The gas station manager who has raised money to pay back his former employer now wants to keep the money for “cost of living”.
John Szczecina tries to keep money from a GoFundMe after the owners of the Shell gas station where he worked refused to accept it.
Szczecina was fired last week after accidentally being charged 69 cents per gallon for premium gas.
The fired manager of a California gas station who… raised money to repay his former employer over a gas price error that cost him his job, is now trying to keep the donated money for “cost of living” since the company rejected it†
John Szczecina was fired from his manager job at a Shell gas station in Rancho Cordova, Calif., last week after accidentally being charged 69 cents a gallon for premium gas instead of $6.99 — a mistake he has described as a “honest mistake.”
Szczecina’s sister, Paula Jackson, started a GoFundMe to repay the company that owns the station, raising more than $24,000, but the owners said they didn’t want the money.
Now, Szczecina wants to keep the money for herself, but those who initially donated to charity can still request a refund from GoFundMe.
“We initially set up this GoFundMe with the intention of paying the gas company with all the money raised,” Jackson said in an update posted on the GoFundMe page on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, we have tried to pay them, but they have refused the payment and will not accept the money we raised together.”
“Despite this being a mistake, John was fired last week and is doing his best to support his family,” the update reads. “The money will now be used to cover living expenses and bills and to help John and his family through this difficult time.”
Jackson added, “Since this is different from the reason you originally donated, you can request a refund from GoFundMe.”
Those seeking a refund must submit their request by June 28, the update said.
“After this date, any remaining donations will be turned over to John — and used to support his family during this unfortunate time,” Jackson said.
GoFundMe told Insider on Thursday that the fundraiser has met its requirements when it comes to diverting funds by posting a “clear update” on the page to “keep donors informed” that donations are now for a different purpose. will be used.
“Since this is a change from the fundraiser’s original purpose, donors have the option to request a refund,” according to GoFundMe.
New donations have been disabled for the GoFundMe page, which had $23,493 in funds on Thursday — indicating that at least some donors have already received refunds.
Meanwhile, an employee at the Shell gas station where Szczecina was fired on Thursday declined to comment to Insider and instead referred questions to Shell’s headquarters.
A spokesman for Shell’s US division told Insider the company has nothing to do with operations at the independent station where Szczecina worked.
As with other major oil companies, our US Shell retail fuels business and its licensees supply high-quality motor fuels primarily to independent wholesalers and dealers who operate under the Shell brand and sell Shell brand fuels. spokesman.
The representative added: “So while the name on the sign reflects the brand of motor fuel sold on the property, the supermarket and day-to-day operations on the property, including pricing, hiring and termination, are the responsibility of the wholesaler. , site owner and/or operator making their own operational decisions.”
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