A still from a video captured by Thanh Nien shows an employee (wearing white hat) of the Tran Thien filling station arguing with a customer after the customer discovered his trick.
A gas station in Ho Chi Minh City notorious for fraudulent acts for years has been criticized once again for using new meter tricks to cheat its customers.
The station Tran Thien, located at 61 Tran Hung Dao Street in District 1, serves a large number of drivers every day, thanks to its prime location.
Many of the customers have recently suspected that the station did not give them the right amount of fuel that they paid for.
An investigation by Thanh Nien confirmed their suspicions.
Thanh Nien reporters spent several days around the station to record its activities and found that, in many cases, pump assistants did not reset their meters for new customers.
Sometimes they only changed the meter back to zero after four consecutive refills, taking advantage of customers who did not pay close attention to the numbers on the small display.
Many did discover the trick and refused to pay. The station's employees would intimidate them and the customers ended up paying anyway to avoid trouble.
In some other cases, a pump assistant would deliberately stand right in front of the meter display to block it from the view of the customer. They would stop pumping before reaching the right amount.
When questioned by a Thanh Nien reporter, some of the employees became agitated and threatened violence.
Right after the exposé was published, hundreds of readers sent comments saying they had been overcharged by the station for years.
On Monday, Tran Luong Thang, director of Tran Thien, told Thanh Nien it had fired two employees involved in fraudulent acts in the past.
He said the station will continue to fire any employee found with wrongdoings as shown in the video captured by Thanh Nien.
“I would like to apologize to customers who have been cheated," he said, promising to offer refunds, as long as customers can show proof of fraud.
Meanwhile, Le Hong Quang, deputy chief of District 1’s Economic Affairs Division, said the
station had been fined by inspectors several times before.
On Monday, inspectors checked the station and found some recruitment violations.
Pham Thanh Kien, District 1 People’s Committee chairman, said inspectors will continue to monitor the station.