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Greater Anglia scrap charges to cash found in lost wallets and purses

Florence Lewis had £1.50 taken from her purse by Greater Anglia as a storage fee for her lost property. Picture: LILY MAY FOPPA

Florence Lewis had £1.50 taken from her purse by Greater Anglia as a storage fee for her lost property. Picture: LILY MAY FOPPA

Archant

Greater Anglia will no longer apply charges to cash found in lost wallets and purses after a teenager’s complaint to the firm sparked national outrage.

Greater Anglia Train at Ipswich Station Picture: NEIL PERRYGreater Anglia Train at Ipswich Station Picture: NEIL PERRY

The train operator has also produced a new credit card-sized information card, available at stations, which clearly sets out its charges for storing and releasing lost property items following feedback from customers.

The change comes just two months after 18-year-old Florence Lewis, from Melton, complained to the rail firm after her lost purse was returned with 10% of her cash taken as a storage fee, without her consent.

Her story sparked national media attention, including a live interview with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2, as the teenager felt uncomfortable with the idea of rail staff going through her purse.

The train operator later refunded the cost of the train she took to pick up her purse in Norwich as an apology.

Lynsey Flack, Greater Anglia’s head of customer service, said, “Where customers’ items are found to contain cash we make sure that this is safely accounted for through our ticket offices, and we have removed any charges linked to found cash which were previously in place so that customers will get the full value back.

“Our staff go to great lengths to reunite people with their lost items and we want customers to feel that this is done in a careful, compassionate way.

“Therefore, we’re grateful for the feedback we’ve received and pleased to make these changes to our policy.

“We hope that customers will continue to be happy with the service we provide.”

Greater Anglia’s lost property policy includes a fee, ranging from £20 for items like laptops to £2 for items like Ms Lewis’ purse, to return to the owner.

Customers can collect items for free if they return for them within 24 hours of them being handed in -after 24 hours items are collected and stored off station premises.

Customers can then arrange for the return of found items by contacting the lost property team direct.

The operator says the arrangement will free up time for station staff to provide assistance to passengers and offer a better system for getting back their items.

The lost property team is also able to provide the option to collect the item or have it returned by post - which is tracked for additional peace of mind and convenience.

If an item is lost on a Greater Anglia train or station, it can be reported using the online form or by contacting 0345 7245 600 option 7, which is manned from 9am-5pm, and a 24hr answerphone outside of these hours.

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