We plan to post the April 2005 Internet monthly update to our six monthly update web sites on Wednesday, March 30th.
The April 2005 disk update will be processed Wednesday, March 30th and the disks will be shipped on that day. You should have the disk update by Friday, April 1st.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Subscribers who still get updates by disk can save up to $100 per year by switching to updates by Internet. Please read the last section of this bulletin for complete details. Don't wait for your next invoice to make the change. Compulife will bonus your subscription renewal deadline for switching from disks to internet.
From March 8th to March 15th, Jeremiah and myself (Bob Barney) will be out of the country, and off the continent, to participate in Jeremiah's brother-in-law's wedding in South Africa. It just so happens that Jeremiah's brother-in-law is also my eldest son Rob, due to the fact that Jeremiah married my oldest daughter. All of that is code to say my eldest son Rob has fallen in love and is marrying a lovely South African girl and he expects the family to show up for the wedding. Worse yet, my wife has bought the plane tickets and so we are stuck. All kidding aside, it's a once in a lifetime family event and we'll be gone that week.
The bad news is that because Jeremiah is my son-in-law, the two individuals who do technical support will be unavailable during that time. I can't remember the last time there wasn't someone here to answer your questions or assist with the software. However, we hope you understand the situation and that it won't be happening again in the forseeable future. Further, we are taking steps to ensure that the updates that you receive, between then and now, do not give rise to unexpected problems.
Donna, our Canadian office manager, will still be available to assist you if you call 800-265-2763. Unfortunately Donna does not do technical support and we would ask that you not expect her to. In dire emergencies Donna may have our programmer attempt to assist you, but we would ask that you not burden him with problems that are not serious. The fact is that Chris rarely talks to customers and NEVER deals with rate or product issues which are my department. His area of expertise is not in use of the program, but rather building the program structure as per my design.
When Jeremiah and I return on Wednesday, March 16th, we will be working long and hard to get caught up on all the messages that have been left. Once again, we hope you understand the situation and that Diane will be all alone for that week, handling phones that are usually handled by 3 people.
As of February 1st approximately 25% of Compulife's subscribers were still getting disk updates rather than Internet updates. We are quickly approaching a crossroad. As the number of subscribers getting updates by Internet increases, the cost per customer to handle disk updates is growing, particularly when you consider that equipment and office space is set aside for those functions.
Effective July 1, 2005, NEW customers will no longer be able to
purchase updates on disks. (MOST DON'T ANYWAY)
Effective July 1, 2005, EXISTING customers will be able to still renew
their subscription for updates on disks, but the renewal price for
disks will increase by $50 per year.
The last date for disk updates will be December 2006. All customers
MUST receive updates by Internet from January 2007 forward.
EXISTING customers renewing after July 1, 2005 will be invoiced for the
total number of months left to December 2006, based upon an average per
month price which is based upon the new HIGHER disk update price.
IMPORTANT; PAY ATTENTION TO THIS:
If you will still want disk updates
up to December 2006 here is your BIG chance to save money. If you act
to renew your subscription PRIOR to July 1, 2005, we will let you renew
up to December 2006 at the average monthly cost based upon the EXISTING
lower PRICE for disk updates. If you wait until AFTER July 1, 2005,
you will pay the higher price to get disk updates to December 2006.
Effective July 1, 2005, EXISTING customers will be able to still renew their subscription for updates on disks, but the renewal price for disks will increase by $50 per year.
The last date for disk updates will be December 2006. All customers MUST receive updates by Internet from January 2007 forward.
EXISTING customers renewing after July 1, 2005 will be invoiced for the total number of months left to December 2006, based upon an average per month price which is based upon the new HIGHER disk update price.
IMPORTANT; PAY ATTENTION TO THIS: If you will still want disk updates up to December 2006 here is your BIG chance to save money. If you act to renew your subscription PRIOR to July 1, 2005, we will let you renew up to December 2006 at the average monthly cost based upon the EXISTING lower PRICE for disk updates. If you wait until AFTER July 1, 2005, you will pay the higher price to get disk updates to December 2006.
Later in March, once I have had a chance to catch up from being away for the week, I will be working to combine all the e-mails I received regarding our proposed new feature to enhance U/L no lapse premium comparisons. I want to thank each and every subscriber who wrote an e- mail in support of that project and hopefully, once the new page is up, we can attract some more voices to the cause. We believe that if there is any chance in persuading life companies to become involved in the project, they will need to hear from you.
So you know what is going on, I am repeating what was written and explained last month:
First, Compulife is not planning to add U/L comparisons to our software. We already have the U/L comparisons that we have decided to add. You will find those products in the comparison category called "U/L T100 - Minimum Premium".
NOTE: Term4Sale Agent Edition customers do NOT have this category.
Providing that a U/L product has a fully guaranteed T100 premium, and a specified minimum premium, the product can be included in that category and we want to include every such product that we can.
The NEW PROPOSAL that I talked about last month adds nothing new to that comparison.
The PROPOSED NEW feature I would like to add, is a "link" or "connection" between the Compulife program and the Home Office software provided by the life companies. Here is how I envision the function working:
From the comparison results you would double left click on a U/L product which would cause the "Display Single Product" window to appear. (That part works already)
Next, if the company has worked with Compulife in order to facilitate the new feature that we are PROPOSING, there would be a NEW BUTTON on the single product display window. Currently you have a button called "Rate Class". Imagine a NEW button just to the left of it called "Illustrate". If you were to click on this imaginary "Illustrate" button our software would then connect to the Home Office software, passing into the software the client's information and displaying a genuine Home Office illustration for the exact same product that you were looking at in Compulife.
Again, this is NOT a new comparison feature. This would be a proposed new interface between our software and the company software. It would make it much easier to use the company software to generate a genuine life company illustration for the product you saw in Compulife.
As we move toward the 3rd quarter of 2005, when the DOS version of Compulife will no longer be provided, one of the functions/features that some Compulife subscribers needed the DOS program for was the ability to produce formatted .TXT files instead of printouts. They then took the text files and reformatted them to a presentation style that they liked better.
The new version of the Windows program provided this month allows you to create a formatted text file instead of printing to you printer. for subscribers using the existing DOS text format, you need to get busy and try out the new Windows version and let us know what problems, if any, the function presents. Once again, by the 3rd quarter of 2005 (likely October 2005), DOS will no longer be provided and so we would ask you to check it out sooner, rather than later.
A small but increasing number of companies are quoting from rate tables that have fractional pennies. This is particularly true for U/L - no lapse policies. We intend to introduce a change to our database which will allow us to increase the number of decimal places that we store from two decimals to six decimals. Currently we take products that have fractional pennies in their rates per thousand and round the rates up to the next whole cent. This can make our quotes fractionally higher than they should be.
IMPORTANT: Change Will Require New Internet Engine
This change will require a minor data conversion which will necessitate a change to the data structure. This means that new data will not be compatible with old data. While this will not be a problem for customers who subscribe to our software, because the new program and data will be provided at the same time, it does create a problem for those who use the internet engine.
Therefore, if you are using Compulife's Internet engine, you will need to be ready to replace the engine with the new engine once the new data is introduced. Due to the significance of the changeover, and the fact that everything will need to be implemented and tested before release, we are planning to make this change with the April or May monthly update.
If there is anyone out there, using Compulife's Internet engine, and has not kept their subscription to that engine current, the new data files in April 2005 will NOT WORK with the existing engine. You will need to upgrade the engine in order to continue.
Therefore, if you are a current engine user it would be a good idea to make a note to contact Compulife in March, to ensure you get an updated version of the engine. If you are NOT a current engine user, but still using the engine, you've been warned.
The new April 2005 data file change will be the last change that we plan to make to the DOS version of Compulife. As previously discussed, Compulife will stop offering DOS software effective with the 3rd quarter of 2005. After that, the only desktop software that we will provide will be the Windows version.
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our web sites. Our main web site is:
However, we keep two other completely separate web sites, on two completely different servers, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we are also updating to compulife.us and to compulife.cc. If one web site goes down, for whatever reason, either of the other two are ready to serve you. That includes both monthly and mid-month updates.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we rely on three other web sites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
For those receiving updates by disks, you are responsible to return those disks each month. Not returning disks can lead to the termination of your update service. For those not wanting to return disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
1. Switch to obtaining monthly updates by Internet.
Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $100 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our web page www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc." Under the section "License Agreements" you will need to select and complete a new License Agreement for the type of license you have. After you have printed the new agreement, please read it, especially the part where you agree that you have successfully downloaded and processed our "mid-month updates". If you haven't done that before, call us and we'll be happy to step you through the procedure. It's easy.
2. Disk Purchase Program
The other way to avoid returning the disks and the disk box each month is to pre-purchase them for $21 per year ($1.75 per month). Once you do that you can keep them for future reference, throw them away or return them for a credit (once each year) when you are invoiced for the following year. $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.