Jakarta – Beverage company Es Teh Indonesia Makmur apparently cannot take criticism gracefully as it immediately took legal action against a Twitter user who recently criticized its product for being too sweet.
The user who identified himself only as Gandhi was forced to delete his post and make a public clarification on Twitter, which backfired on the company as many questioned why it was so easily hurt by criticism.
Gandhi tweeted last week: "I just consumed Es Teh Indonesia's Chizu Red Velvet for the first and only time."
He did use expletives as he described the product as "three kilograms of sugar mixed with cake ingredients" and that it could potentially cause "mass diabetes among children".
Some users warned him about his rude words and one of them apparently tagged the company, which responded in a threatening tone that the tweet "has been received by our legal team".
Gandhi posted an apology after the company's lawyer Brian Michel sent him a written reprimand.
The lawyer said that the company welcomes criticism but added that "insult and misleading information are different things".
Es Teh, which literally translates as 'ice tea', is "offended and defamed" by Gandhi's rude and misleading words, the lawyer wrote in the letter posted by Gandhi.
"We warn and demand you in a strong word to immediately delete and clarify that particular tweet on your personal account within 48 hours," he said.
The letter invited negative feedback against the company.
"Next time buy your ice tea at a warung [food stall] so if it's too sweet you can criticize without any legal risk, and if it's not sweet enough you can simply ask for more sugar," an internet user said.
"How come you obey Es Teh Indonesia and apologize? Internet users are behind you," veteran journalist Ahmad Pathoni wrote.
Another user named Edwin said the harsh review didn't do harm to Es Teh Indonesia, but the company's response to it did.
The other posted a photo of the product and his own review: "It's very sweet".
"Criticisms mean that there are costumers who care about your product that should be answered with efforts for improvement, not a legal motion," wrote another user.
On Thursday, the company released a media statement saying: "We are sorry for causing the unpleasant noise."
It said the legal motion was meant to fight "disinformation" after the internet user implied that a cup of the product used 3 kilograms of sugar.
The company also said it provides customers a range of choices including drinks with less sugar.