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Man Who Was Fired After Setting Gas At 69 Cents A Gallon Says Company Won't Accept $20k He Raised

Man Who Was Fired After Setting Gas At 69 Cents A Gallon Says Company Won't Accept $20k He Raised
KCRA News/YouTube

Shell gas station refused to accept the money a former employee raised to reimburse the company after he mistakenly charged a significantly low gas premium at a local gas station in California.

John Szczecina—the former Shell gas station manager—was fired on June 13 for erroneously charging $0.69 a gallon for gas after placing the decimal point in the wrong spot while entering gas prices into the station's system.

The price of the Premium Shell gasoline at the location in Rancho Cordova–which is near Sacramento–was supposed to be marked up to $6.99 per gallon.

By the time he realized his gaffe, several hours had gone by and his mistake cost the gas station $16,000 worth of gasoline.

After being unavoidably terminated, Szczecina took full responsibility for his mistake.

He managed to raise $20,000 through a GoFundMe his family had set up so he could pay the company back for the financial loss.

However, they rejected his offer.

You can watch a news clip, here.

Szczecina said he received a letter from his former employer stating that they do "not want the money raised and will not accept it."

The letter added:

"To be clear, at no time has the Company told you that it intends to seek payment from you to reimburse the Company's losses."
"Nor does the Company intend to take any legal action against you in connection with the incorrect fuel pricing incident."

Additionally, the company reportedly claimed that those contributing to the fund to pay the supposed debt were "misled."

They also requested the GoFundMe page "be shut down" and for Szczecina to issue refunds to donors or donate the money to charity.

In an update on the money-raising campaign site, Szczecina's sister, Paula Jackson, wrote:

"We initially set-up this GoFundMe with the intention to pay the gas company with all funds collected."
"Unfortunately, we did try to pay them but they have denied payment and do not want to accept the funds we collectively raised."

She acknowledged her brother made the mistake but noted he was "doing his best to support his family."

"Funds will now be used to cover living expenses, bills, and help support John and his family during this difficult time," she wrote.

Now that the reason for the campaign has changed, she noted refunds will be issued upon request.

She added that any remaining, unclaimed funds remaining after June 28 would be transferred to her brother and will be "used to support his family during this unfortunate time."

Shell issued a statement to PEOPLE emphasizing that while the company provides fuel for the Sunrise Boulevard station, the daily operations "are the responsibility of the wholesaler, site owner and/or operator who make their own operating decisions."

Darryl Surita was one of the many customers who initially benefitted from the false gas pricing and spread the word on social media after buying 100 gallons of gas.

When he realized the gas station manager made an error, Surita said he donated $160 to the GoFundMe page.

Now that the company refused to accept the raised money, Surita believes Szczecina should keep the money.

"I think he should spend it on living his life until he gets a job, because it cost him his job," said Surita.