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By Heloise

This article was published February 11, 2014 at 12:58 a.m.

DEAR READER: If you order products online or by phone, are you aware of your legal rights? Sellers can face penalties due to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Mail/ Telephone Order Merchandise Rule.” Here are some things you should be aware of so you don’t get taken:

The date the seller advertises for delivery of the product is the date by which it must be delivered.

If you do not have a set delivery date, the seller has 30 days to deliver the item after getting an order.

Notice must be given by the seller if the delivery date will not be met so that you can cancel your order for a refund or agree to a later delivery date.

Remember to read the fine print.

DEAR HELOISE: With two large dogs, pet beds are a necessity, but they can be expensive - at minimum, $50. We keep two big dog beds in the living room.

For nighttime, when the dogs want to sleep next to our bed, instead of falling over a regular dog bed, I purchased two microfiber bathmats.They can easily go into the washer. The dogs love them, and I don’t fall over them.

  • Pam W. in Virginia

DEAR HELOISE: I have always heard that you need to let your car warm up, after starting it first thing in the morning, before driving off. Is this still the case?

  • Margaret D., via email

DEAR READER: With modern cars, the answer is no - you don’t have to “warm up” the auto before driving off. For older cars (say, before the 1980s), it used to be the advice because of the way engines were designed.

Today, you’re just wasting gas, and if your auto is in a garage, exposing yourself to a potential problem with fumes.

You should drive normally for the first few minutes - no crazy stopping and starting. However, if you still feel you should, sit there for only three to five minutes!

DEAR HELOISE: On a recent trip, the hotel-room curtains would not stay closed to keep the light from outside from coming through. I went to the closet and got one of the skirt hangers with the clips. After clipping it to the curtains, I could finally rest peacefully.

  • Claire D., via email Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

Style, Pages 28 on 02/11/2014

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS


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