Airtel slammed for giving into bigotry; telecom giant clarifies

After Airtel obliged a user who had demanded a Hindu customer service representative when a Muslim Airtel staffer had replied to her on Twitter, many Twitter users trolled both operator and client

Photo courtesy: PTI
Photo courtesy: PTI

NH Web Desk

Telecom operator Airtel was trolled on Monday after it decided to acquiesce to a customer’s appalling request for a Hindu customer service person. Eventually, after being called out, an Airtel spokesperson said the company does not discriminate on the basis of religion or caste.

Pooja Singh, a subscriber to Bharti Airtel’s Direct to Home service, on Monday tweeted that Airtel’s service engineer had spoken to her rudely with her when she complained about re-installation of the service. Bharti Airtel representative Shoaib responded to her tweet that the company would look into Singh’s problem.

The woman, whose Twitter handle states her as a management professional, a "Proud Indian" and a "Proud Hindu", had complained about a service engineer. Within minutes, her exchange with Airtel was in wide circulation.

However, when a customer service representative named Shoaib responded that Airtel would look into the matter and get back to them, the Islamophobic client demanded that a Hindu customer personnel attend to her as she had no faith in a Muslim’s work ethics because “Kuran may have different version for customer service”.

Among those who called out Airtel on Twitter was former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who stated that he would no longer remain an Airtel subscriber, after the telecommunications services firm decided to assign a “Hindu representative” to solve her problem based on a request from a customer.

He went on to quip that the Airtel customer should get on a 16-hour Air India with an all-Muslim flight crew.

Surprisingly, writer Chetan Bhagat also called out the client for being one of those who are dividing the country on religious lines

Writer Vaibhav Vishal tweeted that “this rabid c**p isn't as sad as seeing the number of likes and retweets that she got. This is the run-up to 2019, and we have not even started yet”

Journalist Rohini Singh demanded that Pooja be told off by Airtel

Eventually, an Airtel spokesperson said the company does not discriminate on the basis of religion or caste. “If a customer contacts us again for an ongoing service issue then the first available service executive responds in the interest of time,” the firm said. “We request everyone not to misinterpret and give it unnecessary religious colour. The said customer has been responded to.”

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Published: 19 Jun 2018, 11:49 AM