Statement on Twitter is titled, Did Airtel Really Bow Down to a Discriminatory Request? Maybe You Should Read This.
A day after Twitter went berserk following an outrageous request from a user, asking for a telecom representative to be changed based on his religious affiliation; Airtel has come out with a stark and detailed response to the controversy over its response to a woman’s request for a Hindu customer service representative.
Airtel, today, gave out a detailed statement regarding its stand on Twitter today titled, Did Airtel Really Bow Down to a Discriminatory Request? Maybe You Should Read This".
The response has since then been retweeted by Omar Abdullah, one of the many who had called out the telecom giant on its ‘bigotry’.
To be fair it’s only appropriate that I tweet this as well - the response from Airtel. As they’ve said ‘maybe you should read this’ so maybe you should. https://t.co/FMb58ZqKD6— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 20, 2018
Author Rickie Khosla too took to Facebook with Airtel’s reply, saying that despite everything he would stick with the Telecom giant as a customer.
"For us, Monday was simply a case of two dedicated professionals, Shoaib and Gaganjot, following a dutiful course in their regular work shift...The idea is to minimize the time taken to resolve any customer query. So when a customer writes in and one advisor is busy, the query gets assigned to the next available advisor automatically. Which is exactly what happened with Shoaib and Gaganjot," is what Airtel wrote.
Did Airtel really bow down to a discriminatory request? Maybe you should read this. pic.twitter.com/Mr7b8Pgrci— airtel India (@airtelindia) June 20, 2018
Monday’s Twitter war saw a woman, Pooja Singh, whose Twitter handle declares her to be a management professional and a ‘Proud Indian’ and a ‘Proud Hindu’ posted on Twitter that she did not want to interact with a customer resolution officer as he was a Muslim.
In response to this tweet, a man named Gaganjot took the conversation forward, leading many to accuse the company of not standing up to 'bigotry.'
The exchange that went on back and forth saw people putting forward their views for and against both parties.
Referring to the woman's request as "outrageous and unfathomable" in its latest statement Airtel said: "We are still trying to wrap our head around how one colleague responding on behalf of another is being misconstrued as our 'acceptance of discrimination'. We did not and we repeat, DID NOT change the advisor because of the unfathomable request from said customer. At Airtel, we never have and never will succumb to differentiating on the basis of religion, ethnicity of caste."
Airtel further posted, that it was because Shoaib wasn't logged in that Gaganjot took up the case but it was seen as bowing down to bigotry.
"While Shoaib and Gaganjot went about working on this case they learnt a harsh lesson. That their religious identity matters. That they should check identities before taking up the responsibility of a service request. Maybe from here on, they will. However, we will resist that. Strongly."
Airtel further posted their training manuals will never carry instructions to pause and check one’s identity before serving a query.
Keeping their letter open-ended, Airtel responded that while Gaganjot, Shoaib and others continue to respond to customer queries, it is up to customers to decide what ‘impression’ the episode has left on their minds.
Notably, Airtel signed off with “Official Airtel Spokesperson”, adding that the name has been withheld so people can read it free of religious and caste overtones.