Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about calling a company and being directed to the Web site:

“My Sound Off is that it is really frustrating when I call a company because I have a question or need help, and while I am on hold, it directs me to the Web site. First of all, I wouldn’t have called if I could find the answer on the Web site. Second, not everyone has a computer. I think many companies forget that. Sometimes you just need to talk to a real person in order to get the answer. -- A Reader in Texas”

How right you are! If a person calls a phone number, he or she wants to talk with a person, not listen to an automated response. Yes, real people want to talk with real people! Hang in there! The customer should not be shuffled around. We won’t buy that product, and will certainly tell our friends and others. Readers, if you have a complaint or a good suggestion, please let me know, and I will print as many as I can. A few good words or suggestions can change things! -- Heloise


Dear Readers: Uses for small plastic lids:

* Use as a mixing bowl for cream makeup.

* Use under plant pots to allow for water to drain.

* Use as a measuring cup for your favorite powdered drinks.

* Use for salt or other spices so you can easily grab a pinch of it.

-- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I am getting married in a few weeks, and the location of the ceremony said we can’t throw birdseed. I know you shouldn’t throw rice, but I thought birdseed was okay. -- Helen in Illinois

Helen, it’s a lovely idea, but birdseed can cause a big mess for them to clean up, and even can sprout weeds in their lawns. There are some other alternatives. Just check with the venue for any restrictions or recommendations it might have. Looking for help on other wedding-related issues? I have compiled all my favorite wedding hints into one pamphlet. To order, send $3 and a long, self-addressed, stamped (66 cents) envelope to: Heloise/Bridal, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. Having your dress specially made? Why not buy an extra yard or two of fabric and save it for emergency repairs, or to make into a christening gown for your children? -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’d like to comment on a recent Sound Off about people standing in front of the upright freezer in a grocery store, causing the glass to fog up.

I agree with the Sound Off. However, I’d like to offer a solution: If the freezer manufacturers would put nonglare glass in the doors, shoppers wouldn’t have to fight their reflections or the reflections of the background while looking on the freezer shelves for items. -- Sharon K., Morrilton, Ark.

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

2014, King Features Syndicate