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Arriva to review lost property policy after outcry

 
Created on 17/09/2018 @ 08:51
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Arriva Trains said it is reviewing its lost property policy following the outrage over one user’s complaint about the company helping itself to a per centage of the cash that was returned to him.

Local users took to Twitter to support Adam Howells who posted on social media: “So my lost wallet was found by @ArrivaTW and they charge me £2 to release it, then take 10% of the cash that was in the wallet!”

It provoked understandable outrage, particularly after Arriva tried to defend the policy by explaining that handling lost property was a charge to them due to storage and staff time dealing with these issues.

One user called it “opportunist tax” and another branded it “absolutely disgraceful” but despite its early defence, the company has now backed down.

“Our customers’ feedback is really important to us and following recent feedback on this issue we will now be changing our policy with immediate effect,” said a spokesperson. “In this instance we are happy to refund the percentage that was charged to the customer who brought this to our attention.

“We are happy to begin the process of reviewing the Lost Property policy with customer groups and rail industry regulatory bodies.

“Tens of thousands of items are lost on the railway network every year. At Arriva Trains Wales, we charge the minimum amount possible and have done since the franchise began. In addition, any unclaimed items that we receive are donated to charity or are recycled appropriately. It must be noted that our lost property service is a non-profit making service and all charges are used to support the cost of administrating the service.”

“To safely store, record and process all these items takes a considerable amount of resource and as such we, like other train operators in the UK, have a small handling and administration fee which is clearly outlined on our website and Passenger’s Charter. Lost property charges vary across the UK train operators and this is set out in the National Rail Conditions of Travel which states train operators can charge up to £30 per item.”

Arriva is in the last year of its franchise operating trains through Welshpool.

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