Lawmakers lambasted operators of the Octopus card system yesterday for taking too long to repay overdeducted funds to users. And an information technology expert said the problem with the EPS add-value machines would not be solved any time soon. Democratic legislator Andrew Cheng Kar-foo was shocked the deductions could be traced back to 2000. 'Over 15,000 faulty transactions have been made. So many people lost money,' he said. 'Obviously, there is negligence among the management of the EPS and Octopus companies. They must shoulder the responsibility.' Mr Cheng also took the companies to task for raising the fee to review transactions on cards from HK$100 to HK$200, in June. He noted that the deposit paid for the 15 million Octopus cards currently in the market - at HK$50 each - gives the company HK$750 million cash in hand. 'I think it is inappropriate to increase the fee for Octopus holders just so the past 40 transactions can be obtained,' Mr Cheng said. Lau Kong-wah, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, urged the company to reveal more details. 'Why can't they repay money to card holders [received] between 1998 and 2000? If they can trace the past seven years' record, they should be able to trace the record of these two years as well,' he said. As for the problem with the EPS add-value machines, Internet Society chairman Charles Mok Nai-kwong said it would not be solved soon. 'The EPS add-value machine involves many parties - the Octopus, KCRC, MTR and banks. The problem was caused by a software failure, which deals with the bank transfer.' Mr Mok said Octopus and the banks should have discovered the problem a long time ago. 'They should have tested the system when they got it in the first place. Over the years, they should have regular checks on the data of the system. Big companies should have the responsibility to check such data, especially those involving people's hard-earned money.'