Zomato sacks staff after Tamil customer is denied refund for not knowing Hindi

"Termination is in line with our protocols and [the] agent’s behaviour was clearly against the principles of sensitivity that we train our agents for on a regular basis,' company says

Zomato further said it was building a Tamil version of its mobile app, and that it had already localised its marketing communication in the local language in the state

Restaurant aggregator and online food delivery company Zomato found itself in controversy once again on Tuesday after a person said that he was denied refund by its customer care agent for not knowing Hindi.

A tweet from Vikash, who goes by the handle ‘@Vikash67456607’, triggered a major Twitter backlash, with the hashtag ‘Reject_Zomato’ trending on the microblogging site.

In response, Zomato apologised to Vikash and said it would sack the employee concerned. It also issued a statement both in Tamil and English, stressing that the company stood for diversity.

Earlier, Vikash had tweeted that he had ordered food on Zomato and complained about a missing item to the customer care.

“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,” Vikash tweeted, attaching the screenshots of his purported chat with the former customer care agent, along with the tweet.

The Zomato agent also allegedly told Vikash that Hindi was the country’s national language.

In its statement in the two languages which started off with the traditional Tamil salutation “Vanakkam”, Zomato said that the company was ‘sorry’ for the behaviour of its former employee.

“We have terminated the agent for their negligence towards our diverse culture. The termination is in line with our protocols and [the] agent’s behaviour was clearly against the principles of sensitivity that we train our agents for on a regular basis,” the statement, uploaded on Zomato’s Twitter handle said.

The statement said that the sacked employee’s statements did not “represent our company’s stance towards language and diversity”.

Zomato further said that it was building a Tamil version of its mobile app, and that it had already localised its marketing communication in the local language in the state.

Also read: Why Zomato is in a soup over its celebrity ads

Zomato also pointed to roping in well-known Tamil musician Anirudh Ravichander as its local brand ambassador.

The company said that it was in the process of building a local Tamil call/support centre in Coimbatore.

“We understand food and language are core to any local culture and we take both of them seriously,” Zomato said in its statement.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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