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Old May 12, 16, 11:15 am
  #61  
amt
 
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Originally Posted by henkybaby View Post
Isn't an impounded car also still my property? Or how about if I refuse to pay for my parking. Can I drive off because they can't prevent me from taking my property? Different cases but the property argument seems inconsequential to me.
When you press that button and take a parking ticket, you enter into a defacto contract to pay for the parking the rules of which are displayed next to entry way... Similarly if you park next to a clearly displayed sign indicating that parking is prohibited and you will be towed.

The comparison would only be valid if you left your item next to a sign saying you would be charged for its return.
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Old May 12, 16, 11:16 am
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by amt View Post
I've fallen a foul of this, out of interest...

The item is your property, if they acknowledge they have it and refuse to return it unless you pay them. What's the legality of that, presumably if they refuse to return it to you... It's theft or larceny by finding and if they still refuse to hand it over at your request, it potentially becomes handling of stolen property, extortion by unlawfully withholding property, dealing in knowingly stolen goods if they subsequently dispose of it.

I'm sure their claim is that it is an 'administration' fee, which may be acceptable if they provide you with a service by sending it to you. But if you collect it from their place of business it seems they would have no legal basis to force you to pay??
However, the operator of the service will be incurring costs, for instance in employing several members of staff and renting a premises to keep the items. Isn't it reasonable that the people responsible for losing their property collectively pay these costs?
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Old May 12, 16, 11:35 am
  #63  
 
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To clarify, this service isn't run by BA, it's run by a company called 'bagport' who are the ones who you pay to get your items returned. I'm not sure how it works but they seem to have the contract for all lost property found in all LHR terminals and onboard BA aircraft.

Staff also get charged unless you pick up your item on the same day it was handed in.

When I first started working for BA, I was a hangar manager and we used to find all sorts when inspecting the cabins, generally in the drawers in CW. I used to make an effort to contact passengers and return stuff direct but we were told that had to stop due to an 'incident'. A passenger's kindle was found, we telephoned them, and during a shift change it got lost again, rather embarrasing...

All stuff found now goes in a drop off point and bagport come and pick it up from engineering once or twice a week I believe. A reciept gets issued to the mech/tech in question to protect them from any possible recriminations.

There has been some weird and wonderful finds, but I won't detail those here...
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Old May 12, 16, 11:49 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
However, the operator of the service will be incurring costs, for instance in employing several members of staff and renting a premises to keep the items. Isn't it reasonable that the people responsible for losing their property collectively pay these costs?
If it were to translate to a personal circumstance, you could argue that the person undertook the act of returning the item in the good faith that they would be reimbursed for costs incurred in doing so. However the law would seem to say they can't LEGALLY withhold a person's property if they declined to do so.

Not to mention they've outsourced this service to a private 3rd party company which presumably has a margin and makes a profit.
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Old May 12, 16, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by amt View Post
Not to mention they've outsourced this service to a private 3rd party company which presumably has a margin and makes a profit.
If they do, so what?
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Old May 14, 16, 9:44 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Possession: remember, it's said to be nine tenths of the law. After all, what's the passenger going to do if the company refuses? Break in to the storage area and forcibly retrieve it?

While I know it's in the nature of FT to demand the moon on a stick, I find it hard to see why a company which is spending money on a system for retrieving, collecting, logging / tracking, safely storing, and returning your lost property to you shouldn't be entitled to ask you (the person at fault) to pay towards the costs of that system.
In answer to the question: if you had my stuff and wouldn't give it back, I might call the police because that sounds a bit like theft.

Someone mentioned a mechanic being able to sell your car if you don't pay for repairs as an analogy. As I understand it, that is because the mechanic has a lien over the property, but in that scenario the customer knowingly incurred the bill by taking the car to the mechanic. I fail to see how the same is true for a passenger dropping their wallet in an airport. People do have their stuff returned through the goodness of others all the time for free; why is it OK for this particular company to charge for return if the item is handed to them?

I'm not saying it shouldn't be OK for them to charge, by the way. I think the TfL 4 charge is fair and I have happily paid it, twice. However, I I wonder about the legal mechanics and what possible defence they would have if, on refusing to return it because I won't pay, I called the police.
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Old May 14, 16, 10:32 am
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
As a lawyer, I would want to encourage that.

However, I bet it would probably cost the passenger more than twenty quid to do that. Even if they do it themselves, they win, and they get their costs.
But presumably this would be eligible for the small claims track and, in addition, this assumes that the other side would want to litigate it rather than concede when proceedings are started...
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Old May 14, 16, 10:34 am
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Swiss Tony View Post
So how can they then sell them when unclaimed if they don't own them in the first place?

(I'm assuming they sell them as otherwise you have a huge burden of unclaimed items, mainly electronic, which will be expensive to dispose of or store forever...)
If the item is unclaimed and there is no known owner, that is not the same situation as where the owner has made himself/hersel known and claimed the item (but refuses to pay the fee).
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Old May 14, 16, 11:27 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
But presumably this would be eligible for the small claims track and, in addition, this assumes that the other side would want to litigate it rather than concede when proceedings are started...
As a realist, I suspect that even on the small claims track, and even if the other side caved fairly early on, it would probably have cost the litigant more than twenty quid.

Some colleagues would have cost themselves at least twenty quid if they simply spent so much as 5 minutes drafting a claim form for something like this ...
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Old May 14, 16, 12:08 pm
  #70  
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Is litigation necessary... Heathrow has plenty of police officers. I've often wondered if you located one, positively identified the property as yours, explained it was being unlawfully held and request they take it into their custody.

The time I was there 2 years ago a gentleman had his wallet with all his cash/cards withheld by them and was explaining over and over that he couldn't pay the fee until he got them back to a women who seemed convinced 'That it ain't my problem innit' (in the end I offered him a 20).

Probably what I would have done in his situation.
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Old May 14, 16, 12:17 pm
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by amt View Post
Is litigation necessary... Heathrow has plenty of police officers. I've often wondered if you located one, positively identified the property as yours, explained it was being unlawfully held and request they take it into their custody.

The time I was there 2 years ago a gentleman had his wallet with all his cash/cards withheld by them and was explaining over and over that he couldn't pay the fee until he got them back to a women who seemed convinced 'That it ain't my problem innit' (in the end I offered him a 20).

Probably what I would have done in his situation.
But really, don't you think that if you had mislaid your property, that you should be responsible for paying the costs of recovering it, storing it, recording it and retrieving it for you? Why shouldn't meet this responsibility?

Regarding your suggestion of wasting a police officer's time I can't see that working. If it did then the British Transport Police would never get a thing done at Waterloo as they'd spend all their time at the lost property office demanding people get their stuff back without paying for the service.

Last edited by Flexible preferences; May 14, 16 at 12:23 pm
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Old May 14, 16, 12:36 pm
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by amt View Post
Is litigation necessary... Heathrow has plenty of police officers. I've often wondered if you located one, positively identified the property as yours, explained it was being unlawfully held and request they take it into their custody.
I believe the regulations governing airports require the provision of a lost property service but also permit (and indeed mandate) the charging of a fee. That is certainly true of the railways where it is (or was) provided for in section 56 of the National Conditions of Carriage, but I don't have the airport equivalent to hand.

So I expect the police officer would be unable to help!
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Old May 20, 16, 4:26 am
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by CCayley View Post
Why? If I am foolish enough to leave my property lying around somewhere, why should anyone be under a duty to reunite me with it?

It is surely preferable to have a system in which a fee is payable rather than no system at all, and I can't see any legal reason why BA or the airport should be obliged to take care of lost property. Perhaps it would be best just to think of the fee as a stupidity tax!
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Old May 20, 16, 4:57 am
  #74  
 
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If Heathrow was forced to provide this service "for free" then the costs of storage and staff to record and return goods found would ultimately get added to our ticket prices one way or another

I prefer the current model
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Old May 20, 16, 5:06 pm
  #75  
 
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I left my laptop charger in T5 GF. It took 2 days to show up on missinx and few emails to claim it. They offered to mail it to me in USA for 100 GBP.

I picked it up from their T3 office on my next visit for 5 GBP fee. My passport was photocopied for the claim.
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