“No no, I don't want food from Muslims, cancel it, let the money go, no problem. Keep the phone, I will go to bazaar and get the food,” Ajay Kumar told Swiggy’s customer care.

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news Controversy Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 11:40

A Hindu man in Hyderabad refused to accept food that was to be delivered to him by a Muslim Swiggy delivery executive. The Swiggy executive has now filed a police complaint with the Shah Ali Banda police station over the incident that took place on Wednesday night.

One gets to set delivery instructions each time an order is placed with the food aggregator app Swiggy. In Hyderabad, a Swiggy customer identified as Ajay Kumar, a resident of Aliabad, while placing an order with a restaurant set an instruction saying, “Very less spicy… And please select hindu delivery person. All ratings will be based on this.” (sic) What Ajay in his communal fervour forgot to understand was that the delivery instructions are meant for the restaurant, and the assigning of delivery executives is done by the algorithm of the app. The Swiggy app assigned Mohammad Mudassir Suleman who was to deliver the food near the Shah Ali Banda police station. And this set off Ajay, who refused to accept the food. 

Speaking to Mirror Now, Suleman said, “The fact is Swiggy does not go by the religion of the person. Indeed, you hardly get a Hindu delivery person in Falaknuma area. The system automatically assigned the order to me. I reached the location based on GPS. By hearing my name, the customer got angry, rejected the delivery and shouted at me that his preference was not honoured. The customer had a heated argument with the customer care executives and ended the call threatening to delete the App forever.”

The customer care executive identified as Vijay at first tried to insist that Suleman must deliver the food as the customer has already paid up. However, Ajay who was also in the conference call with the Swiggy customer care and Suleman, insisted that he did not wish to be served by a Muslim.

Here is an excerpt of the conversation between Vijay, the Swiggy customer care person; Suleman, the Swiggy delivery executive; and Ajay, the customer.

Vijay (Customer Care): The customer is not ready to pay?

Suleman (Delivery Exec): He is asking for Hindu delivery boy

Vijay: ...

Ajay (Customer): Hello hero, come to police station area I told you right.

Suleman: What?

Ajay: Told you to come to the police station, I already talked to you.

Suleman: Sir we need to take your information

Ajay: That's ok, before taking my money you should have said that you don't have a delivery boy. After taking the money you are assigning.

Suleman: Customer care can you please call me personally?

Vijay (to Suleman): The customer has already paid.

Suleman: So? That is your issue. He needs a Hindu delivery person so why you put Muslim delivery person? That's the issue here.

Vijay (to Suleman): Sir anyone can do this job

Suleman: You tell that to the customer. The customer needs a Hindu delivery person, so what can I do?

Vijay (to Ajay): ok ok...Ajay Kumar sir anyone can do the delivery, nothing will happen.

Ajay: No no, i don't want food from Muslims, cancel it, let the money go, no problem. Keep the phone, I will go to bazaar and get the food.

Vijay: You will get cancellation changes, sir.

Ajay: That is ok I will pay but i don't want food from Muslims am going to delete the app.

Following this conversation, the customer care person Vijay apologised to Suleman for the customer’s behaviour, and Suleman told him that what Ajay did was very rude. “We’re also humans, you’re also humans. He’s putting religion into food. He’s behaviour is very rude,” Suleman said.

Suleman approached the Shah Ali Banda police station to file a formal complaint against Ajay Kumar on Wednesday night. The police are yet to give their statement on the matter.

Swiggy in a statement to TNM said,"At Swiggy, we embrace diversity and respect different points of view. Every order is automatically assigned to delivery executives based on their location, availability, etc. and not based on individual preferences. As an organization, we do not discriminate between our partners and customers on any grounds."