How to run errands from home?

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2020-12-04 12:50

Now that many public services have again stopped serving customers in person or at least limited their face-to-face services, some citizens may wonder how to run everyday errands from home if they have never done so before. We put together some information on the kinds of things you can take care of using different devices.

It is a good idea to be creative. For example, if you need to send a copy of a paper to an authority but you have no scanner or photocopier, ask the authority if they will accept a photo that you could 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).
  • You can also contact authorities by phone. For example, the Kela telephone service provides personal advice and allows you to handle your affairs just as if you were visiting a customer service point. You can also book an appointment by phone.

If you have a smartphone, a tablet or a computer (and an Internet connection):

  • You can 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 an Internet 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). Even during these exceptional circumstances, such networks are available in all City of Espoo Service Points that are open. Please visit the Service Point as briefly as possible and always wear a mask or a face shield.
  • If you need to take care of a private matter, for example something that is related to your health or personal finances, you will 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 user IDs to online services but no devices and no Internet connection:

  • If you have no symptoms of a common cold or stomach symptoms, you can visit the City of Espoo Service Points or libraries that are currently open to take care of essential official matters. Please check the Service Points' opening hours and libraries' opening hours before your visit. Please visit us as briefly as possible and always wear a mask or a face shield.
  • All Service Points and libraries have a free wireless network provided by the City of Espoo.
  • Computers, copiers and printers intended for customer use are available at all Service Points that are open and at most of the libraries.
  • All Service Points that are open provide brief digital support for customers who wear a mask or a face shield.

Ask your family and friends for help

The more versatile equipment you have at home, the more things you can take care of remotely. 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.

The City of Espoo also provides advice on how to use online services by phone and through the chat and video chat services from Monday to Friday between 8:00 and 16:00.

Also the libraries offer online advice on digital issues. You may ask for help by filling in a blankett called Lainaa kirjastolainen.

Useful tips

The City of Espoo’s general customer service number, chat and video chat services: www.espoo.fi/customerservice

Instructional video on how to use the City of Espoo’s video chat

Enter ry’s remote guidance (in Finnish)

Kela instructions: How to send an attachment through Kela’s online service (in Finnish)