About the lady whose shoes were too tight and the store wouldn't help. I had a similar experience with some shoes and a friend told me to pour hot, almost boiling, water into them. She said to pour the water out as soon as it cooled enough and to put on the shoes while they were still hot - as hot as I could tolerate. She said I should then walk around in the shoes for at least a half-hour.

I tried it and it worked. - M.K., Salt Lake City.We'll pass on your friend's suggestion with the warning that we refuse to accept responsibility for any shoes that might get ruined in the process.

Guaranteed prizes

I received a notice in the mail from National Award Network in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. According to the notice, I am guaranteed to receive two of the following prizes: Cadillac, Panasonic video recorder, Sharp microwave oven, Sony 27-inch color TV, GE mobile phone, $2,000 cash, $1,500 cash, $250 cash, Apple computer, cordless mixer, Kenmore refrigerator, food processor, RCA video camera, satellite dish system, Maytag washer & dryer.

The notification said that in order to receive the prizes I had to send the company $16.47 to cover processing, promotional and freight and handling costs. In very small print, so small you have to use a magnifying glass to read it, the card says the chance of winning a prize is one in a million.

What do you think of this? - C.B., Farmington.

We think the offer should be filed in the round file. Here's why: What it boils down to is you'd be buying a cordless mixer and food processor from this company for $16.47. We have no idea about the quality of the merchandise, but when in doubt we always stick by the cliche, "You get what you pay for."

If you want to chance it, you're betting $16.47.

The Better Business Bureau of South Florida has this to say: "We have no idea what people are getting for their money. We haven't heard from them so we don't know whether they're satisfied with what they got."

The BBB opened a file on the company in August. It has received three complaints, all of them saying the customer had not received any products after sending in the money.

The company responded to the BBB and sent out the prizes. The company has not, however, filled out and returned the information questionnaire sent to it by the BBB.

"It takes four to six weeks for the package to arrive," says a spokeswoman for the BBB.

She says the card you received in the mail is nothing more than a notification that you may buy something from this company. In that respect she agrees with our assessment.

By reading the fine print carefully we find that the chance of winning the cordless deluxe mixer or the food processor is 999,985 in a million. The chance of winning any of the other prizes is one in a million, according to information printed on the card.

We called the company's prize verification number and found that your prizes were the cordless deluxe mixer and the food processor. Not surprising given the odds.