February 2009

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Music for nitches

  • Giant robot: DOMESTICITY

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David Paul

I think I and my friends will stay clear of a restaurant that threatens to take legal action against customers who do not favourably publicise the level of service it provides. Hang in there.

Terveisiä itä-Helsingistä

Teemu Arina

Lehtovaara is fighting against wind mills. A company probably totally ignorant of the web so far will probably face the network effect if they continue to pursue their pointless legal threat. The issue is hot and no surprise it's on BoingBoing already.


all i've got to say is GOOD FOR YOU HERKKO! there are alot of ignorant assholes out there who think they can bully people around and get their way through intimidation. i hope this restaraunt goes out of business and the owner loses his law practice/bar position because of his stupidity. i don't even know this guy and i wish i could punch him in the face.

Eirik Solheim

Lehtovaara had two options:

1. Answer your letter, give an apology and a voucher for a dinner. Maybe they could have fixed the bad impression.

2. Sue you

Boy, was that a bad decition?

a) Give bad service = not good
b) Not answering your letter = plain stupid
c) Sue you = priceless

As I have stated on my blog:

"If there existed a list of the five worst people to sue for a case like this, Mr. Herkko would be on it."

Go for it!

Jussi Havu & Tuomo Urrila

It was quite funny to read Herkko's blog and find out about the threat letter he had received. We were at Ravintola Lehtovaara that night, one and a half years ago, when this story started. And we can agree with Herkko that the service was bad. We didn't take the lousy service personally and therefore didn't bother to write a letter to the restaurant but in our opinion Herkko had every reason to do so.

We understand that posting the complain letter on the web hurts Ravintola Lehtovaara's business but that's no reason to send a ridiculous threat letter. They could have taken care of things nicely by replying to the original letter. This is a very expensive way to take care of customer feedback.


Hmmm... the aftertaste of a bad meal. Well if they sue their customers, who will want to eat there again? [now that everybody knows]


I'd betcha if they would have instead invited you back for a free dinner - you would have been more than happy to remove that letter.

Everyone knows that people (and restaurants) make mistakes - they made a mistake that night giving you poor service. No problem, give a free dinner and make things better. But instead they threatened with a lawsuit, and now their name will be tarnished even further.


Whoa! That's really really weird behaviour from the owner... 80k is definitely off the hook - please keep us posted on what happens next!

Matti Saarinen

I am not surprised to read that Herkko has received bad service in Lehtovaara. I have visited the restaurant only once and I will never go there again. The waitress was really arrogant. She brought me wrong wine and the accused me of pointing the wrong wine from the list. When I ordered the wine I told the waitress what wine wanted. Then the food, it was simply bad. I have rarely eaten fish that has been prepared so poorly and I wish I never need to do it again. It was lunchtime, so starters and dessert had to picked from the buffet. The quality was what you can expect from the food that has been lying around hour or two. Simply afwul experience. Luckily, I wasn't paying the bill.


I don't have any reason to believe what mr. Herkko says would not be true, but still: this is Internet. Anybody can write whatever he/she wishes. Therefore one should remember: we have heard only one side of the story. Without any evidence (f.ex. copies of the letter from the attorney) this might as well be just another Internet hoax.

erik bunn

Let me add a voice of dissatisfaction at Lehtovaara.

Several years ago - about '97 or so - we reserved a table for a large group of people, in celebration of an event well done. Lehtovaara was chosen as the venue that year.

Our experiences mirror yours perfectly. The supposedly elite restaurant provided rude, inadequate service, neglected the customers, mixed the orders, brought some wrong dishes, and left a couple of members of the group completely unassisted until this was pointed out explicitly (and reacted by handing them menus without a hint of apology).

Frankly, I am unable to believe that even a middling restaurant would manage to bungle a customer experience so thoroughly. I can think of exactly one reason for the debacle: intentional rudeness at a group of people the place doesn't consider their target audience. (We, too, were 25'ish academics or students, some casually dressed after wrapping up the event. The door service failed to point this out as a reason for snubbing.)

Needless to say, I have boycotted Lehtovaara ever since, and steered all dinner functions to some more deserving establishment. There are plenty, after all. I suggest any reader do likewise.

I'd be very interested in seeing how, exactly, the restaurant and its law firm intend to fine dissatisfied customers for restaurant critique.



This entry is getting lots of attention in the Finnish blogging community:


Would you please publish some quotations from the letter?


Oops, in the press already:


I had never even heard about the restaurant Lehtovaara, until i read the news from www.digitoday.fi.

But i will definitely remember all this stuff if i see it somewhere. I try to avoid restaurants that sue their customers.

Well, at least they got publicity.

Maija Haavisto

Blogged this here: http://www.enterlehti.fi/blog/index.php?itemid=299

Maija Haavisto

Blogged this here: http://www.enterlehti.fi/blog/index.php?itemid=299

Leskisen Tomppa

There's no idea for the restaurant to even consider sending a threat letter.. I can't understand that kind of mentality, it makes me sick.


This page is now number one for search of Antero Molander - And he thought having a bad review of your restaurant was a bad thing...

Lauri Laakso

Jesus! This is 2005.. these kinds of things shouldn't happen anymore.. I will cry myself to sleep for finally understanding that we live in a really underdeveloped world both mentally and physically. I hope you guys keep the flag of freedom up!

Bill Ward


You are my hero!




In my opinion if the restaurang suffers 5000 euro damages / month, it would be good business to restaurang offer you 2500 euro / each month and you would take the text off. Both parties would win.



Irrespective of what has really happened, Lehtovaara is hereby declared as a winner in the "Shoot Yourself in the Foot" contest.


I'd say, that the restaurant is pretty soon holding up their promises of 5000 euros loss per month.

If anyones having Lehtovaara shares, it wouldn't seem be a bad time to sell ASAP.


Hi! All i can say is that you are not alone with this one. About same time you have had your bad experience we had a business dinner around 15 people at Lehtovaara also and shared a similar customer service and that was -> Lousy service!

After that it has been an "inside" joke about having dinner at Lehtovaara.. It sure made my day when i saw this today at digitoday.fi.

Keep on going!!


I don't do no steenking Trackbacks. Sorry. See URL.

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