Bell gets hacked and no more community mailboxes: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet


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

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Bell customer data hacked

The information of roughly 100,000 Bell Canada customers was compromised this week, just months after 1.9 million emails were stolen from the company’s database. Bell says the latest hackers got access to names, email addresses, account user names and numbers, as well as phone numbers.

No more community mailboxes

The Liberal government is axing an unpopular program started in 2014 to end door-to-door delivery and replace it with community mailboxes. Existing community mailboxes aren’t going away, but no new ones will be built, so people who still get mail delivered to their door will continue to do so.

The federal government has cancelled plans to end home mail delivery and replace it with community mailboxes. (CBC)

Streaming is coming

Bell says you can stop pirating Game of Thrones. The show has been difficult for Canadians to stream legally, so Bell is adding the often-stolen show to its streaming service CraveTV. But it’s only offering the first three seasons, to start. Bell says seasons four and five will follow soon, with seasons six and seven coming later this year.

CraveTV will start streaming Game of Thrones episodes, but only the first three seasons will be available for now.

Change at the checkout

Amazon launched its first checkout-free grocery store in Seattle. Instead of lining up after selecting items, you scan your smartphone as you enter, and high-tech cameras monitor what you pick up and charge the credit card on file. Amazon hasn’t said when or where more locations will open.

Amazon opened its first checkout-free grocery store this week, but hasn’t announced plans for expansion in the U.S. or Canada. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)

Beer drinkers bloated by taxes

When Canadians buy a beer, nearly half the cost is taxes — and those taxes are going up. The reason: Starting in April, the federal tax on beer is rising in line with inflation (it’s called an “escalator tax”). Beer Canada says beer taxes in Canada are among the highest in the world.

Taxes already amount to nearly half the cost of a beer in Canada, and those taxes will only continue to get higher. (CBC)

What else is going on

Apple trying to resolve slow phones with update.The tech giant will release a software update that will let users test the health of their batteries and turn off a feature the company admits has been slowing down some phones.

Canadians spared Amazon Prime price hike.The price for an Amazon Prime membership in the U.S. just went up 20 per cent a month, but the annual Canadian membership price has not changed.

Reduce your fashion footprint. Last week we investigated how fast fashion is adding to the clothing waste problem. Here are some tips from an expert on how to reduce your landfill footprint.

This week in recalls

These milk products are off shelves because of an “off taste flavour”; this portable generator is a potential fire hazard; the drawstrings on this clothing could be a risk for injury; some coconut products could be contaminated with salmonella; and these hospitality TVs could fall off their stand.  

Also, there is a shortage of some EpiPens in Canada.

Watch this week 

In a special year-long investigation, Marketplace uncovers a shocking increase in the number of abuse incidents inside long-term care homes. We take our hidden cameras inside homes with the highest rates of abuse to find out why violence is on the rise, and we follow families fighting for better care.  


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