Telecom major Bharti Airtel faced the ire of social media users after it appeared to cater to a customer’s demand for a non-Muslim customer care executive on Twitter.

A customer, identified as Pooja Singh from her Twitter handle, took to the social media platform to register a complaint against Airtel’s customer care support for the company’s DTH service. She alleged that the service engineer “miss behaved” (misbehaved) with her and spoke in an impolite manner.

“@airtelindia pathetic Airtel DTH customer service.I raised complaint for reinstallation of DHT.but assigned service engineer miss behaved with me. His words are “Tum Phone Rakho Dobara call mt krna ” his number is+91 79-85195094.   This is how Airtel is looting it’s customer,” the user wrote on Twitter.

 

Within minutes, an executive from Airtel’s support replied offering assistance while assuring a closer look at the complainant’s allegation.

“Hey, I most definitely appreciate you reaching out here! We’ll take a closer look into that & get back shortly with more information. Thank you, Shoaib,” wrote the executive.

 

After a couple of hours, Singh responded to the executive’s tweet in what appears to be a clearly bigoted comment on his religion.

“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,” wrote Singh.

 

While Singh’s tweet was slammed by other social media users, everyone was left shocked when Airtel posted another tweet, which appeared to have catered to the complainant’s whim.

“Hi Pooja! As discussed, please let me know what days & time frames work best for you so we can talk. Further, please share an alternate number so that I can assist you further with this. Thank you, Gaganjot,” read a tweet posted within minutes from the official handle of the company.

 

Airtel however refuted the charge later, saying it was an automated system at work.

Speaking to thestatesman.com on Tuesday, 19 June, Airtel said “at any point the first available customer care executive responds to a customer query”, and that the particular executive happened to be Gaganjot after Pooja Singh posted her second tweet asking to change the representative.

After the barrage of criticism for both Singh and Airtel grew, the telecom company posted a statement via a tweet hours later saying the company did not “differentiate between customers, employees and partners on the basis of caste or religion”.

“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. If any customer contacts us for an ongoing service issue then the first available service executive responds in the interest of time. On your query, we will get back to you as soon as there is an update. Thanks – Himanshu, Airtel Response Team Lead,” read the statement.

 

Twitter users were not pacified with Airtel’s late response. Here are some of the criticisms directed at both Singh and the company.

 

Someone tagged the official Twitter handle of Bharat Matrimony claiming that Singh worked for the match-making company. In a prompt response, Bharat Matrimony checked the credentials and confirmed on Twitter that Singh used to work for the organisation till the middle of 2016.

 

Singh’s comment on Shoaib, however, also found appreciation by a section of social media users.

She later took to Twitter to defend herself claiming that the  “kind of abuse” she was facing proved her right.

While stating that he, too, disliked the bigoted remark by Singh, former Jammu-Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also condemned those allegedly abusing her on social media.