India's food delivery giant Zomato on Tuesday, October 19, confirmed the termination of the customer service agent, who had failed to address an issue of a Tamil Nadu customer due to a language barrier.
The screenshots of the conversation went viral on social media, creating outrage among netizens. After facing flak, the restaurant aggregator issued a public apology on Twitter and confirmed they had sacked the employee as per the protocol.
Hours after the announcement, company CEO Deepinder Goyal took to Twitter announcing that the agent was reinstated, saying that call centre agents were not experts on languages and regional sentiments. The CEO called it an ignorant mistake on the agent's part.
He added that the level of tolerance needed to be higher in India while dealing with such matters.
"This is not something she should have been fired for. It's easily something she can learn and do better about going forward," he said, pointing out that we must have patience and acceptance towards imperfections.
The matter was related to a refund for an incomplete order. Customer, Vikash, decided to take it up to the grievance redressal unit and converse with the customer service executive on the app.
The chat suggests that Vikash had called the restaurant but insisted the executive check and confirmed with them once.
The Zomato employee said they had tried calling the restaurant five times but couldn't communicate with the staff due to the language barrier. The customer said that the company should have sent someone who knew Tamil.
In response, the executive sent a long paragraph saying that Hindi is our national language, advised him to learn a 'little Hindi', and said everyone was expected to know it.
"For your kind information, Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everybody should know Hindi a little bit," the executive had said. She concluded the chat by apologising for the unsuccessful refund and said that the company could not compensate for the unfortunate incident.
Vikash shared the screenshots of the conversation on social media to raise the issue. Users slammed Zomato for the behaviour of its employee and warned of boycotting the application.
After the rage, the food delivery company apologised for the behaviour of the agent and their negligence towards the diversity of India's culture.