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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Glitches hamper Web sales of train tickets

By Xin Dingding and Wu Yiyao (China Daily)

08:02, December 31, 2011

A man tries his luck buying a ticket at the Beijing Railway Station on Friday. Sales of tickets for the peak travel season of the Spring Festival started with long lines in stations. (Photo by Wang Jing / China Daily)

BEIJING - The railway system's online booking system has begun to show its vulnerability - and at times has been unable to issue tickets that were paid for - as the massive wave of travelers during Spring Festival approaches.

A netizen named "Ameng" said he booked and paid for two tickets for train K932 on the website. A message from the bank informed him the payment was successful, but the booking website showed he had not paid and canceled the order.

So far, at least 400 netizens have joined online discussions to swap unfortunate stories.

The Ministry of Railways said on Friday that it is aware of the problem and is working on it.

It promised that deducted money will be returned within 15 days to those who did not get tickets.

"The problem is because the current online purchase policy requires buyers to pay for the tickets within 30 minutes after booking. If the website received the payment more than 30 minutes later, the ticket will be distributed to the pool for sale again," the ministry said, without explaining why the delay occurs.

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