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Update News for January 2014
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.
2013 was Compulife's best year ever. While this is not a company that grows in leaps and bounds, we showed a modest and steady increase from last year. We believe that's due to focusing on the basics: steady improvement in services and keeping rates and products up to date. That involves adding new products as we can get our hands on them, and responding quickly to errors and oversights.
But we know we couldn't do any of that without you and so we again thank you for your business. A very special thanks to those who assist in improving and keeping up our database of products and rates.
Our sincere hope is that 2014 will be an even better year for us all, and that Compulife continues to be a profitable component in the services that you provide to your clients.
All of us at Compulife wish all of you there, the very best of health and happiness in 2014.
It seems that we have had an unusual level of interest in postal codes that will be coming open due to changes in renewals on existing listings.
Every year a certain number of subscribers elect to not renew all their previous postal code listings, and that means that a certain number of postal codes open, codes that were previously filled with 3 listings.
I have told a number of people to check the Postal Code Analyzer on January 15th, but Jeremiah advises that he may update the site with the new listings as early as January 10th.
Regardless of which it is, I would recommend that you prepare yourself for the land rush.
Prior to January 10th I would make a list, using the Postal Code Analyzer, and print that out on paper. Highlight those postal codes that you would like to get if they became available. Beginning on or about January 10th, you should come back to the site, re-run the list and check your highlighted codes to see if any have come open. If they have come open, the listings will be first come, first served. You can mail your list of postal codes, when they are shown as available, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any postal codes purchased in January will be $11 (11 months X $1/month) which will cover the balance of 2014. Your other option is to exchange an old postal code that you already have, for one you like better, providing that it is available.
During November and December Compulife made several changes to the Windows software.
When Jeremiah was away at the SEO convention in Las Vegas, I (Bob Barney) had the opportunity to handle all the service calls that Jeremiah usually fields (I generally handle the overflow).
Incidentally, that's why if you are unable to get Jeremiah by phone, it is important to email your service request to email@example.com. All requests sent to that email address go to both Bob and Jeremiah. We usually race each other to see which one can get to that call the quickest.
Therefore, if you want the quickest response possible, and unable to get us by phone, DON'T leave a voice mail. Send a quick email and make sure you give us your phone number, name and (as briefly as possible) what you need. If it's too complicated just say "CALL ME ASAP".
Anyway, while Jeremiah was gone I found most of my time that week was used handling service requests. While immersed in that I will generally look for repeat issues that could be resolved by making changes to the software.
Our biggest issue seemed to be the growing number of subscribers who are unable to run RENEW.EXE. This is a file you needed to run when either installing a new copy of Compulife on a new computer (or hard disk) or trying to install a subscription renewal that expired.
To address the expired renewal issue, the software now checks for new subscription renewals even if the current edition on your computer has expired. Generally, we invoice 45 days in advance of expiration, which should give lots of notice and time for renewal. Unfortunately, a few leave payment to the last day or panic the day that they try to use the software AFTER it has expired.
Previously, to revive an expired subscription, we required you to run RENEW.EXE from your installation web page. In the old days that was no problem. However, the problem is that many anti-virus programs now object to running RENEW.EXE because it is a file that is unique for every customer. The fact that the file is unique means there is no history of use and anti-virus software assumes a file is guilty until proven innocent. Those who pay late will find the software will/can revive itself without having to run RENEW.EXE. That fixes that problem.
For those installing on a new computer, we have also modified the the primary installation file, STARTCQS.EXE.
The first change is that the STARTCQS.EXE has been modified and contains the new GOWIN.EXE.
Second, after STARTCQS.EXE has been run it will advise you that the installation has been successful and require you to click on the "Finish" button to exit. The previous version flashed blue and went away. It was so quick that many subscribers assumed that something did not work or that nothing happened. The addition of the "Finish" button solves that problem.
Third, for those installing on a new computer for the first time, who are able to run STARTCQS.EXE, but are not able to run RENEW.EXE, there is now another way to start Compulife from scratch. The instructions for the alternate startup are in the newly modified installation email. That's the email we send you if you request the instructions to install on a new computer.
The alternate startup lets you run STARTCQS.EXE first. Second, you manually go into the "COMPLIFE" folder on your C: drive and run GOWIN.EXE. GOWIN.EXE will ask for your name(s) and serial number which you can enter manually.
The name(s) and serial number will be found in the newly revised installation email. Once you enter in the names and serial number GOWIN.EXE will go and get your subscription file directly, without the need to run the RENEW.EXE. The problem will then let you get a monthly update completing the installation.
The Windows software has also been modified to allow you to manipulate the age of the client by one (up or down) and not lose the preferred health criteria that you had already entered into the Preferred Health Analyzer. This will allow you to try adjusting the age to see if backdating a policy, or NOT backdating a policy, will impact the premiums that being quoted.
The software still assumes that if you change the age of the client then it is a new client. The software automatically resets the preferred health analyzer data requiring you to enter again from scratch. The data will not be reset if you change the age by only one, up or down.
Another change affects manual midmonth updates taken directly from our website, not using the GOWIN.EXE menu. Midmonth updates are obtained based upon a time cycle you set in "options" found at the top of the Red Menu. The option is called:
The value can be 0 to 31.
The problem was that some subcribers MANUALLY download their midmonth updates without using either of the mechanisms (manual or automatic) contained within GOWIN.EXE. Subscribers doing so go to our website and do not use the software to navigate to the correct page or file on the website.
If you used the site for the update, it meant that the date the last update was obtained was unchanged, and the timer would then go off regardless of whether you had a more recent midmonth update, and update that was obtained manually without GOWIN.EXE.
In the new GOWIN.EXE the clock will not go off if the date of the midmonth update is newer than the date that GOWIN.EXE checked for a midmonth update. The date GOWIN.EXE last checked for a midmonth update will be reset to the date of the more recent midmonth update if that is newer.
Finally, the CQSDOWN.EXE file, which is used to automatically down load updates from the web, has been changed so that the manual buttons do not appear during an automatic update. Sometimes during an automatic update process, while the software was busy, a subscriber would click a button and create a conflict with the process already occurring. That can no longer occur.
To summarize, these are changes that most will not see. None of these changes should make ANY difference in the function of Compulife regarding comparisons or quotes. These changes impact service issues that customers routinely or periodically encountered and which required support calls to our office. We believe these changes will reduce the time we spend on such calls, and leave us more time for such things as improving traffic (though SEO) to our term4sale.ca website.