Online food delivery platform Zomato has been prone to controversies off late, more so on social media. Tuesday was one such day when a complaint from a customer led to the expulsion of a customer care staff from the company.
The employee, however, was later reinstated to her job, the Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal informed on Twitter.
It all started when a customer in Tamil Nadu took to Twitter on Monday saying that he was not refunded as he did not know Hindi. Further, attaching screenshots of chat with the customer support staff, he said that the staff gave a lesson over the need to know Hindi claiming that it is the ‘national language’.
This created a row on social media with people questioning Zomato’s commitment towards the non-Hindi speaking region and its alleged “preference” for Hindi speakers. It led “#RejectZomato” trend on Twitter.
Following the social media outburst, the foodtech unicorn, came up with statements written in English and Tamil, wherein it apologised for the behaviour of its customer care agent and informed that the company is already building a Tamil version of its app.
Zomato also said that it is in the process of building a local Tamil call/support centre in Coimbatore.
The statement also informed that the concerned employee has been terminated from the company as her behaviour was “against the principles of sensitivity”.
However, around three hours after the company statement was issued, its CEO, Goyal, taking a hardened stand in the matter tweeted that the tolerance level in India needs to improve.
Goyal tweeted: “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?”
In another tweet, he informed that the customer care agent in question has been reinstated as she can learn from the incident and do better going forward.
“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.”
It is not the first instance when Goyal has taken a toughened stand on issues that can fuel extreme political sentiments in the country.
In July 2019, when a customer wrote on Twitter that he had cancelled his order as the delivery agent was a “non-Hindu” boy, Goyal had said that the company did not care if it lost any customer that came “in the way of their values”.
Zomato has of late found itself in controversies quite often.
From time and again, along with other businesses providing services through the gig ecosystem have been accused of exploiting gig workers.
In August 2021, the online food delivery service faced a similar accusation from netizens for its advertisements starring Bollywood stars Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif.
Following the row, the Gurugram-based foodtech released a statement in response to the criticism and said that the ads were shot with different goals.