Testing Best Buy; Calls for the ‘right-to-repair’ vehicles rev up: CBC’s Marketplace Cheat Sheet


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Best Buy to review third-party marketplace after CBC investigation finds damaged products

If you’re in the market for a refurbished laptop, tablet, or smartphone, you’ll want to read Marketplace’s latest investigation. 

Following repeated complaints of faulty devices from viewers, we purchased 12 of what Best Buy calls “Grade A” refurbished devices from its third-party marketplace and had them independently reviewed by industry experts. Five of the devices were found to have cosmetic or functionality issues. 
The team also went undercover at five different Best Buy store locations in the Greater Toronto Area to inquire about returning products purchased from its third-party sellers and found many in-store employees were critical about the company’s third-party marketplace.

“Personally, I don’t buy from there,” said one employee. “You don’t know what you’re buying.”

In response to CBC’s findings, Best Buy said in an emailed statement: “Your investigation prompted another round of scrutiny and development on marketplace content.” Specifically, “enhancing product descriptions to ensure consistency so that customers are clear on what they are purchasing.” Read more

We’re investigating the truth about their refurbished tech, and heading undercover inside stores to reveal what Best Buy employees really think. 22:30

Why calls for ‘right-to-repair’ rules are revving up again for vehicles in Canada

While most Canadians can get their vehicle fixed wherever they want these days, auto-repair shop owner Emily Chung worries that independent shops like the one she owns in Markham, Ont., might be left behind because manufacturers of new cars — linked wirelessly to manufacturers — limit access to data that helps technicians diagnose and fix a problem.

“If we don’t have access to the information, then it makes it more difficult for us to be able to solve their [the customer’s] problem,” said Chung. “This is something that really needs to be addressed.”

Canadian politicians can expect to hear similar arguments in the months ahead as the discussion about “right-to-repair” legislation appears set to gather steam in Ottawa.

Right-to-repair issues aren’t new, but they’ve gained prominence as more of the products people buy — from smartphones to dishwashers to farm equipment — become increasingly sophisticated and integrated with computers.

It’s something lawmakers around the world are grappling with as they weigh consumers’ expectations and manufacturers’ warnings of the impact on their businesses, as well as people’s safety and privacy. Read more

Emily Chung, owner of AutoNiche in Markham, Ont., says Canada needs right-to-repair legislation for the aftermarket auto industry. (Emily Chung)

In recent years, Marketplace has investigated the right-to-repair with electronic devices and home appliances

What would an end to blind bidding for real estate look like?

Critics of the blind bidding process for real estate are pushing for what they say are viable alternatives that could create a better system for both sellers and buyers. 

In provinces across Canada, bidding without knowing the size of competing bids is the default practice when a home attracts multiple offers. In this scenario, buyers compete to offer the highest purchase price on a home without knowing the dollar amount of the other bids.

“I think there are serious issues with the way we are conducting things right now,” said Murtaza Haider, a professor of data science and real estate management at Ryerson University.   

Haider says an end to the practice could have some impact on volatility in housing prices, but more importantly, “greater efficiency and transparency would bring more trust to the industry, and that should be a priority for the real estate sector.” Read more

Murtaza Haider is a professor of data science and real estate management at Ryerson University in Toronto. He said the practice of bidding for houses without knowing the size of competing bids is stacked in favour of sellers at the cost of buyers. (Doug Husby/CBC)

What else is going on?

Google agrees to government request to pull ads linking to fake travel sites
Search results for ArriveCan app included ‘scam’ sites paying Google for ads.

Lingering global supply-chain challenges resulting in months-long wait for appliances
Customers report they are still waiting on refrigerator ordered nearly a year ago.

For these Instagram-only business owners, Monday’s outage was a rude awakening 
Analyst says outage cost Facebook $100M in lost ad revenue — and a lot more to its reputation.

Recall for some Advil Cold & Sinus Day/Night blister packs
Labelling error may cause people to mix up day and night tablets.

2 lots of Novo-Gesic Forte acetaminophen tablets recalled in Canada
Label has incorrect dosing levels that could lead users to take too much.

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Watch this week’s episode of Marketplace and catch up on past episodes any time on CBC Gem.

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