You could be paying 60 percent more for your rail tickets if you use KTX’s English language website, but administrators say they have no intention of letting users know this.
The site allows foreign users to buy tickets, but the discounts available on the Korean language site vanish when the English language option is selected. The site gives no notice that discounts are available for certain tickets, people and groups.
. . .
KTX representative Dan Nam-su said foreign customers could get discounts on the Korean site or at train stations, but confirmed there was no such option on the English language site.
“When we developed the homepage in the English version, there were some problems in data processing so we could not make the English version in detail,” he said, explaining that issues with foreign credit cards also made service provision difficult.
“We assumed that most rail customers are domestic travelers. We admit that we’ve lacked the promotion for foreigners who might use Korail on the website or at the station,” said Dan.
Read more in the article, in the accompanying Dave's ESL Cafe thread, and the thread that started it all on March 31st. That foreigners can make reservations online in English at all is an accomplishment: just a couple years ago the options ranged from doable with a Korail pass acquired via a Korean-language form, to impossible because the English-language option was removed.
Paying the full fare is I guess a, um, price of living overseas. I'm happy that it's not nearly as bad in Korea as it is in, say, Taiwan, where hotels often charge foreigners significantly more. Discounts are of course available to foreigners in South Korea, provided they can navigate Korean-language sites. If you're interested in getting the best available rates for hotels and airline tickets online---other industries that offer promotions not announced in English---as well as for restaurants or KTX tickets, it behooves you to check the Korean-language sites as well.