At least nine train companies charge passengers fees to reclaim lost property, with some paying up to £30 per item, a MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) investigation reveals.
MSE has found nine train companies which charge passengers some sort of fee to reclaim their lost property, with retrieval fees sometimes as high as £25 for a laptop and storage fees up to £2 per day for items which aren’t collected immediately. The highest total charge it found you could pay to pick up a single item is £30.
Last week, Arriva Trains Wales promised to review its lost property charges and scrap extra charges on cash after facing a huge backlash from passengers when it emerged that it had charged 10% of money in lost wallets for their return. Now MoneySavingExpert has found that Abellio ScotRail and West Midlands Railway both also take 10% of cash, up to a maximum of £10.
Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert.com said: “Many passengers will be simply staggered to find they have to pay a fee to get their lost property back.
“Even if train firms are entitled under the letter of the law to levy these charges, that doesn’t mean they should – and those that do are in the minority. Funnily enough, most train firms seem able to give passengers their stuff back without making them pay for the privilege.
“The way some of these fees are calculated is baffling too. Why does an umbrella cost £2 and a mobile phone £10? And how can train companies justify arriving at a fee based on how much cash happens to be in a lost wallet?
“Arriva Train Wales has heeded the strength of passenger feeling over this issue. Now other firms charging unreasonable fees must follow suit.”