A disabled man was asked to pay £30 to retrieve his lost wallet from a bus company. Arthur Adlam, 31, had just drawn his disability allowance and had around £225 in his wallet when he accidentally left it behind on the bus.
But his panic quickly turned to disbeleif when he was told that though his property had been handed in, it would cost him almost £30 to get it back.
Father-of-four Arthur, 31, left the wallet on the seat of a Stagecoach bus in his home town of Dunfermline, Fife.
But staff at the bus station told him it was company policy to take a 12 per cent cut plus a 50p ‘admin fee’ – a total of £27.50 – just to get it back.
Furious Mr Adlam said: ‘It’s an outrage. They told me they couldn’t give it back without charging me.
‘They charged me for something that doesn’t belong to them. No one should pay to get their own money back.’
Eventually he negotiated the fee down to £10 – but now red-faced coach chiefs have offered to give the full amount back and review their penny-pinching policy.
Mr Adlam said: ‘I was on the bus taking the kids down to the nursery, but when I got off I didn’t notice the wallet was missing.
‘I had withdrawn my disability allowance earlier that morning and wasn’t sure what I was going to do without the money.’
‘While I was at the nursery, I retraced my steps and the staff called up Stagecoach and the police, because I was panicking at that point.’
Staff at Beanstalk nursery made phone calls on his behalf to trace the lost wallet and a few hours later the wallet turned up at the bus depot in Dunfermline.
The bus company called up with the good news and the bad. His wallet had been handed in – but there was a charge.
Mr Adlam added: ‘A few hours later Stagecoach called up the nursery said they wanted a cut of 12 per cent and a 50p admin fee.
‘They wanted to take £27.50 off me, but Beanstalk got them to reduce it to a tenner.
‘Then they rang me at home and it just stressed me out. It was too much and I had a fit and fell to the floor.
‘Luckily my partner was there until it was over. I’ve had epilepsy for 15 years and whenever I get hit on the head or too stressed I can suffer from fit.’
Bus operators Stagecoach today agreed to refund Mr Adlam and review their policy, which appears only to be in operation in West Fife.
A Stagecoach spokesman said: ‘A local policy is in place in West Fife to charge a “finder fee” for the monies claimed from our lost property, with the fee going to the driver, or member of the public who has handed in any such items to us.
‘However, we plan to look at this policy and bring it in line with other areas of East Scotland where these procedures do not exist.
‘As such we would be happy to refund the admin fee the customer was charged in these circumstances and we thank them for bringing this discrepancy to our attention.’
But the gesture has not appeased their angry customer.
Mr Adlam said: ‘I think they are a joke because they admitted to me, that they do not hand anything in to the police. They just stick it in their bank account.’