I ordered a French nail kit and Skin Life treatment from Arizona Mail Order Co., in Tucson. The company did not fill my order properly and it has not responded to my two letters to it, asking it to correct the problem. I would appreciate your help. - Mrs. V.A., Salt Lake City.

The company's records indicate that you placed your order on Aug. 1. It received your payment of $18.45. It shipped your merchandise via UPS on Aug. 9.The company says it understands that you received the wrong merchandise. It notified you on Sept. 2 that if you would return the incorrect items it would exchange them at no charge and reimburse you for the return postage costs.

It received one of the items on Sept. 25 and issued you a refund of $5, which included $3.95 for the price of the item and $1.05 for return postage. The check was mailed Nov. 1.

Telephone tips

The Direct Marketing Association in New York City makes the following suggestions about dealing with companies that want to sell you subscriptions to magazines over the phone.

- Be extremely careful about giving your credit card number over the phone to a salesperson or a company with which you are not familiar. Most legitimate marketers will bill you without requiring a credit card payment in advance.

- All legitimate callers will identify themselves and their company upon calling you and are willing to give their company's address and telephone number when requested. Be wary of "sound-alike" company names that play on consumer confidence in a nationally recognized company.

- Ask for the total yearly cost for the whole package and the length of time you will be committed to buying the magazines.

- Ask to receive a written copy of the sales terms before you agree to pay anything. (Most legitimate marketers will include this information on their invoice.)