A rail company took 10 per cent of the contents of lost wallets in exchange for handing them back.
The lost property policy by Arriva Trains Wales came to light when a passenger complained about the 'outrageous' system.
Adam Howells said he could only get his wallet returned if he paid a £2 fee and forfeited 10 per cent of the cash contents up to a maximum of £10.
It meant the passenger, who had £86 in the wallet when he left it on a train from Cardiff to Lydney in August, had to pay £10.60 in total to retrieve the item.
The 28-year-old later expressed his anger at the charge on Twitter and branded the fees 'theft by train'. He wrote: 'So my lost wallet was found by ArrivaTW and they charge me £2 to release it, then take 10 per cent of the cash that was in the wallet!' The rail firm has now been forced to change its lost property policy following an outcry.
Under other lost property charges, customers also pay £25 to retrieve a laptop and £10 for a mobile phone. Fees are even charged for lost watches, cycle helmets and walking sticks.
Mr Howells told the BBC: 'I understand there's a set release fee but it's odd why there's a different charge if you have more money. A wallet with £2 inside and a wallet with £100 go through the same process. I think people are shocked by their policy.'
Arriva Trains Wales said the charges were in place because running the lost property office 'takes up a lot of resources'.
Bosses insisted the charges were in line with other rail operators.
In a tweet, the company promised any valuable items are given to charity if they are not collected in 12 weeks.
But social media users were quick to blast the operator for its 'playground bully behaviour'. One user tweeted that they were 'disgusted' by the policy, while another described it as 'outrageous'.
Under National Rail Conditions of Travel guidelines, firms may charge up to £2 per item per day for storage and up to £30 for handing it back. Last night Arriva Trains Wales promised it would review the charges, saying: '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.
'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.'