8 Oct

Leons The Brick accused of deceptive marketing in Buy Now Pay Later

The retailer of furniture, appliances and electronics said it stands by its promotion programs.“The deferred payment plans offered by Leon’s and The Brick benefit consumers,” Leon’s said in a statement Tuesday.“Leon’s and The Brick deny the commissioner’s allegations and will vigorously defend their position in the court.”Last March, Leon’s acquired rival, The Brick.Leon’s has 76 stores with locations in every province except British Columbia, while The Brick has 230 stores operating under the banners, The Brick, United Furniture Warehouse, The Brick Mattress Store and Urban Brick banners.The Canadian Press OTTAWA — The Competition Bureau has accused Leon’s Furniture Ltd. and The Brick Ltd. of “deceptive marketing practices.”The regulator alleged Tuesday that the retailers’ “Buy Now, Pay Later” promotions, often resulted in customers paying more than advertised and should be ceased immediately.The bureau said customers who chose the deferred-payment option often ended up paying more than those who paid for their purchases up front as a result of the additional fees, which were “buried” by the retailers in the “fine print.”The additional costs ranged from processing or administrative fees, delivery fees and taxes.The allegations have not been proven in court.In a motion filed in Ontario Superior Court, the Competition Bureau also wants Leon’s and The Brick to refund all customers who paid any additional up-front fees or administrative penalties.“Canadian consumers must receive clear and accurate information about what must be paid at the time of purchase, and what the actual cost of a particular item is if they use a deferred payment option,” Competition Commissioner John Pecman said in a statement.“Retailers cannot hide details of additional fees in lengthy disclaimers.”J.P. Moczulski for National Post, files read more

25 Sep

Social media contributed to my stroke says Norman Lamb

A former health minister has said that “addictive” social media contributed to his stroke, as he warned that websites such as Twitter and Facebook could have a “distorting” effect.Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem MP, suffered a minor stroke in March that was at the time attributed to his high workload. He told The Daily Telegraph that his overuse of technology and social media was one of the causes.“I have addictive tendencies,” he said.“I use social media late at night, sometimes lying in bed. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––Twitter is very addictive.” Mr Lamb, 61, the MP  for North Norfolk and chairman of the Commons science and technology committee that is conducting an inquiry into the effects of social media on young people, served as health minister until 2015.He said technology had increased the “pressure” on MPs, who received “instant feedback” and a “stream of tweets” after public appearances.“You get constituency case work via Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, text messages, emails, phone calls, people turning up at the office,” Mr Lamb said.“There’s an assumption you’ll respond to an email quickly. When you leave it for a few days, there’s a pressure of ‘Why have you not responded?’ “When I had a health shock before Easter, when I discovered I’d had a stroke, I realised I was on a treadmill. I was just struggling to keep on top of it. So I immediately said, ‘Someone else can manage my email account’.”Mr Lamb’s committee’s inquiry has heard evidence from young people who spend “all the time on social media”. He is sympathetic. “Most people are capable of this drift into obsession,” he said.“It’s commonplace for teenagers to message each other at two in the morning… You never escape it.” Mr Lamb spoke in support of The Daily Telegraph campaign calling for social media companies to have a duty of care towards their users.He said: “These are very powerful organisations making a lot of money, and they have a real moral obligation to safeguard the health and well-being of these generations growing up.”However, he urged caution when it comes to regulation. “We mustn’t throw the baby out with the bath water – we must be smart and intelligent in how we do this, and work from the basis of evidence,” he said. Mr Lamb also highlighted the positive aspects of social media, which were not available when his son, Archie, was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder in his teens.“The fact that young people can access help, support, guidance on mental health issues and on how you navigate your way through challenges can be of enormous value,” Mr Lamb said. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “Archie is now thriving and successful in the music business but I remember the moment he was diagnosed with OCD and said ‘Dad, why am I the only person going mad?’”“Since nobody else is talking about it, you think you’re the only one who is experiencing this. Now, you can go to your room and type in ‘OCD’, and you realise that actually lots of people are.” read more