Airtel User Refuses Help From A Muslim Rep; Social Media Goes Berserk Over Airtel’s Reply!

This was a moment when Airtel could have become a hero!

Airtel's response shocks all!
Airtel’s response shocks all!

Daily, we come across brands and representatives of these brands, who are keen to help us. When it comes to customer service, then religion or caste or language doesn’t matter for both the customer and the representative.

It is the task at hand which matters, and nothing else.

But it seems that there are some people, who are hell bent on creating a fake divide in the field of customer service and business as well.

Similar attempts were made in 2015, and then again in 2018 when Ola faced similar religion related issues, but they managed it elegantly.

Yesterday, Airtel too faced a similar high-tension situation involving religion, but instead of becoming a hero, just like Ola, they fumbled.

And social media went berserk after them.

This is what happened.

Airtel User: I Need ‘Hindu’ Customer Service Rep!

A Twitter user with the name of Pooja Singh happened to lodge a complaint to Airtel, via Tweet. As is the norm of most of customer service processes, the most readily available customer service rep was assigned to her.

He happened to be a Muslim with the name Shoaib.

As soon as Pooja received the reply from Shoaib, she refused to take help from him, saying that he is a Muslim.

This is her Tweet:

At this point of time, Airtel had the opportunity to change it’s history, and do something positive which could have made them a superhero.

But instead, they chose the easy way.

Airtel’s Reply: Shocking!

In reply, they simply changed the customer service rep assigned (Shoaib), and brought a Hindu rep, just like Pooja had asked.

The next reply from Airtel stated:

This outraged entire social media, as users started blaming Airtel for breaking the religious harmony of India.

After all, what logic says that a Muslim customer representative can’t be trusted?

Here are few Twitter replies to Airtel:

After the outrage and the angry tweets against Airtel, the company issued a statement and clarified that they don’t discriminate between Hindu and Muslim representatives.

The statement said, “At Airtel, we do not differentiate between customers or our employees/partners on the basis of caste or religion. If a customer contacts us again for an ongoing service issue then the first available service executive responds in the interest of time. We request everyone not to misinterpret and give it unnecessary religious colour. The said customer has been responded to.”

But it was a bit late.

What Should Have Airtel Done?

Airtel should have followed what Ola did, in 2015 and in 2018.

In 2015, a Twitter user named Seelam Veerapa Naidu made a similar demand, asking Ola to provide a Hindu driver, instead of a Muslim driver.

In a terse reply, Ola clearly stated that they don’t discriminate between Hindu and Muslim drivers.

This was Ola’s reply:

Then again in 2018, another person demanded a Hindu driver from Ola, and refused to board a cab with Muslim driver.

Ola again refused to comply with this weird request and clearly stated that they don’t discriminate.

This is what Ola said, “Ola, like our country, is a secular platform, and we don’t discriminate our driver partners or customers basis their caste, religion, gender or creed. We urge all our customers and driver partners to treat each other with respect at all times.”

Brands have a responsibility to stop religious divide, and promote harmony among all.

This should be a good lesson for Airtel and other brands, as to how to handle such situations.

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