#RejectZomato: Zomato Apologises for National Language Controversy, Reinstates Terminated Executive


Zomato on Tuesday issued a public apology while addressing a customer complaint after one of its customer care executives called Hindi the national language. A conversation between the executive and a customer appeared on Twitter, resulting in many criticizing the food delivery aggregator for considering Hindi as the national language. The Gurugram-based company initially terminated the executive to quell the dispute. However, Zomato co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal later reinstated the employee, calling it an “unintentional mistake”.

on Monday evening, zomato The customer – identified as Vikas – posted screenshots showing a conversation with the company’s customer care executive in which he asked the restaurant for a refund for an item he had not received. The Zomato executive said he tried calling the restaurant but was unable to speak due to a “language barrier”.

The customer replied saying that if Zomato is operating in Tamil Nadu, it should hire personnel who speak Tamil. In response, the executive immediately remarked that Hindi was “our national language” and that it was “too common that everyone should know Hindi.” The executive later apologized to the customer and said there was no way to compensate in the matter, the screenshot shared by the customer shows.

Apart from the candid conversation, the customer claimed on Twitter that since he did not know Hindi, the executive told him that the amount paid for the order which he did not receive, could not be refunded.

“Take lessons [sic] That being an Indian I should know Hindi. Tagged me false because he didn’t know Tamil,” the customer posted on the microblogging site.

Hours after the tweet was published, it hit headlines and sparked a controversy against Zomato over its executive’s claim of national language. The hashtags #RejectZomato and #StopHindiImposition started trending on Twitter.

To address the concerns raised by the people, Zomato responded to the customer with a public apology letter.

“While we are sorry for the behavior of our customer service agent, we have terminated the agent for their carelessness towards our diverse culture,” the company said in the letter. The statements of this customer service agent do not represent our company’s stance towards language and diversity.”

The letter also revealed that Zomato is making a Tamil version of its app and is in the process of setting up a local Tamil call and help center in Coimbatore.

However, Goyal later posted a thread on Twitter announcing that the company had reinstated the sacked executive as the incident was not the only one that should have prompted him to be fired.

“Our call center agents are young people, early in their learning curve and career. They are not experts in languages ​​and regional sentiments. Neither am I, btw [sic],” he tweeted.

A Zomato spokesperson told Gadgets 360 that the company is conducting a sensitization training for all its executives. The training is claimed to be aimed at avoiding incidents of hurting regional sentiments in future.

Notably, Hindi is not designated as a national language in the country, although it is one of the official languages As defined in Article 343 of the Indian Constitution.

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