Facing massive social media
backlash for initially pandering to bigotry, telecom giant Bharti Airtel
on Wednesday clarified that it did not change the customer care representative because of the 'discriminatory request'
from a belligerent customer.
The controversy started on Monday when an Airtel Customer lodged a complaint on social media regarding her Airtel Dish TV Connection to which the company responded by assigning Shohaib to attend to the complaint. However, the customer refused to seek his help by tweeting -
"Dear Shohaib, as you’re a Muslim and I have no faith in your working ethics because Kuran may have different version for customer service, thus requesting you to assign a Hindu representative for my request. Thanks"
Her tweet went viral, attracting sharp criticism of her behaviour from people. Most of them expressed sharp disapproval against her religious discrimination and bias towards members of the minority community (This is something we should not do as whatever we post can be viewed by millions and impact our reputation)
In the Meantime Shohaib was replaced with Gaganjot Singh and people started criticising Airtel for switching executives based on this unfathomable request, prompting the market leader to clarify its stance.
Airtel denied all these allegations
by putting out a detailed explanation on Twitter
where it claims that the company never differentiates based on identity, religion, sex and has a uniform policy for all. According to Airtel, this replacement of Executives was part of the process to expedite complaint redressal and in no should it be seen as bowing down to discriminatory request.
It is good that Airtel has cleared the air on this contentious issue. This is again a lesson on how to handle tough issues in public, especially on social media platforms, where the issues can snowball within minutes. Hope things will settle down soon.