Food aggregator application Zomato is at the centre of another controversy on social media. It all started with a Twitter user’s complaint about a Zomato Customer Care executive’s behaviour. When user @Vikash67456607 placed an order on Zomato, one of the items he ordered was missing. He tried talking to Zomato customer care to find out about the missing item. Since the customer was ordering from Tamil Nadu, the restaurant staff was only able to converse in Tamil creating a language barrier for the executive as he or she could only understand Hindi. “Ordered food in zomato and an item was missed. 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,” wrote Vikash. Take a look at the tweet here:
Ordered food in zomato and an item was missed. 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. @zomatocarepic.twitter.com/gJ04DNKM7w— Vikash (@Vikash67456607) October 18, 2021
When the Zomato executive called up the restaurant in Tamil Nadu, he or she could not understand the problem due to ‘language barrier’. On hearing this, Vikash asked to be transferred to someone else who could understand Tamil. This was when the executive said, “For your kind information, Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everybody should know Hindi little bit.”
The screenshots from the conversation were shared on Twitter, and received nearly 10k likes and thousands of comments. The fact that the executive called Hindi a ‘national language’ did not go down well with Twitter users.
Take a look at some reactions:
When will schools start teaching that Hindi is NOT our “national language”? The absolute ignorance + gall is what is infuriating.— Shilpa Rathnam (@shilparathnam) October 19, 2021
Dear @zomato please ask your staffs to learn Tamil if you want to run your corporate business here.. this is atrocious to ask a customer to learn Hindi which is not even national language.. do apologize for this or soon you will face many uninstall of app @TRBRajaa@TThenarasu— sharan (@sharanthangavel) October 18, 2021
@zomato can you look into this, i faced similiar linguistic issue regarding my order last month, left that issue as it could be just a single unfamiliar person who might be new to customer care services, was hearing similiar issues from a considerable number of friends
TIA— Kratos_GOW (@kratos_tamil) October 18, 2021
Lol, if the customer service guy can’t speak Tamil, but you can chat with him in English, so when he called you why can’t you speak English then, creating a ruckus for political reasons, if the ordered was missed,
I have more then 200 orders and i never faced any language issue— Headbanger Bhavesh (@Bhavesh_Metal) October 18, 2021
After this incident, the hashtag #Reject_Zomato began to trend on Twitter. Twitter users also shared several thousand tweets under the hashtag #HindiIsNotNationalLanguage. Some also began to uninstall Zomato application from their mobile phones.
Zomato’s official handle took to Twitter to apologise for the customer care agent’s behaviour. “We hope you give us a chance to serve you better next time. Pls don’t #Reject_Zomato,” they wrote in a statement shared in English and Tamil. Take a look:
Vanakkam Vikash, we apologise for our customer care agent’s behaviour. Here’s our official statement on this incident. We hope you give us a chance to serve you better next time.
As per Zomato’s statement, they had terminated the agent for their negligence on Tuesday morning. “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,” they wrote. However, a few hours later, the founder of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal clarified that the customer care executive had been reinstated as it was simply an ‘ignorant mistake’ and did not have to become a ‘national issue’. Take a look at his tweet:
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.— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) October 19, 2021
Having said that, we should all tolerate each other’s imperfections. And appreciate each other’s language and regional sentiments.
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.❤️— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) October 19, 2021
“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 wrote. He further said that the call centre agents were young people who were at the start of their careers and learning curves. “We should all tolerate each other’s imperfections. And appreciate each other’s language and regional sentiments,” he wrote in the same thread.
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