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Update News for April 2022

Update News for April 2022

Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:

    • Resetting Defaults

    • Pace of Rate Changes Is Picking Up

    • A Disappointing Legal Decision

    • 6 Plus 6 For 6
      40th Year Celebration Referral Opportunity

    • How Do You Make The Referral?

    • This is a SPECTACULAR Deal

    • Our Current Programming Plans for 2022

These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.

Resetting Defaults
I recently caved into a request (more like demand) from one of our subscribers who insisted that the column width arrangements for the life insurance comparison window should be something that is saved and remembered and not automatically re-configured by the program which is how it had been working. I got quite a lecture on the subject. Having had that lecture before I decided to just try and accommodate the customer. In making the change we have also (unfortunately) introduced an infrequent and yet difficult bug that we are finding VERY hard to pin down. We are continuing to try to sort it all out. As I said, the bug is infrequent and unless we can identify a particular pattern of activity where the bug appears EVERY time, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

In general when people manipulate windows configurations in ways that our program cannot accommodate, we can end up with the inevitable tech support call where things have become so screwed up that the customer is stuck and now needs our help.

An example of one of the routine problems are the laptop users who have a second monitor that they use at the office. They then unplug the laptop, take it away, and begin using it without the second monitor. If you arranged any of the Compulife windows on the second monitor, then run the program without the second monitor, our software has NO way to know that the second monitor is no longer there. Our program thinks it is displaying correctly (and it is), but you can’t see what it is displaying because that other monitor is not there.

NOTE:   One of the reasons you cannot display the Red Menu somewhere else, and have the program REMEMBER that, is to ensure that on startup the Red Menu will always be located at the top left corner of your primary monitor. As a side note, I have other software that I use, which I have located to start up on my second monitor. If I cannot see that second monitor because it FAILS, then I get STUCK. If you can’t see it, you can’t drag it back to the primary monitor.

With Compulife, you cannot lose the Red Menu – we won’t let you. It is from the Red Menu that we can fix these problem, by “Resetting Defaults“.

Since making changes to accommodate that one customer’s request to remember column width configurations, we have a number of folks who are “losing columns” of information within the comparison display. The columns are not lost, it’s just that customers don’t know how to manipulate the columns to undo what has been done.

Currently, and until we pin down the bug, the fix that we use is always the same. Like I said, we use that fix for other issues such as the missing second monitor.

You can put things back by “Resetting Defaults”. Essentially the option takes and resize’s all the windows and the things displayed in those windows to the original settings that we think are most sensible for ALL computers and monitors. So, if it is the middle of the night, and you can’t get our tech support on the phone, try following these reset instructions:

    • 1. Go to the top of the Red Menu and click “options”.
    • 2. Come down to the option which says “Reset Defaults”.
    •       After you click that it will ask if you want to reset.
    •       Click on Yes.
    • 3. Reopen your COMPULIFE program.
    • 4. Go to the top of the Red Menu where it says “options”.
    • 5. Come down to the option which says “Reset Pick 12 Styles”.
    •       After you click that it will ask if you want to reset, click on Yes.
    6. Restart the program and see if your problem has been resolved.

NOTE:   This does NOT reset the defaults for the Pick 12 spreadsheet. There is a another reset option to do that. We found that a lot of people make a lot of changes to their Pick 12 styles, and then fail to save those changes to a style file (you should learn how to save styles). Resetting to our defaults, without a style sheet of your own, means losing those changes. Once again, that is a separate reset function on the same options menu.

We are still trying to find out what is causing the latest troubles with column widths and have not yet pinned it down. As a result we are having to have people do resets to deal with the problem.

I want to apologize for those caught by the problem. I can only say that the whole thing has been a frustrating loss of valuable time and so you will understand when you call me, and ask me for a “simple little change”, “feature” or “modification to the software” I can be quite resistant. After 40 years of doing this, there is a REASON why I am resisting.

And this is particularly the case given the fact that we are working on the NEW version of the software, which will ultimately replace the OLD version of the software, which I don’t want to make ANY more changes to unless if is really, really necessary. Time spent changing the OLD software, is time taken from the continued development of the NEW software.

Until we get the new software rolled out, and the new data structure introduced and working dependably, we are stuck on our ability to introduce much needed improvements to the program. The longer that takes, the more frustrated I am because I do NOT like it when we are not moving forward.

For those following the space development activities of SpaceX and Elon Musk, Musk is going through the same frustrations. His existing launch system is Falcon 9 which is NOW a very dependable and reliable system. Musk doesn’t want to make ANY changes to that, unless really, really necessary. He is trying to get his new Starship system up and running, which he knows will be much, much better than the current Falcon 9 – for a LOT of reasons. Any time or money spent on changes to Falcon 9 are in his mind a waste of resources and yet there is constant pressure from NASA to continue to make changes to that old system. On top of that he has a lot resistance from the FAA to approving advancements for his new Starship. Even though we are such a tiny little operation compared to SpaceX, I feel like I share Musk’s pain and understand the frustration.

Pace of Rate Changes Is Picking Up
In case you have NOT noticed it (particularly for U.S. subscribers) the pace of rate changes is picking up VERY quickly. Where we at one time had rate changes from companies once or twice a year, we are now seeing a handful of companies making change once every couple of months, and have now had a company who made two changes in one month.

Some of that pace has been accelerated by the availability to life insurance companies of the Compulife Batch Analyzer. We know that companies are getting very good at being able to analyze the changing market quickly, and because of that are designing products which allow them to make rates changes even more quickly. You can feel the “buzz” of more frequent changes.

I think that life companies that are NOT using the Compulife Batch Analyzer are going to find themselves at a growing disadvantage in keeping up with the evolving market. Give the very low price of the product, I can’t imagine how anyone could do market research for less money.

More and faster rate changes put a larger burden on us because there is much more work to do. NO problem, we are on this and our data entry systems are VERY robust and let us process these changes VERY fast in real time. I am routinely told that we are the fastest (by far) to turn around rate changes.

We are also being told that these rapid changes are becoming more and more problematic for some of our competitors. I knew this day was coming, albeit VERY slowly. I always envisioned the day when 10 life insurance companies send me rates at the same time, and they all tell me those rates will go into effect in 3 days. That hasn’t ever happened, but it’s what pushes us to steadily improve our methods for handling data. The point is that we have worked hard over the years to make sure that we can turn these rate changes around quickly and that hard work is starting to really pay off.

There are three things worth noting in this regard.

First, make sure that you are getting midmonth updates frequently. The key is to make sure that the automatic update option is “on” (checked) and that the number of days between midmonth update checks is set to either 1 or 0. If you set the daily check frequent to “1” the system will check for updates at least once every 24 hours (when you start the program). If you set it to “0” (zero) then the software will check for a new update every time you start the program. In the good old days there could be delays in checking for updates depending upon how quickly your system let you reach out to the internet, but that is virtually NOT an issue anymore. If it is, set it to “1”.

Here is how you check the settings:

    • 1. Go to the top of the Red Menu and click “options”.
    • 2. Come down to the option near the bottom which says:
    •       “Enable automatic downloading from internet”.
    •       If it has a check next to it, you are OK.
    •       If not, click on the option and it will check it.
    • 3. Again, go to the top of the Red Menu and click “options”.
    •       You should now see the checkmark.
    • 5. Come down to the next option which says:
    •       “Number of days between update checks”.
    •       The number of days is shown in parenthesis.
    •       You want that number to be 1 or 0.
    • 6. To change the number click on the option.
          A new window will display asking you to set the value.

NOT everyone should or will do this. Those who should NOT be doing it will ALREADY know that and why. If you are NOT one of those people, you should check and fix if needed.

Second, some life insurance companies are talking about no longer sending us rate changes as they have in the past. Instead they are proposing to have us interface with proposed API systems that they are planning. The idea is that our quoting system would talk to their quoting system and their quoting system would deliver quote information back in real time.

The logic is that when the company makes a rate change, no matter how frequently it makes change, we will not have to do anything because their quotes will reflect the rate change when it happens. I understand the logic of those proposing it, but I do NOT trust that they can deliver a reliable stream of data. Heck, I don’t even trust the internet to be working to deliver that quote when our customers is requesting it. I don’t want our customers sitting their twiddling their thumbs waiting because a technical problem is delaying or preventing us to get the quote from the company’s API.

There is NO need for this. Compulife is able to process rate changes quickly. No matter what they do, companies still have to create rate tables and the only issue is how long after we are sent a rate table does it take for Compulife to get that rate table into our software. I routinely SHOCK life companies with turnaround time. Rates given to us in the morning are often in sample software ready for testing by the afternoon.

I do NOT EVER foresee a day, while I am still alive, where we are going to make the performance of our quoting system dependant on ANY OTHER quoting system – PERIOD. First and foremost I don’t trust the internet. If the life company quoting system goes down, it means we can’t deliver. When I have the company’s rates stored in our own database, there is NO NEED to go elsewhere for information. I trust my product and its quality because we control our products and the quality. I don’t trust anyone else to have a greater commitment to their product and quality than I do for our’s.

Personnel turnover in the IT market and in large insurance companies is significant. The people you work with today are often NOT the people you worked with 2 years ago. You can’t imagine how tricky it can be to just get a company to remember to notify you if they make a change. What if they don’t notify you about a change in their API? Suddenly quotes aren’t working, and no one knows why. NO THANK YOU!

Compulife has been doing what we do for 40 years. We know what it takes to deliver a dependable quoting system, and what we are doing now, and the way we are doing it now, is the most secure and dependable it can be. I am NOT prepared to make our ability to deliver quotes dependant on someone else’s ability to deliver quotes. THAT, is just not going to happen.

Third, and this one is really for our competitors. There are a small group of competitors operating website quote services who have spent time and money on building their own web based quote systems. They don’t like the idea of paying Compulife for the work that we do, and would rather build their own and save the cost of paying us.

Let me point out that for serious players interested in doing such things, the cost to have the Compulife product to provide a life insurance quoting service to their customers is VERY, VERY reasonable. Frankly, it’s downright cheap. For those bulk buying customer with over 100 of their own customers, the cost of using our software as the quoting platform can be as low as $5 per month per customer. I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty darn cheap to me.

Typically our lowest priced competitors will be charging about $20 per month for their version of a web quoting option. What that means, if they are using Compulife, is that they collect $20 for each customer, pay Compulife $5 per month for each customer, and pocket the $15 difference. For the $5 per month Compulife does ALL the heavy listing: making rate changes, making changes to products, adding new products, etc.

We have set up a web page to explain why we are the best at what we do:

Some competitors don’t put much value on the updating of rates, but as the REAL competition between life insurance companies starts to ramp up, where life insurance companies continue to make more and more changes, more and more frequently, some of our competitors are going to find that job a bigger and bigger burden. Some are going to fail to keep up, others are going to find they will be paying more and more to keep up with all those changes.

You just have to ask yourself one simple question. Why go to the bother of doing ALL that yourself when Compulife is already doing it better and faster? More important, why would you do that when the cost of using Compulife is SO VERY REASONABLE and we provide software solutions (internet engine) that let you put our software behind the scenes so that YOUR customer doesn’t even know it’s Compulife that you are using?

You don’t actually think that Walmart is growing and canning the peas that they sell in their “no name” cans of peas on the shelf, do you? They make a deal with the companies in that business, get a big discount and re brand the product under the Walmart brand. The big money is in the resale of the retail product, not the manufacturing of the product. The big money in the manufacturing and wholesaling comes from VOLUME. Compulife can handle the volume, maintain high quality and turn around the changes needed faster than anyone else – PERIOD.

In conclusion the third point may seem to contradict the second point. Perhaps the competition is like me, they don’t want to put their trust in a third party quote system because they don’t ultimately control it. I respect that. Having acknowledged that, I want to emphasize that Compulife’s top internet solution means that ALL the software resides on the customer’s own server and is fully autonomous. There is NO communication between that server and Compulife’s server for the providing of quotes. If a customer does routine updates and backups, there is NO WAY that the Compulife product can leave a customer unable to do quotes. The only hooks are if the data becomes more than 60 days old or if the subscription is no longer current. If those things happen, it is designed not to work.

Working with Compulife will leave you with more money in your pocket. Our profits come from volume. Do you think you can do it better and cheaper than Compulife? I predict you will find out in the next couple of years as the competition between life companies and rate changes accelerate.

A Disappointing Legal Decision
As I told you last month, we were back in court during February for a complaint we filed. Our complaint was unsuccessful and I have no way to explain why our motion failed.

Rather than try to comment on it, I have put a copy here where those interested can read it.

I would sum it up as saying that the injunctive element of the judgment given in the lawsuit decision has no real teeth.

We are now waiting to read the defendants appeal documents.

The legal battle continues.

6 Plus 6 For 6
40th Year Celebration Referral Opportunity
For the next 6 months we are going to offer a special “6 free month referral opportunity“.

As background, all new prospective subscribers to Compulife start out the same way. If a prospective subscriber contacts us directly, we give them a 30 day free trial for Compulife’s PC software. If that prospective subscriber does a 10 minute tutorial, to show that they have learned to use the software, then they get 4 free months of service.

We BONUS for referrals – both the person who made the referral and the person who they referred.

If an EXISTING subscriber refers that person to Compulife for a free trial, then the prospective subscriber gets 6 free months instead of 4. That’s a nice bonus for the person you referred. For you, the person making the referral, we give you a free term4sale “home” postal code for 2 years plus the balance of the current year that we are in. That’s for you, for making that referral.

For the Next 6 months we are doubling YOUR bonus!

For the next 6 months, as part of our 40th Year Anniversary, we are going to sweeten YOUR compensation for those referrals. IF your referral does the tutorial and signs up for the 6 free month subscription (no obligation to buy at the end of 6 months), then you can get compensated with your choice of:

      • 2 FREE local postal codes – for two years plus the balance of 2022

    or

      • 6 free months added to your annual subscription to Compulife *

* NOTE: This does not include 6 free months for the Compulife Batch Analyzer or the Compulife Internet Engine or bulk purchase sub-user licenses

For those of you who are active participants to Term4Sale, and always anxious to add more postal codes, this should be a NO BRAINER. 2 local postal codes can be added to your account and even IF you have maxed out on your allowed number of additional postal codes, then we allow those added HOME postal codes over and above that limit. FURTHER, local postal codes give you the option to “bump” subscribers out of your local area. While you cannot use the bump option until the week of November 7th, 2022, you still get to add those two postal codes IMMEDIATELY and choose postal codes on a first come, first served basis (which assumes the postal code does not already have 3 agensts listed in it).

You can accumulate these bonuses!

If you refer 6 people, and those 6 all do the tutorial, you get 12 postal codes added to your account, and they will be considered paid to the end of 2024.

REMEMBER: For the Next 6 months we are offering an important alternative bonus.

If you don’t care about postal codes or term4sale, then those same 6 referrals who do the tutorial to get 6 free months will get you 6 X 6 months added to your subscription. Once again, if you did 6 successful referral that would add 3 free years to your subscription.

There is no limit to the referrals.

If you refer more, and your referrals do the tutorial, you get ANOTHER 6 free months for each referral. The only limit is August 1st. If it is August 1st or later, you will have missed your opportunity.

How Do You Make The Referral?
EASY, go to this web page:

Remember: There is NO limit.

How you don’t sit down and put in the name of EVERY fellow life insurance agent you know would be a mystery to me. I guarantee you that when this SPECIAL referral opportunity ends on July 31st, you will be kicking yourself for not having taken advantage of it.

Is there a catch?

YES there is always a catch. Your referral has to take the 30 day FREE trial email that we have sent to them, and they must DO THE TUTORIAL. If they don’t do the tutorial, then they don’t get 6 free months. If they don’t do the tutorial, and get the 6 free months, then YOU don’t get 6 free months.

You can help this process by making sure your referral knows that to get the 6 free months they have to do a tutorial. To review, there are two benefits for the prospective subscriber when they do the tutorial:

      • 1. They learn how to use our software
    • 2. They get the software for 6 free months

I have said many times that if someone doesn’t learn how to use the software, then they won’t use the software. If they don’t use the software, they won’t find out that it will make them money. If it doesn’t make them money, then why would they buy it?

If they do get the 6 free months, there are 4 things that come FREE for those 6 free months:

      • 1. A free subscription to the PC program
      • 2. A free subscription to Compulife Basic
      • 3. Web quotes for their website
    • 4. 3 Postal Codes At Term4sale

One more catch. The person referred cannot have had a subscription to Compulife in the last 24 months. (a subscription includes a 4 month free subscription)

And the biggest catch of all – you can’t get any of this if your don’t make a referral.

This is a SPECTACULAR Deal
Enterprising subscribers will be in a position to get a lot of free software, for a long time, by simply digging through their list of fellow agents and pitching them on the value of doing a Compulife Free Trial and Tutorial. And even explaining the value of Compulife is VERY SIMPLE. Just sent your potential referrals a personal email with a link to this:

So for 10 minutes of homework, your referral gets to find out for a period of 6 months if those Compulife subscribers are telling the truth. You’re a subscriber, you already know – they don’t.

And here’s the last catch which may be fatal to the concept. Many subscriber do NOT want fellow agents finding out just how good Compulife is, because if those fellow agents know what you know, they might end up one day competing with you. OK, I get that and if that is your logic then I can see how you would want to keep the big secret all to yourself.

But for those of you who are NOT worried about other agents being better than you, I think this 40th year anniversary special is VERY SPECIAL. We have NEVER offered a deal this good to our subscribers, and if you want to hang around and wait for the 50th anniversary special, to see if there might be an even better deal, then go ahead. But depending on how hard you work at making referrals, you may be able to get to the 50th year special without having to pay for software (20 successful referrals get you there).

Our Current Programming Plans for 2022
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2022:

      • Introduction of New PC Version: CQS.EXE
      • Overhaul Of Current Product Data Files
    • Introduction of Compulife Basic Plus (with Pick 12)

Anyone with questions about any of these upcoming projects can call Bob Barney to discuss:

(888) 798-3488

Please don’t email me essay questions, just call. If I’m not in, email me your phone number, I’ll call you.

These planned objectives will easily consume our programming time during 2022. The good news is that once the product data files have been converted, and we have introduced the new CQS.EXE, and upgraded our internet engine to use the new data files, Compulife will be turning it’s full attention to our web based, Compulife Basic software. The long term goal is to have a web based product that does everything our PC based software does.

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