PORTSMOUTH North MP Penny Mordaunt has described a bus company’s decision to charge a man £2 to reclaim his wallet as ‘poor customer service’.
She now intends to write to the government asking whether changes can be made and restrictions can be put on travel operators.
The MP said she sympathised with Carl Paddon, who was shocked to be told of the administration charge when he went to reclaim his wallet, which he had lost on a First Bus service in Portsmouth.
‘It’s shoddy and an example of poor customer service,’ said Ms Mordaunt. ‘I don’t see what costs would be incurred that would require extra revenue to cover it.’
Other travel operators charge for lost property.
If something is found on a Southern train bound for Portsmouth Harbour, the conductor keeps it safe in case it is claimed on board. If it isn’t, the conductor will hand it to staff at Portsmouth to take care of.
If something is lost on a Southern train bound for Victoria from Portsmouth Harbour, the same procedure applies and if not claimed during the journey, it will be handed to the Excess Baggage Company, a firm Southern uses which handle lost property.
Passengers would then have to go to where the company is based, at London Victoria station, to collect their property, and depending on the size of the item, will end up being charged between £3 and £20.
All lost property found on a South West Trains service, or at one of its stations, is logged and sent to its central lost property office at London Waterloo.
Charges apply and start from £2. A spokeswoman said fees go to the cost of storage and staffing lost property.
Stagecoach Bus charges an administration fee.
However, Wightlink Ferry doesn’t charge. An item, if found by staff, gets dropped off at wherever the service is headed before the company tries getting in touch with the owner to arrange for them to collect it, or it’s alternatively sent out by post.
Both options do not require any payment.