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BENGALURU : Zomato Ltd’s CEO Deepinder Goyal on Tuesday said his company has reinstated an employee who was sacked just hours earlier for allegedly denying a customer a refund on the grounds of not knowing Hindi.

The controversy erupted after Vikash, a customer from Tamil Nadu, alleged he was denied a refund since he did not know Hindi and posted screenshots of his chat with a customer care agent.

The tweet, which went viral, said: “Ordered food in Zomato and an item was missed. Customer care says (the) 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."

This sparked an online backlash, with hashtags ‘Reject_Zomato’ and ‘ZomatoSpeakTamil’ trending on Twitter earlier in the day.

In response, Zomato issued written apologies to the customer on Twitter. “We are sorry for the behaviour of our customer care agent; we have terminated the agent for their negligence towards our diverse culture. The termination is in line with our protocols, and agent’s behaviour was clearly against the principles of sensitivity that we train our agents for on a regular basis," Zomato said.

Two hours later, Goyal came out in defence of the employee and took to Twitter, asking for greater “tolerance" in the country and calling the issue an “ignorant mistake".

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