Over the last couple of years, we’ve heard a ton – from both lawyers and those in need of legal advice – about the multitude of problems with bad, or downright fake, reviews.

Indeed, we have long been active proponents of the need for a higher level of authenticity when it comes to testimonials. You can read our latest thoughts in the recent Law Times article (page 10 of April 25th, 2016 edition – subscribers only, sorry).

The trouble is, until now, not many people with the power to change things was paying attention.

Last week, Amazon took bold steps in the battle, declaring legal action against some vendors, who offer fake, paid-for reviews of the products sold on Amazon.  Bravo Amazon! It’s about time, corporations got more serious about cracking down on fake reviews.

There are many review websites out there, including lawyer review websites, with substandard identification practices requiring nothing beyond past email verification (if that) to submit a review. We all know how easy it is to open a new email account and hide behind an alias. The opportunity for abuse is rife.

Single layer, email only, verification websites allow anyone to write reviews, both good and bad, whether a client, competitor or lawyer themselves… thereby manipulating the ability of new clients to make a correct, informed, choice of legal representation.

We treat reviews differently at KabukLaw.

Firstly, we apply a double layer identification process. In addition to email verification we require mobile phone number verification from all clients who want to open an account with Kabuk. Even once a client has opened an account with Kabuk, they still are not at liberty to review any lawyer they please. This brings us to our second point.

Only actual clients may review a lawyer on Kabuk. This means the client must have actually booked an appointment with the lawyer via Kabuk. To many, this raises a question. How do we protect client’s identity to ensure their reviews are honest? We post reviews anonymously. In addition, we encourage clients to strip reviews of any case specific facts they may indirectly identify them.

What do we do for lawyers?

We care about lawyers maintaining their reputation. We encourage lawyers to contact Kabuk and voice their side of the story, if they disagree with the posted review. In that case, we do our best to work with client and the lawyer to resolve the problem successfully.

Absence of uniform standards leads the world down the path of least resistance, whereby lax oversight may generate thousands of reviews, but are those an honest analysis of services lawyers provide? The end user is mostly unaware how reviews are collected and may fall into a trap blindly believing in simple maths instead: lots of reviews means they must be accurate, a few reviews not so.

Kabuk is different. We strive to provide the best quality of client reviews possible. Sometimes the cost of building a successful business based on ethics comes at the cost of web traffic, but we’re confident that fighting for a better quality review is better for everyone. We are glad that companies like Amazon are finally taking the right action to help all internet users who rely on online reviews.

Kabuk connects consumers, and small businesses, with the legal providers they need, when they need them, and enables them to request desired appointments online. Our platform is designed to streamline the legal discovery process, putting needed information right at the fingertips of consumers, and helping them to make more informed decisions. For legal providers, we help increase your online presence and improve your customer acquisition efforts. Check us out at kabuklaw.com and follow us at @KabukLaw.