Restaurant Lehtovaara threatens people who don't like them

Herkko Hietanen criticized the Lehtovaara restaurant on-line, ended up in top Google search results, and got a letter threatening to sue him for damages. They want 80.000 € (plus interest) for criticizing a restaurant in public! Herkko, being one of the more known online free speech activists in Finland, is probably going to give them hell for that.

Lehtovaara has been on my no-go list ever since they refused to serve a male friend who just happened to have long hair, and no tie. They did serve the other people in the party (none of whom had ties), but ignored any requests from this guy. That happened years ago, but I'm very saddened to see that they still have the same crappy service. Lehtovaara will continue to be on my no-go list, and I cannot recommend that place to anyone else either.

(Via Visa, who points out that if you comment about this, you should link to Herkko's letter so that it will get a higher Google ranking.)

Update: Taloussanomat picked this one up as well.

Update2: It's now on one of the top Yahoo hits as well: the City magazine review. This thing is spreading fast - so fast it reminds me of this old entry of the Ilkka Pöyry case... It shows how easy it is to lose trust: make one single mistake and you'll pay for it for a long time. But this is no different from how we live our lives anyway: you build a friendship for a long time, and if your friend screws you over once, you lose the trust.

I just hope that when the first "oops, that story wasn't true, we just killed someone's reputation" -thing comes along, the bloggers who wrote about it have enough spine to go back and revise their stories to admit their mistake. After all, that's the advantage that the bloggers have over rumors whispered to someone's ear... After all, usually people don't approach you and say: "You know, the gossip I told you last week... It's not true, and I made a mistake. Sorry. Could you please tell everyone else the right thing as well?"

Update3: Herkko posted the nastygram as well.


Added a comment on Herkko's log. I never complained to Lehtovaara after the event you're talking of, but I definitely put the place on my black list. If the same kind of thing goes on for years, with added insult, they deserve all the publicity and its financial effects.

--//ebu, 27-Jun-2005

I'd link to the letter if there was an English version of it.

I had problems with a boat repair two years ago. I published a long litany of problems on my web site. I waited until the search engines moved me high up the list. I called the guy and we talked about getting the botched repairs fixed. He pushed back. I asked him to search on his company name, I was the entry BEFORE his. Boat was fixed three days later to my satisfaction and the new entry reads about how happy I am.

Most businesses understand good and bad reviews.

--Foster, 27-Jun-2005

Yup. Good story. That's how it should work.

--JanneJalkanen, 27-Jun-2005

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