Amid the episode of a Zomato call centre employee being sacked for schooling a customer from Tamil Nadu to learn a little bit of Hindi, Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal on Tuesday said that the employee has been reinstated adding the level of tolerance and chill in our country needs to be way higher than it is nowadays.
Taking to Twitter, Deepinder Goyal said, "An ignorant mistake by someone in a support centre of a food delivery company became a national issue. The level of tolerance and chill in our country needs to be way higher than it is nowadays. Who's to be blamed here?"
"On that note, we are reinstating the agent – this alone is not something she should have been fired for. This is easily something she can learn and do better about going forward," Goyal added.
"And remember, our call centre agents are young people, who are at the start of their learning curves and careers. They are not experts on languages and regional sentiments. Nor am I, btw," he emphasized.
"Having said that, we should all tolerate each other's imperfections. And appreciate each other's language and regional sentiments."
Deepinder Goyal concluded by saying, "Tamil Nadu – we love you. Just as much as we love the rest of the country. Not more, not less. We are all the same, as much as we are different."
Earlier, Zomato issued a statement saying, "We are sorry for the behaviour of our customer care agent, we have terminated the agent for their negligence towards our diverse culture. The termination is in line with our protocols, and agent's behaviour was clearly against the principles of sensitivity that we train our agents for on a regular basis. This customer care agent's statements do not represent our company's stance towards language and diversity."
"At Zomato, we are building a Tamil version of our app. We have already localised marketing communication in Tamil for the state (e.g, we also signed up Anirudh Ravichander as our local brand ambassador), and we are in the process of building a local Tamil call/support centre in Coimbatore. We understand food and language are core to any local culture and we take both of them seriously," the company statement said.
Earlier, a row erupted when a tweet from a user who goes by the handle "@Vikash67456607" triggered a major Twitter backlash, with the hashtag "Reject_Zomato" trending on top at the microblogging site.
Vikash tweeted he had ordered food on Zomato and complained that an item was missing.
"Customer care says amount can't be refunded as I didn't know Hindi. Also takes lesson that being an Indian I should know Hindi. Tagged me a liar as he didn't know Tamil. @zomato not the way you talk to a customer," he tweeted and tagged the company while sharing screenshots of his purported chat with the former customer care agent in question.
The Zomato agent also allegedly told Vikash that Hindi was the country's national language.
In response, Zomato apologised to Vikash and also issued a statement both in Tamil and English, stressing that the company stood for diversity.
In its statement in the two languages which started off with the traditional Tamil salutation "Vanakkam" Tamil Nadu, Zomato said the company was "sorry" for the behaviour of its former employee.
In an apparent reference to the controversy, DMK leader and the party's Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi said the customer care of some companies operate only in select languages.
"It should be made mandatory for companies to serve their customers in their local language. A customer doesn't necessarily need to know Hindi or English. #Hindi_Theriyathu_Poda," (I don't know Hindi), she tweeted.