Although it took some severe backlash, Airtel finally clarified that they do not discriminate on the basis of someone's religion and caste. An Airtel spokesperson 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." The telecom giant also tweeted from its official Airtel handle and said, "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."
However, people have pointed out that there was a gap of 5 hours between the last tweet and Airtel's clarification, with some saying that it does not take this long to slam bigotry.
Airtel also addressed the woman from its Airtel Presence handle and said, "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."
These statements came after a management professional, Pooja Singh, complained about her Airtel DTH customer service and was responded to by an executive called Shoaib. Upon his reply, in an extravagant display of bigotry, Singh replied "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."
However, acquiescing her request, an Airtel executive went on and assured assistance in this matter. Twitter, shook by this conversation went on to bash both Singh - for her bigot request - and Airtel - for overlooking it and agreeing to help her. Even former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah tweeted that he would not pay a penny more "to a company that condones such blatant bigotry" before Airtel issued the statement.
Dear @Airtel_Presence this conversation is genuine (I've seen the timeline myself). I refuse to pay another penny to a company that condones such blatant bigotry. I'm beginning the process of porting my number to another service provider & canceling my DTH & Broadband. pic.twitter.com/BZxJOaEsN6- Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) June 18, 2018
People across the platform have lashed out on the customer and Airtel, with some even tagging competitors Idea and Vodafone for porting services.