What you need to know before ordering groceries online; phone bill shock: CBC’s Marketplace cheat sheet


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

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The coronavirus can live up to several days on some surfaces, but experts say there’s no reason to worry about the groceries you bring home. CBC News shows you how basic hygiene will keep you safe from your groceries. 1:36

Grocery stores are struggling to keep up with online orders. Here’s why:

Some people say they’ve had to wait a week or more for their online groceries, and they’re frustrated with how stores are handling the situation.

Food economist Mike von Massow says it’s not surprising there have been some growing pains, but has these tips to share.

  • Plan at least a week ahead for what you need.
  • Look to smaller retailers for the extras — things like bread and cheese. Many are now taking orders over the phone or by email and have started delivering.
  • Watch for hidden costs.

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Kelsey Shaffer of Kakabeka Falls, Ont. said she was shocked to receive a Virgin Mobile phone bill with a price increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted by Kelsey Shaffer)

Bell, TekSavvy customers shocked by price hikes during COVID-19 pandemic

It’s no secret that many consumers are frustrated with the cost of their cellphone and internet bills.

But some Bell and internet provider TekSavvy customers are shocked to be facing a price hike when many Canadians are struggling to pay the bills.

TekSavvy says it had no choice but to raise rates largely due to ongoing court challenges that involve the big telcos, while Bell says it put its price-hike plans in motion before the outbreak.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has put huge pressure on social media companies to police and remove disinformation, and the companies have taken big steps to limit the spread. However, some critics say they could still do more. (The Associated Press)

Social media companies are cracking down on misinformation. But are they doing enough?

Social media websites have ramped up efforts to police content that contains incorrect or harmful data — attaching warnings to content and linking to official sources, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada. 

But some critics say websites like Facebook could still be doing more.

“As somebody who spends a lot of his free time studying how disinformation spreads on a platform like Facebook, I don’t see how you could stop it without shutting large portions of the site down,” said Robert Evans, a journalist for the open source investigative website, Bellingcat.

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What else is going on?

Surge in demand sees Robin Hood flour running out of its iconic yellow bags

Company says it has plenty of flour but not enough of the brand’s familiar packaging.

Expect your Tim Hortons workers to wear masks now, coffee giant says

The company has already pulled its Roll Up the Rim cups and closed dining areas since the virus hit. 

As COVID-19 deaths mount in long-term care homes, families demand more timely information

People with family members in some Ontario long-term care homes are demanding answers about unclear communication on the spread of COVID-19 in these facilities. 

Live Nation/Ticketmaster decision to withhold refunds ‘reprehensible,’ say fans, members of Congress

Fans around the world — and now two members of the U.S. Congress — are demanding the world’s largest entertainment company, Live Nation, refund tickets for all events cancelled or postponed by the COVID-19 crisis.

Marketplace needs your help 

Crisis in care homes: Help us get it right

We’re continuing to investigate the crisis inside Canada’s care homes.  

Our team is working with CBC’s The National to search for answers about what went wrong and we need you to help us get it right.

Do you have access to information that you want to share with us?    

Email us: marketplace@cbc.ca

Have you been offered a high-interest loan?

We know the COVID-19 pandemic is creating tough financial times for many. Rents and mortgages are coming due again, bills are mounting, and groceries are a constant expense.

Banks and credit unions are offering some relief but their options don’t work for everyone, and not everyone is approved.

Meanwhile, alternative lenders are offering loans at high interest rates.

If you’re thinking of taking out a high-interest loan or have signed up recently, we want to hear from you.     

Send us an email at marketplace@cbc.ca.

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