind test in Canada, Marketplace finds out what's really in all those pills and powders, and which ones live up to the promises they make. Part of a special joint investigation with the fifth estate.
Sometimes, hidden cameras are the best way to help expose an important story. From "peegate" to dirty hotels and oil change scams, we expose our top 5 hidden camera busts and show you how and why we go undercover to get you the goods.
In a revealing peek behind the retail curtain, we look at the tricks that companies use to convince you to buy more. How an industry of neuroscientists and behavioural psychologists help retailers boost business and make us buy stuff that we may not actually want or need. And just in time for Black Friday, we show you how to recognize and resist the most popular and deceptive marketing techniques.
Sometimes, getting in a car accident is only the beginning of the problem. Marketplace investigates tow truck scams that can cost you a lot more than they should. We're showing you how to avoid getting taken for a pricey tow truck ride. And, we're looking at how some store flyers mislead you about what's really on sale.
Many people flock to outlets for deals on their favourite brands. But are you always getting the same quality that you get at retail stores? And we look at the "compare at" price at Winners, and find out if their discounted prices are the real deal.
Costume jewelry is everywhere these days, popular with tweens, teens and adults. But is it safe? We test jewelry bought from major Canadian retailers and find those low prices can come at a surprising price: Some popular brands are made with toxic metals. We travel to factories in China to find out how your jewelry gets made.
Trying to stay on track for New Year's Resolutions? Some healthy sounding super snacks pack more sugar and salt than popular chips and candy bars. We looked at popular snack foods that may fool some shoppers into thinking they're getting a good dose of guilt-free food, and found that some healthy sounding products, kale chips, energy bars, fruit snacks, contain high levels of sugar or sodium.
Scanning your own groceries, booking your travel, printing your own tickets, selecting your own seats. It's not just about convenience: We're doing a lot of work ourselves that companies used to do for us. But while we're doing the work, are we seeing the savings?
Your chances of surviving an airline emergency are better than you may think. Think you know what to do to keep safe? In a unique simulation we put airline safety to the test. What we have to show you could save your life.
Canadians are charged some of the highest prices in the world for cellphone service. And when we have a problem, it's often tough to get it solved. We help three Canadians who are tired navigating customer service options and waiting forever on hold. We've got inside information: help from a long-time customer service rep and a professional haggler who's built a career out of getting better cellphone deals. They coach three consumers sick of getting the runaround from their cellphone companies, and give viewers critical tips on how to save money.
Do tired and overworked doctors on marathon shifts make more mistakes? It's a nightmare that many people don't think about: How your doctor's schedule may be harming your health. Sleepless shifts of up to 30 hours are routine for many of Canada's 12,000 resident doctors. And that's unacceptable and dangerous, according to a panel of medical experts. But Canada has no national standard for the hours residents work. David Common and two doctors stay awake and put themselves to the test in a 26-hour sleep lab experiment, to test how sleep deprivation can affect even the best doctors.
Looking for a job, shopping, renting an apartment: Does your name or the colour of your face matter? A special one-hour Marketplace investigation puts Canada to the test. You may be surprised by what we find.
Should women have to dress sexy to serve you a sandwich? Charlsie Agro goes undercover to apply for a job serving in popular family restaurants. Along the way, we meet women forced to wear high heels, short skirts, and full make-up to serve your food: Dress codes far more sexual, than their male counterparts. Are these dress codes sexist? Some experts say yes. Should women be treated this way at work? We hear from servers who feel they shouldn't have to dress sexy to keep their jobs.
"Nest-laid," "free-run," "free-range" and "organic": Egg cartons hold a lot of big promises about what's inside and how they got there. We test the marketing on supermarket eggs, and ask companies if we can see for ourselves what the labels really mean for chickens and for you.
How do the big three cellphone providers get away with charging us so much for data? Cellphone companies may be bending the rules by letting children authorize additional data without their parents' permission. Although the CRTC's Wireless Code was brought in to prevent bill shock, it doesn't seem to be working for some families. We also have an update: Our hospital parking story made a big difference in Ontario, which has just frozen parking rates and introduced a discount for frequent users. But we look at the picture across the country, and find hospital parking rates are increasing, with real consequences for patients and their families.
A new breed of criminal is combining the high tech skills of a hacker with the brazen nerve of an old-fashioned car thief. We go on the hunt for the mysterious device police believe those thieves are using to steal your car. As reports emerge of mysterious car break-ins where no damage was done, we examine how keyless car entry systems may allow thieves to unlock a car without breaking in. We break down the new ways thieves break-in to your car and show you how you can protect yourself. Many restaurants, hotels and attractions in Niagara Falls automatically add a tourism fee to your bill. But do you have to pay it? We follow up on an earlier story and find a surprising change to the tourism charges.
It's elementary: Teachers play an invaluable role in our lives and in our kids' lives. But how good is the system at protecting you, if there's a problem in the classroom? In a months-long investigation, we find out how serious complaints about teacher conduct are handled across Canada, and reveal that in most provinces, teacher discipline is so rare, slow and secretive that often teachers who have been disciplined continue to teach while parents remain in the dark. We expose how the lack of transparency and efficiency in parts of Canada could put students at risk, and find out which provinces get a failing grade.
Is the fix in for the fans? Marketplace is back with a whole new season, uncovering why many of you can’t get a ticket to see your favorite band. We go backstage with industry insiders to expose the Tragically Hip Ticket debacle.
David Common goes dumpster-diving to reveal how big companies throw good food into dumpsters, part of a $31 billion a year problem in Canada. Some European countries have taken action on supermarket food waste, but Canada doesn't even have a food waste policy. If other countries can do it, why can’t we?
We're taking our hidden cameras inside the hot world of real estate. With bidding wars cloaked in secrecy, how do you know your deal wasn't already rigged? And we head to Australia to see how their system works, where almost everything happens in the open.
From waist trainers to hair vitamins, fat-burning tummy tea wraps, and even pharmaceuticals, the Kardashian family has a long list of products they claim to love on social media. But are they letting people into their lives with these seemingly authentic testimonials, or are they just cashing in?
We gathered parking ticket data from major cities across Canada, more than 15 million tickets total, and reveal the top ticket traps you should avoid.
As Canada prepares to legalize marijuana, we are taking a closer look at today's weed. We test what's being sold right now, and find out that what's missing should alarm you. And we go to Colorado, where weed is legal, and hook up volunteers to EEG machines to find out what happens to your brain on drugs.
About 17 million Canadians are members, making it the biggest loyalty program in the country. But does all that loyalty pay off? Air Miles just cancelled its policy to make your miles disappear. Here's how you got the company to back down.
Are you obsessed with your phone? Well, knowing what companies can access about your private life may make your relationship status with your device #complicated. When you download popular apps, you could be giving companies permission to a lot more than you think: tracking your location, reading all your texts, accessing all your photos, even your microphone and camera. With help from data developers, we create a horoscope app to investigate how much we unknowingly reveal about ourselves.
Do you know how much all your worldly possessions weigh? If you're moving across the country you might want to find out. We go undercover to see what really happens to all your stuff on a cross-country move. After investigating complaints about inaccurate quotes and questionable weight charges, we book our own move, then use hidden cameras and a GPS locator buried inside one of our boxes to track it every step of the way.
Last year, we looked at how racism and intolerance affects us when we go shopping, rent an apartment and apply for a job. Now we're looking at what experts call the “Trump effect”. We're investigating how Donald Trump's campaign changed things here, both online and on the streets. In the last year, the amount of intolerant and racist language Canadians use online – in places like Twitter, in comments sections, web forums and blogs – has increased 600 per cent. So we conduct a social experiment and use our hidden cameras to test how Canadians will respond when they're faced with racism in their communities. The results might surprise you. And we follow Edmonton’s Jesse Lipscombe on his journey to teach others how to confront racism and make it awkward.
We don’t know what her real name is. But we do know companies around the world hire her to pitch their products. In the booming business of fake online testimonials, she’s a top seller: pretending to be a real customer and posting positive video reviews online. She's even posed as a certified financial adviser, a teacher, and a dietitian. Many of us rely on reviews and testimonials to decide where to spend our money, but there's an entire industry dedicated to tricking you into believing their hard sell.
Diet pills with natural ingredients are part of a booming multi-million dollar weight-loss industry in Canada. But are they a waste of money? And are they always safe? We investigate popular green tea weight loss supplements and uncover dozens of reports of liver failure.
It's supposed to be a teen's trip of a lifetime, but the high-school holidays arranged by a company called S-Trip might be a trip into trouble. Are they really as safe and supervised as advertised? Teens, parents and former employees tell us these trips result in underage drinking, risky behaviour, and sometimes, threats to personal safety.
Last year, we investigated how toxic cadmium ends up in children's jewelry. And now, Health Canada is cracking down with tougher regulations.
Looks like chicken. Tastes like chicken. But how much is really chicken? What you don’t know (or what they don’t want you to know) about your favourite take-out. We're testing grilled chicken from top fast-food restaurant chains.
We’re back on the case, asking about Niagara Falls' unregulated tourism fee. After pressure from their customers and our stories, some businesses have stopped charging this fee. But others are charging tourists even more and calling it mandatory. Why hasn’t Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism cracked down? And we're looking at the cost of hospital TV. Prices, policies, and services vary widely across the country. We show you how to fight back against unfair hospital tv charges.
We teamed up with the Toronto Star to uncover pushy upselling and huge markups at Arbor Memorial, Canada's largest funeral home chain. And we take hidden cameras into six funeral homes to see what the sales pitch looks like when you're dealing with the death of a loved one.
How can you protect your digital privacy? Threats to your privacy have been in the news; we show you what you need to know to protect your phone. And, if you’re hoping to turn Air Miles into road miles in a rental car, they may not go as far as they used to.
As new science fuels the debate about cellphone safety, Wendy Mesley returns for a special investigation. Wendy takes a closer look at a little known message inside your cellphone's settings and manual telling you to keep the device 5 to 15 mm away from your body. We ask why this message exists, why it's so hidden, and whether Health Canada is doing enough to protect us.
The wedding business is a $5 billion industry in Canada. But are you being upsold, surcharged, and possibly ripped off just because you're a bride or a groom? Charlsie Agro and Asha Tomlinson team up to find out if venues, florists, and limousine companies quote more for a wedding over an anniversary party.
It’s a back to school special like you’ve never seen before - Marketplace exposes the big business of fake degrees. While real students return to the classroom spending years studying to get real degrees from real universities, Marketplace scores a PHD in weeks. We get our very own fake transcripts with a list of bogus courses we never attended, and best of all: a 3.92 GPA. Plus when you call up our phony school, there’s a fake receptionist vouching for us. It’s the latest way to pad your resume. As bachelor degrees become more common and job competition heats up, experts estimate that up to half of all new American PHDs are fake. So just how widespread is the deception in Canada? We obtain a secret list of about 800 Canadians who could have bought a degree from the world’s largest diploma mill in Pakistan. Engineers, legal clerks, CEOs, politicians, teachers... In this episode, we investigate counsellors treating serious mental health conditions: childhood trauma, suicide, ADHD, and PTSD. They have fake degrees, but will their counselling feel real? Our undercover producers record treatment sessions and then we get them analyzed by a psychologist. Reviewing our bizarre visits, the expert concludes they're “inappropriate”, with "boundary violations”. We also track down a college professor with a fake degree. How did his phoney credentials not get spotted by the schools?
When you bring your car to the dealership for service, how do you know what they recommend is what’s really needed? Marketplace rigs up “bait cars” and exposes aggressive upselling and careless inspections. Most people don’t realise "service advisers" who tell you what's wrong with your car aren't mechanics at all. They're actually salespeople. We interview a former service adviser who admits he was sometimes on 100% commission and that’s why he often felt pressured to recommend maintenance that’s not required. In one of our hidden camera examples, a consumer gets up-sold on brake repairs she doesn’t need, but she isn't told about a safety recall her car really needs: her Honda Civic has one of those faulty Takata airbags.
Farmers’ markets are a growing billion dollar industry. Chances are you’re willing to spend more to buy direct from a farmer, but how do you know you’re really supporting a local grower? Time for a Marketplace fact-check. In an undercover shopping trip, we record Ontario vendors lying about where their produce is grown. To get to the truth, we follow them on market day to trace where that “homegrown” produce really comes from.
Hundreds of viewers have flooded our inbox demanding we investigate skin care products that seem linked to legit companies and celebrities: Costco,Rogers, Dragons Den, Ellen, Oprah, Celine Dion. It’s an online scheme that uses free trial offers, bogus endorsements, and surveys to trick people into paying for products and subscriptions they had no idea they were signing up for. We uncover a network of at least 371 different suspect company names, 312 merchant accounts from over 80 different banks in 14 different countries. This episode features Arlene Dickinson from Dragon’s Den. She’s asked her lawyers to stop these companies from using her image to sell this scam..no luck…. When we get our own “miracle anti-aging cream”, the trail leads us to a man from Calgary living in San Diego.
Charlsie Argo takes a closer look at the hype behind these three exotic "superfoods" - coconut water, chia seeds, and quinoa. We dig into the science and uncover cheaper, Canadian alternatives. So you don't have to pay super prices to get a dose of super nutrients.
We're back on the case investigating food waste. Last season Marketplace found bins of wasted food at Walmart, and it pledged to make a change. We check in on whether the company followed through. Plus, while Canada lags behind other countries when it comes to policing supermarket food waste, some children are organizing to make their own change.
Revealing how companies influence us, our brains, our behaviour, our emotions. How they use science to ensure we're more engage in 'the infinite scroll' on our smartphones. And tech insiders teach us how to curb the urge to constantly stay connected. David Common went to California to talk to an app developer about how companies keep us hooked on our phones. We track a family's device usage over several months and reveal their staggering results - from the 8 year old son, the teenage daughters to the parents. Plus, David Common gets wired up. We test how his cognitive efficiency changes when he hears that familiar "ping" on his phone
Marketplace went undercover at 10 car dealerships to investigate what salespeople are telling you about car financing. Are they revealing everything you need to know? And what are the techniques are they using to get you into a more expensive car? When we show our hidden camera to Ontario’s auto sales regulator, he calls some dealers’ advice misleading, troubling, and illegal. With new car sales in Canada nearing a record two million this year, you can't afford to miss this investigation.
In a unique Marketplace test, we reveal how your personal data like your search history, social media profiles, and what device you use, can give companies clues about what they can charge you online. It's called personalised pricing or price discrimination - and it results in different prices for different people for the same product. If companies think you would pay more, you will. Find out how to game the system in your favour to get the lowest price online Plus, we’ve commissioned a poll on Canadian attitudes and perceptions about online shopping, privacy, and price discrimination.
Canada is finally getting an air passenger bill of rights. But will it offer the protection you want? CBC Marketplace pulls apart the new law on overbooking, delays and tarmac holds -- and finds other countries offer more protection to passengers. We travel to Europe where must follow a stricter set of rules, and ask Canada's Transport Minister why Canadians don't deserve the same rights.
You want what's best for your child, but how do you know you're getting the best price? Marketplace compare prices between Canada and the U.S. on baby items to see if you're getting gouged. Plus, we scour the shelves for recalled products that shouldn't be there, and uncover dangerous products for sale at popular retailers.
We're back on the case, investigating our top scams and schemes: tracking annoying telemarketers, fake reviewers, and a pricey bracelet with health claims that are beyond belief. In 2013 Canadians were telling Marketplace the long-awaited Do Not Call list was not stopping some telemarketers. And they were still getting those annoying calls over and over. The CRTC said it couldn't crack down because it couldn't track the companies responsible. But we did. So did the government follow up? Do you rely on online reviews? Do you trust testimonials from the people or so-called professionals who claim to endorse a product or service? Marketplace tracked down one of the most prolific reviewers for cash. She's a Canadian and posed online as a financial advisor, health care expert and regular Jane. We confronted her last year, and now we're checking in to see if she's still in business. And would you spend $200 on a bracelet that would make you feel better — maybe even take away your pain? The Q-ray bracelet brought in millions of dollars before authorities in the US cracked down and called it "a scheme" meant "to defraud consumers out of millions." Meanwhile, the owners had set up shop in Canada. Watch as Wendy Mesley challenges the marketers and owner of this jewelry business.
Marketplace reviews one of the most common surgeries, gastric banding, and reveals its success and complication rates, and the cost to public health care of the people who need it fixed. Asha Tomlinson confronts the doctor and the director behind one of the most popular private weight loss clinics and uncovers a trail of victims across the country.
Marketplace investigates clothing recycling programs at fast fashion chains, and reveals the marketing may not live up to what it promises consumers and the planet. While you feel good about dropping off all those used clothes, you might not be doing as much good as you think. Watch Charlsie Agro's journey as she follows the trail of your old T-shirts around the world.
In a special year-long investigation, Marketplace uncovers a shocking rise in the number of abuse incidents inside Ontario long term care homes. We obtain exclusive security video of a brutal attack between two residents unfolding in the hallways of Baycest, a Toronto nursing home. And we head inside homes with some of the highest rates of abuse to see for ourselves why the statistics are on the rise; and follow families fighting for better care. In Ontario, reported rates of abuse have doubled in just 6 years. Every single day, 9 residents are harmed by another resident; and 6 are harmed by staff who are supposed to care for them.
UPDATE: On the day this story was broadcast, Health Canada informed Marketplace that it has required NeuroReset to stop selling three more of its products (Neuro Connect One, Neuro Connect Lifestyle, Neuro Connect Golf) because the company doesn't have the necessary medical device licences. NeuroReset's Mark Metus told Marketplace his company is working with Health Canada to ensure the full compliance of all its products. Asha Tomlinson is on a mission to find out how a chiropractor convinced the investors on Dragons' Den to endorse his unproven product. Plus, We go on an undercover dining trip to see who's getting gouged. Servers dish out a percentage of all their sales to bartenders and kitchen staff. Since the minimum wage hike in Ontario, chains are increasing that tip-out amount so they don't have to pay their employees more money.
Erica Johnson and Go Public team up with Marketplace to dig deeper into telecom sales tactics. In the battle for customers, Canada's telecommunications giants are going door to door to convince you to switch. But many Canadians feel they were duped at the door - misled about great deals and better services. After hearing hundreds of complaints about the largest company, Bell, a Marketplace producer gets a job - posing as a new hire inside the company contracted to sell Bell products door to door.
What’s lurking on all those free make-up samples? We swab testers from Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, Mac and Body Shop. And we ask the ultimate question: Can spraying them with alcohol kill mould and bacteria like staphylococcus aureas? And how often should you change your car engine oil? Depends who you ask. In a hidden camera investigation, we test what you’re told at the dealership and then actually test your engine oil in a lab to see who’s right.
What's in your bottled water? Microplastics seem to be everywhere - in soil, air and lakes and oceans - so have they also made their way into one of the most popular drinks? Marketplace 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.
Marketplace tracks the scammers behind one of the biggest cyber-crime schemes in Canadian history - those fake CRA phone calls. Tens of thousands of Canadians scammed out of hundreds of millions of dollars. So, who’s really behind the scheme? David Common travels to India to catch the fraudsters. We track down two illegal call centres and find out the RCMP could be doing more to bust the scammers.
Smart Homes allow automated control of everything from lights and locks to curtains and cameras, TVs and temperature, with the promise of increased convenience and security — but Marketplace reveals the more devices you have, the more vulnerable you could be. In this episode, we find families whose security cameras are streaming live on the internet, showing them in real time how they are being watched by strangers around the world. And we ask "white hat" hackers to test if they can break into a home hooked up with some of the most popular devices. Find out what you need to know to keep your family safe, and what extra precautions manufacturers could be taking to protect your privacy.
In a national hidden camera investigation, Marketplace tests trampoline park safety, and gets to the legal truth behind signing your family’s rights away on those waivers.
How easy it is to get a commercial truck driving license where you are? We hire someone to get his truck driving license in Saskatchewan and he passes after only 16 hours of training. But when we send him to take a road test in Ontario, he fails. After the Humboldt Broncos tragedy, even those in the industry argue it’s time to standardize truck driving training nationwide. We also crunch the numbers and learns that in just 5 years, there have been 1500 fatal truck crashes in Canada.
When you board a flight, do you ever wonder how clean it really is? From the seat belts and tray tables, to bathrooms, and blankets, we swab and test three major airlines — Air Canada, Westjet and Porter. And we go beyond the surface to check the air quality too.
Charlsie Agro rolls up her sleeves to try food sensitivity tests sold by some of Canada's biggest labs. Can they really tell you which foods could make you sick? Also this week: Makda Ghebreslassie investigates "tech abuse." And we look into the real deal behind those pricey and popular "teatoxes."
The label says Canada grade apple juice, but where do the apples really come from? We go searching for answers and they’re leading overseas. Is credit card balance insurance worth it? Banks claim it helps with your payments if you get sick or lose your job. But, in reality, experts say it’s expensive and rarely pays out.
It’s a battle among the top three food apps: UberEats, Skip The Dishes, and Foodora. We test these delivery giants for speed, cost, presentation, and hidden mark-ups. It’s big business, about $2.5 billion worth and growing. The technology is easy to use and foodies can order from endless local restaurants. So, what’s not to devour? Deliveries are late. Meals arrive cold and others ruffled up in transport. Dishes are missing and sometimes the entire order doesn’t show up. On top of all that, many of us aren't aware of the actual costs. There are hidden fees that even savvy users miss. So who’s responsible? Is it the couriers, the mobile apps, the restaurants or our desire for convenience and instant gratification?
We're testing one of the biggest online florists. When it comes to the hundreds complaints online, we've heard it all - product substitutions, dead flowers and poor customer service. We meet an elderly woman who says her sister-in-law's funeral was ruined when the daisy bouquet she ordered arrived as a bouquet of "cheap" carnations. So... Marketplace puts the company to the test by ordering five bouquets for ourselves. Experts call what we received "embarrassing." Plus, we're back on the case checking in on funeral homes. A new hidden camera investigation reveals some are still upselling and rule breaking.
Marketplace investigates how breast implants are marketed by plastic surgeons, and we follow a woman getting her implants removed because she believes they made her sick. We send her implants for testing to find out exactly what went wrong.
Plastic packaging out of control at your supermarket? We challenge two families to help us uncover why supermarkets aren't doing more to reduce plastic waste. And what really happens to those wrappers and packages after you put them in the blue bin? You might be surprised to learn some recyclables are shipped across the world where they can be illegally dumped or burned.
Marketplace investigates the science and marketing behind popular DNA Ancestry kits. Just how accurate are they? Charlsie Agro tests 5 top brands... and we’re sending in the saliva of her identical twin sister, Carly Agro, too.
We go undercover to see what life is really like for our loved ones inside long term care homes. What happens when funding shortages cause staff cuts? We follow one daughter who installs a hidden camera in her mother's room and uncovers the truth about how her mother really died. This is part of our continuing coverage on the state of nursing homes across the country. Get what you need to know to fight for better care.
What if your phone company gave up your information without your consent to a hacker who called up and pretended to be you? It's called social engineering, and it's an old-fashioned con game used by high-tech thieves to trick customer service reps. Charlsie Agro watches this hack in action as a security expert uses social engineering to take over her account, change her password, and then smooth-talks the employee on the other line to voluntarily keep handing over more information. And we're back on the case investigating truck driver training.
Marketplace has obtained a secret list revealing the names and identities of close to 3,000 Canadians targeted by a phone scam promising to lower your credit card interest rate. Their end game: stealing your identity so they can sell and trade it on the dark net and to other fraudsters. We track where your information can end up and test whether fraud alerts and credit monitoring services can really protect you.
Marketplace commissioned lab tests on popular brands of rice cereals and snacks to test for levels of arsenic, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful for pregnant women, babies and children. It may surprise you to learn which brands and which varieties of rice are more likely to contain arsenic.
We test imported shrimp bought from supermarket chains across the country. While it's expected we'll find bacteria on raw shrimp, how many of those common bugs are resistant to antibiotics? Experts claim antibiotic resistance poses the biggest threat to modern medicine in the 21st century, so is the government doing enough to stop these superbugs from ending up in our kitchens?
We investigate some of the most common complaints about the world's largest home sharing platform, from last minute cancellations to concerns over community and even the great lengths one condo board is going to keep short term renters from moving in next door. We also go undercover to check out 'covert' Airbnbs — what happens when you book a stay only to be asked to lie and sneak around in a building where Airbnb is not welcome? Plus after we start asking Airbnb about one Albertan who was out $6000 after a last minute cancellation, he gets a full refund.
Why does the same grocery list cost twice as much in Canada's North compared to a city in the south? Marketplace travels to Iqaluit to see the consequences of the grocery price crisis. We investigate why its happening, and why the federal food subsidy intended to make good food available in the North hasn't fixed it yet.
Are these the worst over-packaged products?: We name and rate the top five most outrageously overpackaged products, and we take them all to our federal environment minister Catherine McKenna to see what’s being done to minimize the waste. All companies agree plastic is a big problem but most won't agree to make change. So will government act? After our interview, she promises changes coming in June. Credit card balance protection: How did this father, son and their dogs get over $6,000 back from their credit card companies? They watched Marketplace. Time to check your statements. Fighting back against fast fashion: Charlsie Agro visits two schools trying to break the fast fashion cycle after they watched our investigation in season 45. She interviews Ontario MPP Donna Skelly, who's calling on her government to implement a province-wide stewardship program.
Marketplace producers go undercover overseas and pose as recycling brokers to expose the lucrative plastic waste business. We reveal that companies are willing to break the law to buy Canadian plastic and show how some of it is dumped and burned in illegal landfills, where the toxic fumes and run-off is making people sick. Back in Canada, we buy nine tonnes of plastic and secretly track where big companies are taking it. Will it actually get recycled?
Marketplace tackles one of the largest scams targeting Canadians: Fake technicians claiming your home computer or smartphone is compromised — and demanding hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix it. We discover that much of the scamming activity emanates from call centres in India, and after months of cultivating sources on the ground, we get inside. Plus, we ask: What is the RCMP doing to stop this scam for good?
It's easier than ever to check your credit score online but is there a catch? We ask three people to check their scores on Credit Karma, TransUnion, Equifax, and Borrowell. The results might surprise you. Plus, Livia sells a cute device promising to reduce your period pain. But with a hefty price tag, does it work any better than what's currently on the market, for less than half the price? Find out on an all-new Buzzkill.
We test school boards across the country by asking one question: How many students have attacked other students? The majority of schools refused to answer, so we decided to just ask students themselves. We commissioned a national survey asking youth about their experiences with physical and sexual violence, homophobia and racism — from kindergarten to grade 12. This months-long CBC News and Marketplace investigation reveals student-on-student violence in schools is all too common, and drastically underreported.
Marketplace tests top brand-name sneakers from Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. Through mechanical lab testing, we rip apart their high, medium and low cost shoes to see if there’s really a difference between the most expensive and the cheapest shoes. Does a higher price mean better quality and performance?
You’re not imagining it. Restaurants are getting louder. But just how much noise are we exposed to? And what is it doing to our health? Marketplace tests noise levels at popular chains across the country. Plus, Health Canada bans 'predatory' vaginal detox products following a Marketplace investigation. We discover that Goddess Vaginal Detox Pearls' claims of cleansing and healing from sexual trauma could lead to serious mental and physical health impacts. Have you seen other vaginal detox products for sale? The government wants to know about it, and so we do we.
We test whether you really need to drink milk to stay healthy, debunk the coconut oil craze, and fact-check some miraculous juicing claims.
Many of us are feeling the strain on our eyes from staring at our smartphones and computer screens all day. But some of Canada's largest optical chains are selling you a solution experts say you don't need: lenses that protect our eyes from the blue light emitted from our devices. Leading experts tell Marketplace some of Canada's top chains seem to be using "misleading" claims to sell the lenses. And an ophthalmologist reveals some easy and free tips that will ease digital eye strain. Plus, Why are some long-term care and retirement homes banning families from seeing their loved ones? Administrators say it's because they're being too aggressive. Families argue they're just fighting for better care.
Who do you call when you’re locked out of your home? A locksmith. But industry experts tell us some of them are duping customers with the promise of a quick and cheap fix, only to end up ripping you off. CBC Marketplace uncovers a network of fake local business locations and fake five-star reviews cluttering Google Maps in the Greater Toronto Area. We rig up a house with hidden cameras to test locksmiths advertising their services online, and expose how some companies use low prices, fake names, fake addresses and fake reviews to lure you in.
We dive into one of the world’s most harmful misinformation campaigns: the anti-vaccination movement. We go undercover to expose the movement's inner workings and discover the business behind the message. We also reveal how the spread of anti-vaxx misinformation impacts us on a subconscious level, and has led to a crisis of outbreaks around the world.
Three cars, three teams wearing hidden cameras, and one car rental company location with a long history of complaints and overcharging. What happens when we send in our Marketplace team with some savvy consumers to fight back against those extra fees?
We're testing popular skin lightening products sold in Canada to find out if the ingredients are as toxic as the marketing. They’re not authorized for sale here, yet we bought dozens of products from beauty supply stores in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Montreal. Some of the promises: “whiter skin in 7 days”, “white in seconds”, use a “fairness meter” to check your results. The advertising is clearly harmful. Are any of the ingredients in the products harmful too?
Our journalists got exclusive access to an undercover RCMP investigation into major scam calls, which have bilked Canadians of millions of dollars. For two years, we have zeroed in on scammers in Indian call centres targeting Canadians: posing as CRA tax agents, tech support workers or impersonating police and other government officials. Now, we have a full update on new arrests on Canadian soil, the likely impact of enforcement actions and how police will tackle it going forward.
We bought dozens of products: electronics, cosmetics, sports jerseys and handbags. Many of them turned out to be suspected counterfeits and lab tests reveal high levels of heavy metals in some make-up. So, we teach you how to spot the difference between a real deal and a fake. And we ask: who's protecting you from buying counterfeit and sometimes dangerous products online?
Are your pricey appliances breaking down faster and more frequently than ever? Marketplace investigates why it’s so tough to get your appliances repaired in Canada. We commission a national poll to get to the heart of your complaints: which brand you tell us breaks down the most, how long you tell us your appliances last, and your frustrations searching for a fix. Plus we follow four Canadians with different busted appliances (dishwasher, fridges, washer) to see if their machines will be saved, or whether they will get trashed.
Are 100% compostable labels on your plastic products really as green as advertised? Plus: We reveal the dirtiest surfaces on airplanes, and what you need to do to fly safe.
How should you be living your life during a pandemic? Infection control expert Dr. Susy Hota told us how to stay safe amid the coronavirus outbreak. We've all heard of stocking up during times of crisis and many of us are doing just that. But are we grabbing the right supplies? We also went shopping with Dr. Samir Sinha, an emergency preparedness expert who volunteers with the American Red Cross.
Inside Taiwan, we see how fast action ensured kids were back in school and businesses stayed open. Plus Asha Tomlinson investigates whether the big grocery chains are doing enough to stop the panic and stock the shelves. And how to get a fair deal when fighting for an airline refund.
Hidden Camera investigation about how the latest way to fix your smile at home is sold to potential patients. Tele-orthodontics are cheaper, no monthly visits, but are they worth it? And what Canada can learn from Taiwan to fight COVID-19 and keep schools open.
We look into health claims on YouTube and Eventbrite about how to protect yourself from COVID-19 and ask an expert if you can really buy your way to a better immune system. We also hear from some home care workers who are fighting for personal protective equipment. Plus, we investigate a controversial rapid blood test said to determine if you have the antibodies to fight off COVID-19. Why hasn’t Health Canada approved it?
What's the true cost of easy and free online returns? We bought products from Amazon and then returned them with tracking devices hidden inside each to follow the trail.
We wire up a house with hidden cameras, rig a washing machine that's easy to fix and then shop for appliance repair companies on Google. Will you get the fix you need or get ripped off?
David Common reveals exclusive details on the state of Ontario long-term care homes before the coronavirus pandemic. Almost every home broke the law repeatedly for abuse and neglect.
We visit supermarkets with a food safety inspector and reveal serious violations that could make you sick. And we swab surfaces inside stores to determine which are the germiest.
We test over 20 different masks and reveal which are the most effective at keeping you safe from COVID-19 and which masks you should avoid. PLUS, how to get a refund on your cancelled flights.
Exposing the most egregious pandemic price hikes, and fact-checking politicians' promises. And a hidden camera investigation inside the international and lucrative trade of puppies imported into Cana
Black oilsands workers go public about systemic racism, fact-checking claims about popular snoring aids, and the explosion of counterfeits online and how to spot them.
Smartphones,laptops,tablets. There isn't reliable information about how long they're supposed to last. We survey over 3000 Canadians to find out what brands and devices break down the most.
A months-long overseas hidden camera investigation reveals conditions likened to "modern slavery" inside factories making our lifesaving products.
Sick for months, and stuck paying thousands in medical bills. The truth about how Canada is failing Covid long-haulers. Plus, will getting rid of sulphites in wine get rid of your hangover?
Investigating the real cost of borrowing thousands of dollars, and revealing debt traps to avoid.
Indoor air purifiers can help get rid of germs, including coronavirus. So, we test five popular brands. Plus a ventilation scientist explains how to clean your air without paying hundreds of dollars.
Investigating dangerous driving, and whether drivers who kill are getting away with light consequences: Can UV-light disinfecting devices kill viruses, and are they safe?
Many Canadians might have a recall on their car and they wouldn't even know it. We investigate a recall involving over a million Canadian cars, and thousands of spontaneous engine fires and failures.
Hidden camera investigation reveals huge differences in how 6 appraisers determine price of the same home; police warn about trendy pocket breathalyzers; and the truth about.
We test different window tints to see how they could affect a driver's visibility. We also look at bright headlight glare, why it bothers you and what you can do to fix it.
Investigating why leafy green outbreaks are on the rise; Indian police shut down scam centres but now they're back and a whistleblower reveals how the latest phone fraud works.
Inside one of the world's most dangerous Covid-19 conspiracy movements; Canada's food labels fail to disclose added sugar content which makes some packaged foods appear healthier than they are.
We're testing over 300 eggs from 14 different brands to find out which ones are more nutritious. Plus, KN95 and KF94 masks offer greater protection, but we find some potentially counterfeit and dangerous masks for sale. Find out how to spot a fake.
We're counting down the top seven "sins" some companies and governments commit against consumers. Find out how not to fall for these top tricks and schemes.
Lab tests expose toxic chemicals found on new clothes; how to fight back against overseas fraudsters.
Investigating the truth behind Best Buy's refurbished tech, and heading undercover inside stores to reveal what Best Buy employees really think.
Investigation catches real estate agents breaking the law to keep commissions high, hamper competition and block private sellers.
CBD is found everywhere, from chocolate bars to pet treats, from face masks to moisturizers and bath bombs; and while CBD itself holds real medicinal promise, a Marketplace investigation has found hundreds of illegal CBD products for sale in a thriving Canadian black market. Going undercover, we found products are easily available and salespeople willing to make extravagant and illicit health claims that often ignore or avoid mention of negative interactions. While we look to CBD for its promise as a health remedy, Marketplace has found there’s no control over what goes into the illegal black market products - and no legal way to test them.
Where do tomato sauces, pastes and fresh tomatoes really come from; turns out, the truth isn't always on the label; big brands linked to forced Chinese labor.
Secret video exposes where some of your favourite clothing is made, and the truth behind some of those “Made in the USA" labels.
Shocking amounts of sugar in some popular coffee chain drinks, even ones that seem healthier; lab tests show which sparkling water drinks could harm teeth.
Lab tests reveal which boots are safest on ice; investigating homeopathic remedies sold at pharmacies.
How to get flood coverage from insurance companies; posing as homebuyers and sellers to test what real estate agents reveal about homes in flood zones.