A MAN who left his wallet on a bus has been told by a transport firm he must stump up £2 to get it back.
Carl Paddon left his wallet on the seat of a First Hampshire service while travelling back to his Milton home from The Hard, in Portsea, Portsmouth, after a meal out.
After calling the company, it got back to him a day later and gave Carl the good news the wallet had been found and was ready for collection at its office at The Hard – but that he would need to pay £2.
Now Carl is refusing to pick up his wallet, which contained bank cards, his gym membership and Pompey season ticket – all of which have had to be replaced – on principle as he feels First is profiting from his mistake.
The 30-year-old, who works for Southern Electric, said: ‘There is no getting away from it, First is profiting from my misfortune. It doesn’t cost it anything to have my wallet. It’s not like it’s being posted to me.
‘The company has incurred no costs at all for what has been a moment of stupidity through me leaving my wallet on the bus.
‘All I want for the company to do is to justify why it has to charge people £2 for lost property.’
First says the charge helps to cover ‘administration costs’ and follows a piece of government legislation which allows transport operators which find lost items to charge for them to get picked up.
The guidelines, contained in The Public Service Vehicles (Lost Property) Regulations 1978, state that if the item is not retrieved within a month, it can be sold on or destroyed.
The bus firm also said charging for lost items was common practice among other local transport operators.
A First spokeswoman said: ‘The £2 charge is to cover the administration of managing lost property.
‘This includes moving it from the depot where it was handed in to a mutually convenient collection point for the claimant to pick it up.
‘Charging a lost property administration fee is standard practice across most public transport operators.
‘In other cases, there is a charge for postage and package should the claimant not be able to retrieve it in person.
‘We also recommend that customers check to ensure they take all their belongings with them when leaving our vehicles.’