SINGAPORE - Caltex Singapore is investigating an incident on Saturday (April 14) involving an elderly pump attendant from its petrol kiosk in Tampines Avenue 8, after he offered to pay $125 for a customer's full tank of petrol due to an alleged mistake.
In response to the incident, which has since gone viral on Facebook, Caltex Singapore reassured motorists that the attendant "did not bear any financial obligation".
Facebook user Kelly Yeo wrote to Caltex Singapore about the incident involving a BMW driver in a post on Saturday. Another user, Willie Kok Heng Chua, shared Ms Yeo's post on his Facebook on Saturday night, which went viral with more than 24,000 shares and 6,700 comments within 12 hours.
In the post, she said the BMW driver claimed that the pump attendant had mistakenly refilled his car with a full tank, which costs about $135, even though he had only asked for $10 worth of petrol.
When the driver insisted that he would only fork out $10, the pump attendant, who looked to be in his 60s, told the cashier that he would personally bear the rest of the bill.
The pump attendant explained to the cashier that he had heard the driver mention that he wanted a full tank refill. This was rebutted by the driver.
Many netizens, like Ms Yeo, wondered if the driver could have responded more graciously by paying for the petrol, as he would have used it anyway.
Others also asked if Caltex Singapore would allow the pump attendant to pay just a partial amount, even if it was a genuine mistake.
Caltex Singapore said in its Facebook post that it is heartened by the solidarity and care shown towards its Tampines team.
"Do be assured that our station manager, together with the management team are looking into this issue now and an investigation is ongoing," it said.
Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min Daily News reported on Sunday that several motorists and nearby residents had visited the petrol kiosk to offer the pump attendant some money.
A regular customer, who gave his name as Mr Wang, said that he wanted to help as he recognised that working in a petrol kiosk can be tough, and at times, mistakes may occur.
When The Straits Times visited on Sunday afternoon, pump attendants at the station said the driver had claimed that the car was not his and that he had borrowed it. Hence, he was only replacing the petrol he had used.
They added that they have not encountered such incidents before and were grateful that the company would be absorbing the cost.
But they said that attendants are reminded to check with customers before they start filling up their vehicles.
It is also known to staff that they will made to bear the cost if they make a mistake, such as pumping the wrong grade of petrol or filling a diesel car with petrol.
"A lot of people have come up to offer the attendant money after reading what happened," said an attendant, who declined to be named.
"Many wondered out loud how much can $10 worth of petrol last, and weren't convinced by the man's explanation."
Caltex Singapore has advised the public to refrain from commenting about the driver or those involved while its team is looking into the incident.