Can those that have been in halls kindly explain how this works. Say for instance if I purchase goods online that need to be signed for, how will I receive them? What about normal letters?
Generally our parcels go to the local sorting office/collection point and we have to collect them from there. We get a note in our mailbox to let us know that they have arrived.
It will vary depending which university you go to, heck it even varied depending who ran your halls at my uni.
In my halls letters went into pigeon holes which had one box for each letter of the alphabet. Stuff that was signed for you had to produce proper ID for eg. driving licence and regular parcels you just needed your student ID card. However my mates in different halls had to collect some stuff from the post office in town.
where i was, reception just signed for it and put it in your postbox which was regularly stolen from, terrible system and probably illegal
This will vary from place to place, but most halls have a post room, porter's lodge, security office or similar.
When a package arrives to be signed for, the staff on duty sign for it, then let you know via a notice or call or note in your pigeon hole that the package is in the office, and you show ID to collect it from them.
Normal post goes in your pigeon hole, or you might have a post box for everyone with your surname initial, and a key to get into it and check your mail every day.
In general, how secure are these pigeon holes?
All normal letters went into pigeonholes in the Porter's Lodge, and you had to show your NUS card to collect parcels.
They aren't secure, but that wasn't a problem where I went, no-one stole post. Anything really important would have to be signed for and therefore wouldn't be left in the pigeonholes.
Our flats all had there own front door so letters got shoved through the letter box and anything that needed signing for went to reception, you needed photographic ID to collect it from there