*The former gas station manager who lost his job after mistakenly charging $0.69 a gallon for gas says the company has declined to accept the funds raised to pay back the costly error.
We reported previously that the glitch had locals lining up for miles at a Shell gas station on Sunrise Boulevard and White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova (in the Sacramento area). The glitch lasted about three hours.
John Szczecina, who worked at a station, said he accidentally put a decimal in the wrong spot, causing the gas price to be 69 cents instead of $6.99, according to CBS station KOVR.
“This is a nightmare,'” Szczecina said. “I put all three prices on there except the diesel, but the last one kind of didn’t go, you know, right.”
The pricing error reportedly cost the gas station $16,000 (some reports list it as $20K), according to a GoFundMe set up by his family to help pay back the gas station owners.
The man has raised over $24,000 to pay it back but the company declined to accept the funds, saying that the GoFundMe campaign was misleading.
“He doesn’t have to pay it back,” Szczecina’s sister, Paula Jackson, told The Washington Post. “But just the fact that he is doing it and wants to do it shows a lot of character and honesty and responsibility, and I’m really proud of him for that.”
Szczecina was worried the owners of the gas station would sue him, so his sister created the GoFundMe. However, business attorney Craig Simmermon said employees are protected from liability in cases like this.
“The only way he would be responsible outside of a written agreement is if he was acting outside the scope of his employment,” Simmermon said. “For instance, if his boss said ‘whatever you do, don’t ever set the price on that gas pump,’ and then he did.”
The company that owns the station said that they “will not accept” the funds raised by Szczecina’s family.
“To be clear, at no time has the Company told you that it intends to seek payment from you to reimburse that Company’s losses. Nor does the Company intend to take any legal action against you in connection with the incorrect fuel pricing incident. The Company does not want the money raised and will not accept it,” the company’s letter reads, the local news outlet KCRA3 reported.
The company said the money raised should be returned to donors, Yahoo reports.
“It is the Company’s view that the people who have donated to your GoFundMe fundraising campaign have been misled. The GoFundMe page should be shut down and the people who donated to you should have their money returned to them.”
GoFundMe will refund the donations if not accepted by the company, according to the report