FAQs


General

Who is Blume for?

Blume is for older people who want flexible, interesting work and for organisations and individuals who want excellent services.

Is Blume a charity?

No. Blume is a social venture. We believe that financially sustainable organisations can often achieve the greatest social good. Our goal therefore is to improve working opportunities for older people and make a profit at the same time.

How does Blume make money?

We take a percentage of every transaction. On average it is 10% per transaction but it depends on the size of the task. You can read a full guide to charging here.

Why become a Blumer?

Becoming a blumer gives you the chance to offer your skills and experience to others in a flexible way. You can choose which tasks you want to do, when you want to do them, and how much you want to charge for them – as long as you charge above the living wage. If you're lucky enough not to need the money, then you can donate your fees to charity through our site. And if you don't want to do the work you're offered, then you simply say no (politely, of course). There really is no downside other than spending the next few minutes filling in some inevitably annoying forms. So what are you waiting for? Become a blumer!

What is a blumer?

A blumer is an experienced person (hopefully you) who has signed up to provide help to people seeking support with specific tasks.

Security

Does Blume store credit card or bank account details?

No, we don't store those in our system. Instead, we use Stripe - a 3rd party payment gateway service, trusted by global organisations like Unicef, Facebook, Comic Relief and Asos - who store your details on their best-in-class server (PCI Service Provider Level 1 for the nerds). Blume never sees your card or bank details at any point.

Does Blume store "sensitive" personal information?

Yes, we store your name, address and (if you've entered it) your date of birth.

Where is this information kept?

We store personal information, encrypted, in our database. Not only is it encrypted, it is stored on a separate server entirely from the Blume website, and that server is never open to the public (only the Blume website can access it).

How safe is Blume?

When you send information to us, we only use HTTPS and use a high quality SHA2-256 2048-bit SSL certificate.

The main Blume website server is sitting behind both a reverse proxy and a Cisco firewall, the database server sits privately behind that.

We regularly test the site using Tenable software for PCI-quality scans and Qualys to make sure the SSL stays up to scratch, meaning we're taking all the protection we can to keep your data safe.

Could the information ever be hacked?

Yes.  It is impossible to guarantee the security of any information online just as it is impossible to guarantee the safety of information stored in a filing cabinet.  But we have invested in systems to make it as safe as we feasibly can partly for the benefit of people using the site and partly so that we can sleep easy at night.  So it’s not impossible but it is very very unlikely.

How can I trust a Blumer (to come to my home)?

Hiring a Blumer is a considerably more trustworthy experience than picking a supplier from a directory. Every Blumer has been verified in three ways.  First, we have their address which has been verified by Stripe who have cross-checked it with their bank details.  Second, we have reviewed their profile before approving it, often speaking to the Blumer in the process.  Third, you can check the experience and testimonials for the Blumer on their profile for yourself.

 

How do I know I will get paid by the buyer?

When the buyer agrees to a task, the fee is automatically taken from their account and stored with our third party supplier (Stripe).  So as a supplier you know that the money is there.  It is impossible for a task to be commissioned unless the money has been transferred in this way.  Once both you and the buyer agree that the task is completed the money will be transferred to you.  Typically Stripe take five working days to release the money (much to our - and we suspect your - annoyance).

Why do you need my bank details before I become a Blumer?

This provides an additional level of security for the Blumer and for the buyer.

For the Blumer it means that when you agree to do a task the money is transferred to our payment provider (Stripe) immediately so you know that the money is there when you complete the task. Stripe will not hold these payments unless it has the Blumer’s account details first.

For the buyer it provides assurance that the Blumer is a real person as Stripe verifies that the bank details and address match up.

For blumers

Am I committed to doing the tasks that I sign up to?

No. You are only committed to doing a task after you agree it with the buyer. Signing up for the task indicates only that you are potentially interested in doing it. Obviously the more tasks you sign up to the more likely you are to attract buyers.

Can I work for free?

No. You must charge at least the national living wage (£7.83). This ensures that both you and the buyer take the work seriously and is fairer for people who cannot afford to work for free. We have a feature that enables you to donate your fee to charity if you wish.

Can I trust you with my details?

Of course! (But we would say that wouldn’t we?). We are legally obliged by our terms and conditions not to share your details but more importantly we want blume to be a community of committed and enthused people. So we will allow you to sign out and remove your details whenever you want. You are judge and jury.

From a security point of view, we take all the security measures you would expect. We have an SSL encryption and only store your card details at our payments provider.

When can I expect my first work?

It might be today, it could be in three months or if you're really unlucky it might be never.  We are a start up so please bear with us.  But we are building momentum so you should expect to receive more enquiries over time – depending of course on how irresistible your profile is!

How much should I charge?

We have a separate Guide to charging for you to read. A link to this will also appear when you get round to that part of the process so you don’t have to read it now.

How long does the sign-up process take?

To get a basic profile up takes no more than five minutes. If you want to write your profile in haikus or sign up to all the tasks then it will take a little longer.  You will then submit it for approval which in working hours will usually take less than an hour to be processed. 

Do I have to fill in the whole form now?

No. You can start the process and return to it as often as you want to in order to add, subtract or edit. Simply log back in and you will be able to continue what you started.

Can I change my profile?

Yes. You can add tasks or take tasks away. You can change your profile photograph and bio. In fact you can change anything you want. You are in control of it. It is your profile after all.

Will my details appear on the website immediately?

No. Your profile will not appear until it has been approved by the Blume team.  In UK working hours this usually takes less than an hour from the point of submission.

How does Blume cover its costs?

We take a percentage of every transaction. On average it is 10% per transaction but it depends on the size of the task. You can read a full guide to charging here.


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