Q: Who is the platform open to?

A: The platform is open to anyone who would like to help those who are unable to leave their homes to shop.

Through uHelp, applicants can order shopping for themselves or for loved ones (beneficiaries) and then volunteering shops or individual volunteers, will complete and deliver the shopping at home. All this is done using our safe and secure platform.

Q: Do beneficiaries need digital skills?

A: Applicants, shops and volunteers must have access to the uHelp.shop app – but not necessarily the beneficiaries. The platform was designed to facilitate those who may not have the skills and digital tools (smartphone or internet connection at home).

The service is designed to bring together applicants and shops / volunteers.

Q: How do you ensure the identities of each person using the app?

A: The identity of each user is confirmed by verifying their mobile number and email. And then a security code is generated and sent to them. Before using the app or creating an order the user must enter this secure unique code.

Q: Is there a catalog of products that can be purchased on uHelp?

A: No, for the purpose of simplifying order creation and then the order fulfillment, the applicant can enter a simple shopping list, such as “1kg of tomatoes, 2lt of partially skimmed milk, 1kg of bread etc …”. The user must also set the maximum spending budget for this order.

Q: Esistono limitazioni agli ordini?

A: Trattandosi di acquisti di prima necessità, si possono inserire massimo 10 prodotti (anche di quantità superiore ad 1 unità, ognuno) per una spesa totale inferiore ai €100.

Q: Are there any restrictions on orders?

A: Since these are essential purchases, a maximum of 10 products can be inserted (even of quantities greater than 1 unit, each) for a total cost of less than € 100.

Q: How does a volunteering shop make sure the order is real?

A: We believe in doing good, especially in this period of emergency. However, to protect all parties involved, when the applicant creates the order, uHelp requests authorization from the credit card provider of the applicant to be charged the amount of the expense.

This authorization will allow you to debit the amount only after confirmation of delivery: until then, your budget will be frozen (and therefore not expendable) on the card.

Q: Once the order has been placed, who can take it over?

A: Volunteering shops or individual volunteers who have registered with uHelp to make home deliveries, will be able to view orders in their vicinity and take charge of one or more.

When the order is taken over, the order will no longer be visible to other shops or volunteers.

Q: How do I make sure that the beneficiary’s data remains confidential?

A: The details of the beneficiary – including the exact delivery address – will not be visible to the shop (or volunteer) until the shopping has been completed and the final amount has been provided. This amount must be less than or equal to the maximum budget provided by the applicant, unless expressly agreed by the latter.

Q: What if the expense is higher than the budget provided by the applicant? Or if the shop / volunteer does not have all the products in the order?

A: The shop or the volunteer must inform the applicant and request the prior approval of any changes to the order (products or max budget).

However, you must keep a copy of the receipt to put in the shopping bag (and preferably take a photo of it with your smartphone).

Q: How does a shop / volunteer know the exact delivery address?

A: The shop / volunteer receives the exact delivery address of the beneficiary only after completing the shopping and sending the purchase amount / receipt to the applicant thru the uHelp app. Until then, the shop / volunteer are only aware that the uHelp beneficiary is within a radius defined by the shop / volunteer himself, but they do not know the exact address for security reasons.

Q: What are the rules in delivery? Is there contact between the volunteer and the beneficiary?

A: In compliance with social distancing rules from the various ministerial decrees, delivery can only take place to the entrance of the beneficiary’s home and without direct contact. Our volunteers are required to wear face masks and gloves, and the shopping will never be delivered to inside the beneficiary’s home or directly into their hands.

Q: How does a shop make sure that the shopping has really been completed and delivered?

A: In this regard, it is recommended that the shop / volunteer always keep photos of the receipt and the delivery point, in case of any appeals. The beneficiary will confirm the  receipt of the shopping and total amount to the applicant (if a different person), within 10 minutes of delivery. It is only at this time that the total amount will be charged to the applicant’s credit card and the funds transferred directly to the current account of the shop / volunteer and the local donation fund.

Any disputes must be resolved first between the applicant and the shop / volunteer and secondly via the uHelp call center.

Q: What are the costs of the service?

A: The delivery service is entirely free. uHelp, participating stores and volunteers do not collect any service fees.

However, there are costs for banking transactions: in this first phase these costs will be offered by Stripe – the online payment platform – which has donated funds to support our cause.

In the future and if these funds run out, we will be forced to charge them to the applicant – in a completely transparent way – during the formulation of the order.

Q: How long does the order remain open on the platform?

A: The order remains open for up to 5 days, after which if not taken in charge – the order will be released because no shops or volunteers have been found that can perform home delivery. At that time, the full deposit secured on the applicants credit card will also be released, without any charge.

Q: A donation is requested during the order: who does it go to?

A: The donation is made directly by the applicant to the local fund indicated by the municipality of residence or the mutual mutual assistance fund. The entire donation – net of operating expenses – is transferred to the local mutual aid current account at the end of the month. uHelp does not perceive anything for the transaction.

Q: If as a volunteer I have a problem when I shop because I can’t find the required products, what do I do?

A: Via the app the shop \ volunteer can contact the applicant directly to inform them, and suggest alternative products available.The applicant can then accept the shopping and the amount associated with it. If it is not possible to find an alternative set of items that are acceptable to the applicant, the shop / volunteer can release the order using the uHelp app, so that another shop / volunteer can take on the order. Again nothing will be charged to the applicant in this case.

Q: What happens if I don’t find all the agreed products in my shopping? Or the total amount is not what I agreed to when I created the order?

A: The applicant has 10 minutes to confirm receipt of the products with the beneficiary and possibly – in case of disputes – to block the payment. First of all, the applicant must promptly contact the shop / volunteer to try to resolve the issue and, if necessary, contact uHelp customer service for the resolution (number + 39.02.xxx xx xx).

To limit the number of appeals, it is always recommended that the shop / volunteer keep photos of the receipt and the place of delivery to demonstrate the shopping and delivery respectively.

Q: How does uHelp support itself?

A: uHelp is a non-profit association that is supported only through private and charitable funding. uHelp was created to support those in our communities who are self-isolating at home, and to help local businesses who are suffering significant losses during the pandemic. Some local shops do not necessarily have the facility to accept online payments from their customers, uHelp with the support of Stripe can offer these payments free of charge for now. uHelp aims to support existing local supply channels and local demand for home deliveries, with a totally free service.

Q: Can the shop and the volunteer process more than one order at a time?

A: Yes, in the uHelp app, when all the unassigned orders are displayed, the user can select one or more orders.  When searching for unassigned orders, the shop / volunteer can set the criteria to only choose orders that are located a specific distance from them.

Q: Can I notify volunteers and shops of any allergies?

A: Yes, the applicant can add notes for any beneficiary’s allergies and intolerances. In these cases we strongly recommend the purchase of packaged products so that the beneficiary can check all the ingredients before consuming them. We always remember that the service is offered voluntarily and totally free: our volunteers and shops will do their absolute best to find the right products as requested in the order but it is the responsibility of the beneficiary to make sure that the products are compatible with their needs.

Q: Can I give volunteers and stores precise delivery instructions?

A: Yes, the applicant can add notes (such as “Intercom Smith”) for delivery. These will be displayed only after the completion of the purchases, and will be visible together with the exact delivery address.

Q: How can I contact you if I have any doubts?

A: You can contact us in one of the following ways:

  • Contact form on the website www.uHelp.shop
  • Mail to support@uHelp.shop
  • Support: +39.02.83982390 – available at the following times
    • Monday to Friday 09-20
    • Saturday 09-13 & 14-18
    • Sunday 09-12

Last modified: 1 July 2020

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A no profit service to help home deliveries by volunteers and local shops, in support of those in need.

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