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A customer service employee of food delivery app Zomato, who was fired following a major Twitter backlash, has been reinstated to service, said the company's founder Deepinder Goyal on Tuesday. 

The person's contract was terminated after they told a customer from Tamil Nadu that Hindi was “India's national language" and that they were facing a barrier in communicating with a restaurant.

Zomato also apologised to the customer, who goes by the handle "@Vikash67456607" on Twitter, and also issued a statement both in Tamil and English, stressing that the company stood for diversity.

Vikash had tweeted he ordered food on Zomato and complained that an item was missing. 

"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," he tweeted and tagged the company while sharing screenshots of his purported chat with the customer care agent. 

In its statement, Zomato said the company was "sorry" for the behaviour of its 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.

It said the sacked employee's statements do not "represent our company's stance towards language and diversity."

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.

It also pointed to roping in well-known Tamil musician Anirudh Ravichander as its local brand ambassador. The company was in the process of building a local Tamil call/support centre in Coimbatore in the state. 

"We understand food and language are core to any local culture and we take both of them seriously," it added.

Later, Goyal took to Twitter to defend the agent, saying most people at the call centre were young people "at the start of their learning curves."

In a series of tweets, he said "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?"

We should all tolerate each other's imperfections and appreciate each other's language and regional sentiments, he said "Tamil Nadu – we love you. Just as much as we love the rest of the country. Not more, not less. We are all the same, as much as we are different," Goyal said.

"And remember, our call centre agents are young people, who are at the start of their learning curves and careers. They are not experts on languages and regional sentiments. Nor am I, btw." 

"On that note, 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," he added.


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