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Greater Anglia refund Suffolk student's ticket in 'storage fee' row

PUBLISHED: 13:24 23 October 2018

Florence Lewis was given her purse back by Greater Anglia with 10% of the money taken as a storage fee. Picture: LILY MAY FOPPA

Florence Lewis was given her purse back by Greater Anglia with 10% of the money taken as a storage fee. Picture: LILY MAY FOPPA

Archant

Rail bosses have refunded a Suffolk student after staff took 10% of the cash in her purse as a "storage fee".

Florence Lewis, 18, from Melton, lost her purse travelling home from Ipswich on October 2.

She contacted train operator Greater Anglia and later headed to Norwich to pick it up from the firm’s lost property team.

But she was shocked when her purse was returned with £1.50 missing from the £15 she had inside it.

Rail bosses said the money was taken as a storage fee – either a minimum of £2 or 10% of what is in the purse – but later launched a review into the firm’s lost property policy.

However, Miss Lewis has since received a refund for the value of her train ticket as an apology for the incident.

The 18-year-old had bought an £18.20 off-peak adult return for her journey from Melton to Norwich, which she made to retrieve the purse.

This has since been repaid by Greater Anglia as an apology.

“I was quite happy to pay the storage fee but I was uncomfortable with the idea that they can go into your purse and take it themselves,” she said.

“I don’t think the method of obtaining the money was ethical.”

At the time, Greater Anglia said a storage fee is charged to customers – adding that it was usually 10% of what is in the purse or wallet.

Concerns about conflicting information and a lack of clarity led to a review of the company’s lost property policy, bosses said.

Responding to Miss Lewis, a Greater Anglia spokesman said: “We have many purses and wallets left on the trains, and to keep the contents safe we bank and register the monies found.

“We are reviewing the polices in place for this and of the things we are considering is placing the items that are found in a sealed bag, similar to the police handling evidence.”

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