Zomato sacks, reinstates employee who asked Tamil Nadu customer to ‘learn Hindi’; pleads for tolerance in country

Zomato sacks, reinstates employee who asked Tamil Nadu customer to 'learn Hindi'; pleads for tolerance in country


The company’s co-founder Deepinder Goyal took to Twitter saying that “an ignorant mistake” became a national issue, adding that “ the level of tolerance and chill in our country needs to be way higher”

Representational image. PTI

Hours after it had sacked a customer service executives for calling a customer based in Tamil Nadu a “liar” and urging him to “learn Hindi”, food delivery app Zomato has reinstated the employee.

The company’s co-founder Deepinder Goyal took to Twitter to announce that the employee had been reinstated. He said that “an ignorant mistake” became a national issue, adding that “ the level of tolerance and chill in our country needs to be way higher”.

Goyal said that “Tamil Nadu – we love you,” adding that the company’s love for the state was just as much as their love for the rest of the country.

Zomato had landed in controversy recently after a customer in Tamil Nadu was told by one of the company’s customer service executives that everyone “should know Hindi” and that it was the “national language” of the country. The incident has gone viral on social media, with the company being forced to issue an apology in the matter.

Zomato issued an apology in English and Tamil, adding that the employee had been sacked. It added that it was building a Tamil version of its food delivering app and also had plans to local call support centre in Coimbatore.
After Zomato declared that it had sacked the employee involved in the interaction, the company faced more flak on the issue, with many asking why the company was not localising customer support in the state.

The incident happened when the customer, identified as Vikash, had reached out to Zomato regarding some issues with his order. According to him, the customer service executive said that a “language barrier” was preventing the issue from getting resolved.

The customer then pointed out that the reason regarding the delay in refunding his money was not his concern. He asked the Zomato employee why their company was not hiring agents who understand Tamil if they were providing services in the region. The employee then said that Hindi was the “national language, adding that “everyone should know Hindi little bit.” The employee later added that a refund was not possible in this case and apologised for it.
The screenshots of the conversation were posted by the customer on social media and went viral, receiving over 8,000 likes and 3,900 retweets.

Many people condemned Zomato for the incident. DMK MP Kanimozhi was also among the people who criticised the company for imposing Hindi on non-Hindi speakers. The DMK leader added that “it should be made mandatory for companies to serve their customers in their local language”.

Hindi is one of the 22 official languages in India as per Article 343 of the country’s Constitution. Around 60 percent of the population speaks a language other than Hindi, even though it is the most spoken mother tongue in the country.





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