Zomato staff kicks up Hindi debate; fired, later rehired
Food aggregator, Zomato, came under fire on Tuesday after a person from Tamil Nadu tweeted about the company’s customer care agent chiding him for not knowing Hindi.
CHENNAI: Food aggregator, Zomato, came under fire on Tuesday after a person from Tamil Nadu tweeted about the company’s customer care agent chiding him for not knowing Hindi. The person Vikash claimed to have contacted an agent seeking a refund after an item he had ordered was missing. The agent cited inability to solve the issue despite trying due to a “language barrier”.
When Vikash told the agent to depute someone who knows Tamil to solve the issue, he was told, “Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everybody should know Hindi little bit.”
Vikash tweeted screenshots of the conversation, resulting in hashtags such as boycottzomato, hindiisnotnationallanguage, and stophindiimposition trending. MP Kanimozhi also flagged the issue while some users shared screenshots of uninstalling the app. This, a day after a few Twitter users called for the boycott of clothing brand, FabIndia, for using an Urdu phrase to describe its festive collection.
Meanwhile, Zomato issued an apology on Twitter at 11.17 am and said the agent’s services were terminated. “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,” it said. However, with many users, including Vikash, saying the agent should not be fired, Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal said the employee was reinstated.
Zomato building Tamil call centre
"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?" Goyal tweeted and announced the reinstatement of the agent. He said this is not something the person should have been fired for.
"This is easily something she can learn and do better about going forward," he added in another tweet. However, Goyal was trolled, with Twitter users claiming he had misunderstood concerns about Hindi imposition by terming it an issue of intolerance.
The company's earlier statement had also stated it was building a Tamil version of the mobile app and that it had already localised its marketing communication in the local language in the State. Zomato is in the process of building a local Tamil call/support centre in Coimbatore.
‘Not something to fire a staff for’
Deepinder Goyal said this is not something the person should have been fired for. “This is easily
something she can learn and do better about going forward,” he added in another tweet