Zomato landed in a controversy on Monday after its customer alleged that he was asked to 'know Hindi' by a customer care executive. The customer, based in Tamil Nadu, had also tagged Kanimozhi, Member of Parliament, Women's Wing Secretary of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and daughter of former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. The politician extended her support to the customer. Kanimozhi stated that it should be made mandatory for all companies to serve their customers in their local language. She stated that it was not necessary for a customer to know Hindi or English.
Kanimozhi backed the customer aggrieved by Zomato's customer service by writing that she was not in favour of customer care of companies operating only in select languages. She also used the hashtag 'Hindi theriyathu poda', which was a term that went viral last year reportedly because of her. It meant 'I don't know Hindi, go away' and many celebrities of the Tamil film industry had sported the message on their T-shirts then. Numerous Tamil politicians have protested against the imposition of Hindi over the years.
The customer care of some companies operate only in select languages. It should be made mandatory for companies to serve their customers in their local language. A customer doesn’t necessarily need to know Hindi or English. #Hindi_Theriyathu_Poda (3/3)— Kanimozhi (கனிமொழி) (@KanimozhiDMK) October 19, 2021
It all started with a man named Vikash from Tamil Nadu approaching the food delivery platform's customer service over a missing order. He posted screenshots of his conversation with a customer service executive, who asked the customer to approach the restaurant to register the complaint. When the customer insisted on the executive solving the problem by contacting the restaurant, the executive first said 'language barrier.' When the customer expressed surprise that the person did not know Tamil despite the company serving Tamil Nadu customers, the latter replied that Hindi was the 'national language.' The executive further stated that 'everybody' should 'know a bit of Hindi.'
Ordered food in zomato and an item was missed. 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. @zomatocare pic.twitter.com/gJ04DNKM7w— Vikash (@Vikash67456607) October 18, 2021
The Zomato handle on Twitter themselves termed it 'unacceptable' and asked the customer for contact details to address his grievance. While the man sought a 'public apology' and a 'strong clarification,' the company then replied to him that his 'issue was addressed.' However, by then 'Reject Zomato' became a trending topic on Twitter. Another hashtag then surfaced as 'Hindi is Not National Language.' Among the reactions was One netizen uninstalling the Zomato app, while another put '1 star' out of 5 on the app on Google Play Store.
Uninstalled #Zomato @zomato encouraged my colleagues too to do so...we dont need any service from anyone who cant respect my Tamil and want me to learn a new language to communicate with them#ZomatoSpeakTamil #HindiIsNotNationalLanguage #stopHindiImposition#boycottzomato pic.twitter.com/oWLrZACTvU— Janani 🐬🐬 (@JRGRP_) October 19, 2021
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