- Zomato faces intense Twitter backlash – #RejectZomato and #ZomatoSpeakTamil trend on the microblogging site
- A Customer Care agent gets into a tiff with a user and denies support on account of the language barrier.
- “Hindi is our national language and everyone should know Hindi a bit” – The statement by the service staff that irked netizens
- Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal urges people to instill a ‘’higher level of tolerance and chill’’
The food delivery giant, Zomato faced public outrage on social media following an incident involving one of its customer service agents schooling a user for not knowing Hindi and denying a refund on the grounds of the same. Controversial hashtags sparked against Zomato on Tuesday when a customer, named Vikash, from Tamil Nadu, placed an order using the app on Monday. On noticing the absence of one of the food items, he resorted to customer care for assistance. In response, the executive said that he was incapable of helping Vikash on the grounds of a language barrier.
When Vikash requested further help, the service agent retaliated by stating that “Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everyone should know Hindi a bit.” Displeased with the entire incident, Vikash posted a screenshot of the conversation on Twitter, ahead of which the food delivery app received severe criticism and #Reject_Zomato began to trend in several parts of the State. Subsequently, the company issued an apology the next morning and released its official statement of the event on Twitter.
Along with this, the statement also revealed that Zomato is in the process of building a “Tamil version of the app” accompanied with a ‘’local call/support center in Coimbatore”. “This customer care agent’s statements do not represent our company’s stance towards language and diversity” it added. The company also said that it had sacked the employee in line with their protocols and for being ignorant towards the country’s diverse culture.
Hours later, Deepinder Goyal, the founder of Zomato announced that they had reinstated the employee. His tweet read “This alone is not something she should have been fired for. This is easily something she can learn and do better about going forward.” He also highlighted the fact that the people deployed at their call centers are young and at the outset of their careers. Additionally, he said that “They are not experts on languages and regional sentiments, Nor am I, btw”
The user involved in the scenario also seemed to be of a similar opinion. He insisted the firm on recruiting back the agent. He also urged on the impartation of proper training to the company’s employees instead of terminating them.
DMK MP, Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, also took to Twitter to voice her views on the issue. She opinionated that it should be mandated for the companies to serve their customers in the regional language. She also used the hashtag #Hindi_Theriyathu_Poda while adding that the customer doesn’t need to know English or Hindi.