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June 11, 2014

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Metro user loses old-ticket lawsuit

A man who tried to sue the city’s Metro operator after it refused to let him travel on an out-of-date ticket yesterday lost his case at the Shanghai Railway Transportation Court.

The man, surnamed Han, filed a suit against Shanghai Shentong Group on March 12 claiming its terms and conditions for ticket validity were a breach of his consumer rights.

The complaint arose after Han purchased a 5 yuan (80 US cents) one-way ticket to ride Line 2 on March 3. However, he did not use the ticket that day.

When he tried to use it the following day, he was told by a member of the subway staff that it was no longer valid.

Han claimed in court that under Chinese law, business operators are not allowed to set terms and conditions that are considered “unfair” or go against consumers’ basic rights.

He claimed it was not obvious that the ticket was valid only for one day as the information was printed on the reverse side.

Shentong Group, however, said passengers who purchase the wrong ticket can apply for a full refund as long as it is within the relevant time period. But that prerogative is lost once a ticket has expired, it said.

The court agreed with the Metro operator saying the terms and conditions were clearly shown on the tickets and on vending machines. In the event of a passenger being unsure, staff are also available to help at the information desks at all Metro stations, it said.

Han had only himself to blame, the court said.


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