What can I do about a store’s lost and found “policy” that resulted in my phone being taken?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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What can I do about a store’s lost and found “policy” that resulted in my phone being taken?

I recently had to use my phone at a local frozen yogurt establishment as payment for my purchase. After leaving the establishment I realized that I had left my phone. I called to confirm and went back the next day to pick it up. When I arrived they had no idea what the employee did with it. They suggested that I leave my number and they would call me when he returns. The next day I talk to him directly and he states, I left your phone on the bench outside of the store because I did not want you to not have your phone overnight. They offered me $100 but the phone cost $249 after rebates.

Asked on August 4, 2011 Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you most likely do not have any recourse against the employee or the company that he works for where poor judgment was used in leaving your cell phone outside the local frozen yogurt shop on a bench when you unfortunately forgot to take it with you when you were at the store making a purchase.

However, you should speak in person to the store's manager about what happened and the poor judgment by the employee in taking your cell phone from within the store and purposefully leaving it on the bench outside to be taken by someone because the employee did not want to have the telephone overnight.

You were a customer and it is foreseeable that customers will leave behind articles. Potentially the store manager may see the errors of the employee and agree to reimburse you the cost of the lost phone. If the yogurt store is part of a chain, you should call the main headquarters about what happened and speak with someone in customer relations.

If I was in upper management of this yogurt store, the last thing I want to hear is an example of poor judgment by an employee who simply could have placed your cell phone is a drawer inside the store for safekeeping.

Good luck.

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