Canadian company under fire for mocking Indian customer’s name

1 month ago 28

An Indian software engineer has received $10,000 after a joke by customer support fell flat

Canadian company dbrand, which makes accessories for devices, has come under fire for an alleged racist remark against an Indian customer who gave negative feedback about a product. 

Bhuwan Chitransh, a Netherlands-based software engineer from Pune, took to X (formerly Twitter) to say that a dbrand Macbook skin he bought had lost its color within just two months. “Your last name is basically shit rash, be serious,” the company wrote in response to the complaint. 

Chitransh answered by suggesting such remarks reflect “the invaluable perspective” of the brand towards Indian customers. He also tagged the accounts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his office, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The comment triggered a widespread outcry on social media, particularly in India.  Amid the backlash, dbrand eventually apologized and offered $10,000 to Chitransh “as a gesture of goodwill.” 

At the same time, however, it clarified that it has been poking fun at customers on social media for over a decade and will not stop doing so. “But maybe next time you’ll be the one who gets $10,000,” the firm wrote. 

Well that escalated quickly.1. Yes - we made fun of a guy's name. It was a huge fumble.2. We apologized to him directly and offered him $10,000 as a gesture of goodwill.3. We've been poking fun at customers on social media for over a decade now. We're not going to stop, but…

— dbrand (@dbrand) April 10, 2024

Despite the company admitting the comment “was a huge fumble,” it did not delete the original post until tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee protested early Thursday morning that it caused “unnecessary” harm, Verge reported. 

Even with an apology having been announced, Indians on social media were still not convinced. “People should regularly file cases on this brand so that the brand suffers more monetary losses,” suggested one comment, while another called the firm “pathetic.” 

“Does $10,000 erase your racism & ugliness?” one person asked. “This was no ‘poking fun’ it was an intentional & deliberate ploy to mock & insult Hindu names,” she claimed.

Still very toxic of you to act this way in the first place,” read another post. “Hard to earn respect, easy to lose it.”

However, many found the situation humorous, and claimed they would not mind being called names for $10,000. “You’re telling me all throughout school, people were making fun of my last name for FREE?” one user observed sarcastically. The commenter said he was “furious,” while yet another wrote, “Please make fun of my name I will be happy with 1000$.”

The company dbrand, led by Canadian entrepreneur Adam Ijaz, has been known for snarky responses on social media and roasting its followers online. Scrolling through its social media feed shows the firm engaging in sarcastic banter with both competitor brands and its own customer base.

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