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September 15, 2008

Lost and found

LONDON, England – We went out for a walk on Saturday and just after we stumbled into the local woods, I spotted a phone on the ground. It was old, a budget model, and blended in quite well with the gravel. But, a closer look reveled that it was actually on. Someone had dropped it. I’d never found a mobile phone before, so I was kinda excited!

Of course, being an amateur in these circumstances meant I didn’t know what to do. Then I remembered someone saying before that if you’re trying to find out who owns a phone, you should just call the last dialed number, as they’ll most likely know who it was spoke to them. Tried it, but no answer. Shortly afterwards though, the phone rang. Turned out to be the owners dad. At first I think he thought I’d knicked it and he was genuinely concerned about the whereabouts of his son. I managed to convince him though that I wasn’t some kind of kidnapping nutter and that his son’s phone would be safely returned.

Later that day, after a bit of too-ing and fro-ing the phone was returned but not before the grateful owner handed over a fresh bottle of Pinot Grigio. Result.

Plenty is written, and indeed thought, about when phones get stolen, but not very much about when they get lost. In some countries (such as the UK) a misplaced phone is frequently (and quite wrongly) morphed into a “stolen” phone before being claimed for on the insurance. But what happens to those phones that are found? How easily, and efficiently are they returned to their owners? I’m not blowing my own trumpet here, but getting a phone back to its owner does take some degree of time and commitment. Are people willing to invest in that effort? What if there was an easier way? And, more importantly, what would that be? I don’t know the answer, but if you do I’d be pretty chuffed to hear it.

Oh, the kicker about the phone I found on Saturday? It was an 1100. An omen for Charlie’s club?

Photo by Matt Black