Motorists’ debts giving petrol station attendants a headache

National 2 minutes, 14 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

UNSETTLED debts at petrol stations are becoming a problem, said fuel attendants and their supervisors yesterday.

In a recent post on a well known social media application, a pump attendant expressed his annoyance on the behaviour of some customers who have yet to settle their debts even after months of promising to pay.

When contacted by The Brunei Times, a fuel attendant at a petrol station in Lambak who opted for anonymity said that the issue here lies with BSM’s policy that allows petrol station attendants to request for payment only upon the completion of refuelling.

“If the customer says they cannot pay, we have no choice but to put it down as debt,” said the attendant.

His supervisor, who identified himself as Will, said they usually ask for collateral in such situations.

The petrol station normally asks for some sort of collateral. So customers usually leave their identity cards, passports and even mobile phones and watches, he said.

“Although they give us their belongings as guarantee, some have yet to come back to settle their debts... We still have customers who have not paid for over a year.

“I pity the fuel pump attendants who have the customers’ debt charged to their own salary at the end of the month,” he said.

“These workers only earn about $350-$500 every month and there have been cases where they had to rely on their colleagues to take on customers’ debt because they cannot afford to take on any more debt,” he added.

“What I noticed is that these customers only do this to our foreign workers but seem afraid to do the same when they notice that they’re dealing with locals.”

Hj Hamdi Hj Hamzah, a supervisor at the Taib Delima filling station in Berakas, said they also face similar problems.

“Our policy is that the customer who is unable to pay for fuel must fill up an agreement form stating their name, phone number, address and that if they cannot pay within three days they will be reported to the police,” he said.

“They must also leave behind their belongings as guarantee that they will pay. These include their identity cards or driver’s licence, but even after doing so some have yet to pay,” he said.

“We don’t know how else to solve this problem so we are looking to report this to the police,” he added.

When contacted by The Brunei Times, Acting Head of Public Relations for the Royal Brunei Police Force DSP Hj Mohd Noor Hj Abd Rahman advised petrol stations to report such incidents to the police and action will be taken based on it.

The Brunei Times