SINGAPORE - The Caltex pump attendant at the centre of a dispute that has gone viral online has urged netizens not to harass the driver involved.
The conflict arose when a driver allegedly requested a $10 top-up of fuel, but was instead given a full tank worth $135 by an elderly pump attendant. When he was told of his mistake, the pump attendant paid $125 out of his own pocket.
In an interview with Shin Min Daily News on Tuesday (April 17), the elderly pump attendant said: "The whole incident was a misunderstanding and the company is handling the matter.
"I feel that it is not necessary for netizens to be harassing the other party, and it should stop immediately."
Since it was shared in a Facebook post by Ms Kelly Yeo, the incident has gained traction online, sparking a search for the driver's identity.
His details were eventually shared online and he has allegedly received harassing phone calls. He has since filed a police report out of concern for the safety of his family.
The driver related his version of events to Shin Min Daily News on April 16. He said when he approached the pump attendant about the mistake, the elderly man spoke in a hostile manner and did not own up.
The driver denied he forced the elderly man to pay the difference.
Police investigations revealed that it was a miscommunication between the two parties. Both have been advised to settle the matter amicably.
Police said the car was to be traded in, which is why the driver did not require a full tank.
Caltex has also reportedly reimbursed the pump attendant.
A Caltex spokesman said the pump attendant has requested for privacy.
"We place the highest priority on the health and safety of our workforce, and the protection of our workplace and our communities," added the spokesman.
He said the company addresses disagreements on a case-by-case basis, after facts are verified.
Other business operators say they take a similar approach.
"In situations where disagreements arise, we will review each case rigorously to ensure a fair and equitable solution for our customers," said Ms Lee Ee Ling, Head of Consumer Financial Services Risk and Prevention at OCBC Bank.
Ms Lily Tiong, 43, a team leader at Japanese restaurant Osaka Ohsho, said that the company does not make staff pay for losses, whether it is because of a misunderstanding or if it is the employee's fault.
"We all make mistakes," she said. "We teach them to understand what they did wrong, but we believe in giving employees a chance."