Now that many public organisations have stopped serving customers in person or at least limited their face-to-face services, some citizens face a new challenge: how to run everyday errands from home if one has never done so before? We put together some information on the kinds of errands you can take care of using different devices.
In an exceptional situation, it is a good idea to be inventive. For example, if you need to send a copy of a document to an authority but you have no scanner or photocopier, ask the authority if they will accept a photo that you take with your mobile phone and send to them by email or through an online service.
If you have a telephone:
- You can do a lot by making a simple phone call: you can cancel, postpone or book appointments, order products or services to your home, or ask for extended due dates for your invoices.
- You can get information on the City of Espoo’s services and on how to reach us during these exceptional circumstances by calling us, tel. 09 816 57070, Mon–Fri 8:00–16:00.
If you have a smartphone, a tablet or a computer and you can connect to the Internet:
- You can safely use the online services of banks, insurance companies, online shops and public administration on your smartphone.
- In addition to a device, you will also need a network connection. If your device does not have Internet access at home, you need to go to a place that has an open wireless network (a WiFi network). Such networks are for example available in all City of Espoo Service Points even during these exceptional circumstances.
- If you need to take care of a private matter, for example something that is related to your health or personal finances, you need to sign in to the service using strong identification. As a rule, public administration e-services in Finland require strong identification. The most common method of strong identification is using your online banking codes.
If you have an email address and some user IDs to online services but no devices and no Internet connection:
- If you have no symptoms of a common cold and you do not belong to a coronavirus risk group (in Finnish), you can visit the City of Espoo Service Points that are currently open to run your errands – please check their opening hours before your visit.
- All Service Points have a free wireless network provided by the City of Espoo.
- Computers, copiers and printers intended for customers are available at all open Service Points except at the Iso Omena Service Centre.
- All Service Points can for example help you fill in forms, if you need help.
Ask your family and friends for help
The more versatile equipment you have at home, the more errands you can run from home. If you find it difficult to get equipment or learn how to use it, please remember that your family and friends can also use many online services on your behalf – in some cases, they will need a written authorisation from you first.
In the current situation, it is a good idea to first ask your family members for help. They can also help you start using the devices that you already own but have not used so far.
Under normal circumstances, the City of Espoo Service Points and libraries, for example, can also give you hands-on instructions on how to use online services. Unfortunately the coronavirus has caused such an exceptional situation that the City of Espoo cannot offer you this service like it usually does, as this would increase the risk of coronavirus infections.
Useful tips in Finnish