Airtel India has issued a statement on its Twitter handle, clarifying its role in the recent controversy around the religious discrimination against an employee by a customer. The lengthy statement suggests that Airtel did not deliberately give in to the customer’s bigoted and discriminatory request, and blames it on a misunderstanding caused by the way the company assigns issues on its social media handles.
Dear Pooja, at Airtel, we absolutely do not differentiate between customers, employees and partners on the basis of caste or religion. We would urge you to do the same. Both Shoaib and Gaganjot are part of our customer resolution team. (cont) https://t.co/lbwhRE95vm
— Bharti Airtel India (@Airtel_Presence) June 18, 2018
The response is well-written, and states that the entire issue has been made to appear as if Airtel bowed down to the customer’s discriminatory request to change the person handling the case. Airtel states that this was not done deliberately, but was simply how the company’s systems function. If a social media associate handling the matter is unavailable, it is transferred to the next available associate.
The first associate Shoaib was, according to the statement, not logged in when the customer made the request. It was therefore automatically transferred to a different associate Gaganjot, who responded normally taking the service request forward. Much later, when the matter was widely noticed by users on Twitter, Airtel issued a statement directly to the customer, condemning the discrimination. The full text of the statement can be read below.
Did Airtel really bow down to a discriminatory request? Maybe you should read this. pic.twitter.com/Mr7b8Pgrci
— airtel India (@airtelindia) June 20, 2018
The response is widely being hailed as positive by users on Twitter and the internet in general. The statement also makes clear and gives a suitable explanation to the entire matter, and it’s a response we’re willing to take at face value. While Airtel received a lot of negative publicity leading up to the statement, it’s likely that this will turn the public perception around.
Airtel is currently the largest telecom operator in India by users, although the soon-to-be-merged entity of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular will take the number one position upon completion of the merger. Airtel’s has among the widest mobile networks in India, and is also present in international markets including Sri Lanka and a number of African nations.