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Student sues card firm over refunds

(Shanghai Daily)

11:10, May 30, 2013

A law school student is suing the Shanghai Public Transportation Card Company for charging extra to refund transportation cards that still has more than 10 yuan (US$1.6) balance in it.

Xiong Chen, a junior student at East China University of Political Science and Law, said the clause was "unreasonable and totally groundless." She filed a lawsuit in March and the case will be heard by the Changning District People's Court next Tuesday.

Currently, cards which has a balance of less than 10 yuan are refunded free but cards with more than 10 yuan left have to pay a 5 percent fee.

For example, 25 yuan will be deducted from a 500-yuan prepaid card if it is handed back.

Xiong said many buyers had no idea of the refund clause because the subway stations did not put it up publicly. Most did not even bother going through the brochures. "The card company did not fulfil its obligation of disclosing the information to the public," Xiong said. "Even if it did, the company has no right to charge buyers."

The company claimed that the additional charge was to prevent illegal encashing and money laundering. But Xiong dismissed the argument saying buyers have a right to get their money back.

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