Not the most exciting picture, but I had to post it. This is a picture of our local TNT Depot in Theale, although as you can see it’s a little dark, the reason being that I went to the depot after the choir workshop, to collect a parcel.
This is the first time I’ve had a parcel through TNT, and I am really surprised by the flexibility they offer. We had a parcel coming in, that we weren’t expecting for a few days, however when I checked the tracking page today, I found that TNT had attempted to deliver today. Since the page had the tracking number on it I gave the depot a call to ask about collection, expecting to have to go after work tomorrow. The web site did not list their opening hours, so I asked what time they closed, to which the chap said that they didn’t, and that there was somebody there twenty-four hours a day, and that I could collect whenever I liked.
I have to say I was slightly doubtful, but he said he would put the parcel aside, and I could come and collect it later on.
I looked up the depot location on Google Maps, and headed off to the depot after I’d finished at the choir workshop. At 9:30pm the traffic was pretty light, plus the depot is located only a couple of miles from the M4, so I made it to the location on the map within about 15 minutes. There followed another 10-15 minutes driving around the estate, before realising that the map Google had produced was wrong, and the depot was in another part of the estate on the other side of the railway.
I popped over the bridge, and drove into the car park (oddly enough alongside the local Scottish and Southern Energy depot), and a security guard came out and asked if I was here to collect a parcel. I said yes, and he opened the barrier and directed me to the desk. I then had to wait around for a while, as what is supposed to happen is that the security guard phones up to the depot office to let them know someone is coming in – he didn’t, and just went back to watching the TV – however after a bit of chasing around, I eventually found somebody – ironically through all of this I could actually see my parcel sat on the top of the pile in the office!
The chap who came and got my parcel said he had been on since 1pm, and was due to hand over to another shift at 11pm, and he reiterated that I could collect whenever I wanted.
I’m not sure whether it is a national thing, or only something that happens at our local branch, but I have to say that I am really impressed. I’m assuming that the logic is that they have to have someone there during the night to meet inter-depot shipments, so why not allow the public to collect parcels too. Compared to UPS, where I have to drive 80 miles to Abingdon, or the post office delivery office in Reading that is only open 9am to 5pm, and until midday on a Saturday this is great – if I were still working in Havant, I’d be able to collect parcels without worrying about not making it before the depot closes. Full marks to TNT for providing a flexible service.