Chennai: As the hashtag #Reject_Zomato trended on Twitter after a customer care agent told an aggrieved customer in Tamil Nadu to learn Hindi, there was a surge of collective anger. The founder of the food delivery company, Deepinder Goyal, stepped in to pour fuel on the raging fire by accusing the people of being low on ‘tolerance and chill’ and proudly reinstating the executive, who was earlier sacked by the company.
It all started with Vikash, a Zomato customer was told ‘For your kind information Hindi is our national language. So it is very common that everybody should know Hindi little bit.’ This triggered angry outburst from the people who called for a boycott of Zomato and the hashtag trended through Tuesday.
Subsequently, Zomato tweeted: ‘Vanakam Vikash, we apologise for our customer care agent’s behavior.’ Soon after the company released an official statement in both English and Tamil making it clear that the agent’s statements do not represent the company’s stance towards language and diversity and adding that they were even developing a Tamil version of their app.
The statement, addressed to Tamil Nadu, also said that the customer care agent had been terminated and that the agent’s behavior was clearly against the principles of sensitivity. But a few hours later, Goyal tweeted that it was ‘an ignorant mistake by someone in a support centre’ and that it ‘became a national issue.’
‘We are instating the agent –this alone is something she should have been fired for,’ he said. Justifying her mistake by stating that call centre agents were young people who were not experts on languages and regional sentiments, Goyal added: ‘Nor am I, btw.’
He said ‘The level of tolerance and chill in our country needs to be way higher than it is nowadays’ sparking another fusillade of angry tweets like, ‘Go teach your saffron boys in the north tolerance and chill. We in TN have plenty of it already.'
One twitter user said: ‘Take Order, Deliver food. Earn money. Stop lecturing on language, culture, politics or religion,’ while another said ‘an ignorant person don’t talk about stuff like national language’ and another one pointed out that the aggrieved Vikas himself had asked Zomato to reconsider the termination of the employee.
However, there were people who appreciated Goyal for the remarks. Barkha Dutt said ‘Thank you’ and another Saubik said, ‘Zomato doesn’t need Tamil Nadu, its you local guys who will be out of job,’ adding ‘Hindi rocks.’