A bad return

by Hints with Heloise

Dear Heloise: Working in retail has taught me how rude some people can be when they try to return an item that was a gift. I wish the public understood that I must follow store policy. If you've used the cookware, we won't take it back. If you wore the prom dress, wedding dress or bridesmaid dress, we won't take it back. Believe me, we know if it's been worn or not.

We will cheerfully take back a number of things, but all that wedding china you registered for is yours. If the store gives you a store credit instead of cash, please don't argue with the staff or management. We don't write the return guidelines, we just follow them. Shouting at the salesperson won't solve the problem. If you need to return an item, please take it back to the store where it was bought. - Tibby D. in Detroit


Dear Heloise: I have found a clever way to retrieve an item from my pickup bed without having to climb up and in. I use a hockey stick, bought cheaply at a thrift store, to reach out and snag the item and pull it toward me. The stick stays permanently in the pickup bed for quick access when needed. - Larry F., Salem, Ore.


Dear Heloise: Having trouble getting out of a timeshare investment? Contact a resort management company or perhaps a timeshare developer to see if you can get help unloading that obligation. You might want to discuss a "deed back" that can help you get rid of your timeshare. However, please be very suspicious of scammers who promise to get owners out of their timeshare for an upfront fee. They usually target elderly people and demand thousands of dollars for services that they never perform. - Taylor H., Norman, Okla.


Dear Heloise: I've taught school for many years, and I would like to encourage parents to take time out and help their younger children to read. Find books that are a little above their child's reading level, be patient and help them learn to enjoy reading. My father taught me to read the Sunday funnies when I was 4 years old, and my mother taught me phonics to sound out difficult words. They made it fun. Learning to read well at an early age helps a child achieve better comprehension of the written word and opens a world of knowledge for them. - Violet H., Boca Raton, Fla.

Message in a mumble

Dear Readers: Today's SOUND OFF concerns people who leave messages but mumble or can't be understood. - Heloise
"Dear Heloise: I got a message on my answering machine this morning, and I can't understand a word of what's being said. The girl on the other end was mumbling, so I have no idea who called or why. Last week, I got a message with the words 'and stuff' ending every sentence. Doesn't anyone teach people the correct way to answer a phone or leave a message? It's as though correct English and enunciation have been thrown out the window." - Antonia H., Lexington, Mass.


Dear Heloise: I use my computer to watch movies, order items and other things. Lately, I've noticed that a number of sites that claim to be free want me to register and provide credit card information. If it's "free," there should be no need to hand out such information, and yet they won't let me use their so-called free services without supplying this information. So I no longer will use their site. Why do they want this financial info? - Stephan B. in Dallas

Stephan, you're correct: They don't need it, and you should not be supplying that kind of information to them. They might not charge on your credit card, but they could still sell that information. If enough people refuse to give this information, they'll have to reconsider their policy. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: Is MSG dangerous in foods? - Linda W., Marblehead, Mass.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is present in our bodies naturally. It's also in many of the foods we eat every day. The FDA believes that MSG is, on the whole, safe to ingest. Although some people may have an allergy to MSG, in order to know for certain if it's MSG or something else in a certain food, they should consult with a doctor. - Heloise


Dear Heloise: I've been hearing all sorts of things about CBD oil. Since it can be made from marijuana, will I get high if I take it? - Taylor V., Bozeman, Mont.
Taylor, some CBD oil comes from marijuana, but you will not get high from using it. Nor will CBD oil derived from hemp give you a buzz. At this time, there are many studies that have been published on the health benefits of CBD, and new information comes out every day about CBD. Do your research to see if it might benefit you to try it, and also check your state's laws related to the allowed usage of CBD. - Heloise

(c)2019 by King Features Syndicate Inc.