The February 2001 disk update will be processed Friday, January 26th and Monday, January 29th. Disks will be shipped Tuesday, January 30th. You should have the February Update in your office Thursday, February 1st. The Internet monthly update will be posted some time on January 30th to our three monthly update websites.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "December disks" ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed the January 2000 Update. December disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the December edition.
For those who don't like returning disks there are two ways to eliminate the problem.
The first is to switch over to obtaining monthly updates by Internet. Not only will you eliminate the expense and hassle of returning disks, you will save $50 per year in subscription fees.
Before you switch to updates by Internet we require that you complete a special addendum to the license agreement called the "Internet Update Endorsement". Once you have returned that to us we will send you the "Internet Master Disk". You will need that to be able to process the "MONTHLY.CMP" file that you will be downloading each month.
If you want to switch over to Internet monthly updates, please call our office at (800) 798-3488. Our staff will send you the Internet Update Endorsement.
The second way to avoid returning the disks and disk box each month is to pre-purchase them for $21 per year ($1.75 per month). If you do so 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 next year. The $21 costs you less than mailing back disks each month.
To date Compulife has provided existing subscribers with 6 free months of software if they refer one of their associates to Compulife who purchases the program. Alternately, you could elect to give your 6 free months to the new purchaser in the form of a 50% first year price discount.
We are now offering both referral bonuses/discounts together.
In other words, refer a new subscriber to Compulife and because of your referral the new subscriber can take a 50% discount off the first year subscription price. In addition, if they do purchase, you will get 6 free months added to your existing subscription.
NOTE: The 6 free month subscription DOES NOT APPLY if the new subscriber purchases a Lite subscription.
In conjunction with the change to referrals announced above, Compulife is embarking upon a new advertising campaign that offers a new subscriber 50% off the first year price if that new subscriber brings with them a second new subscriber at the same time. The second new subscriber will also obtain 50% off the first year annual subscription fee. It's a kind of two for one deal; which we think is a great deal.
To summarize: An old subscriber or a new subscriber can refer another new subscriber to Compulife who will get 50% off because of that referral. In the process the referring subscriber earns for themselves a 6 month (or 50% off) REWARD.
Compulife is holding forth a new option for buyers of our Internet comparison engine.
As background, Compulife has little interest in setting up or hosting individual agent websites. Our past experience with custom software development is that it gets in the way of our package software work, which remains our bread and butter.
However, demand for low cost term comparison software on Internet websites is high and we have been wrestling with how to approach the market. Here is our plan:
Compulife subscribers who purchase our Internet engine will now be permitted to set up web sites for individual agents or agencies providing that each agent or agency is a Compulife subscriber.
Important: There is no additional fee payable to Compulife for you to Š setup the website for the third party agent/agency providing they are already a Compulife subscriber.
If you want to charge a fee or not charge a fee, require certain production levels, etc., that will be permitted. That is between you and your customer. All that Compulife requires is that the agent or agency be a Compulife subscriber.
Better yet, if the person you want to set the website up for is not a subscriber to Compulife, and you can add them as a subscriber and you will get a 6 month referral bonus. Under this offer the new REWARD program does not apply.
To make it easier for those wanting to establish multiple agent website/pages, Compulife is making changes and improvements to our Internet engine. You or your web programmer will be able to have multiple web pages call the engine and each individual web page can direct the engine to an individual user folder that contains a unique form for the comparison results.
In addition, each user's folder can contain its own set of "disabled products" files so that each agent can quote his or her own group of companies/products.
Further, to minimize the need to manage an individual agent's files, there will be a new file that specifies which companies are to be included in a comparison. In that way, should new companies be added to our database, or new products not previously recorded be added, the individual agent folder will not necessarily require disable file changes.
The reason for these changes is that the updating of multiple websites will be much, much simpler. Instead of multiple Compulife databases, requiring multiple updates, you will have a single Compulife database with multiple users. When you periodically update the one database, you will be updating ALL users. Your service work will be dramatically minimized and yet you will retain full and complete control over your own website and server. Compulife, as always, will not have your user ID or password.
The opportunity to purchase Compulife on a monthly payment basis is no longer available to new purchasers of the program. It is our view that Šannual subscription fees have decreased to the level where it no longer makes sense to offer a monthly payment program. For those who are strapped for cash, we recommend starting out with Compulife Lite.
At $99 per year, an annual Lite subscription is equal to the total first month cost of our old monthly subscription option.
While new subscribers no longer have the monthly payment option, Compulife will continue to allow existing subscribers to pay monthly until the end of 2001. Those wishing to continue paying monthly from July 1, 2001 to December 31, 2001 will need to provide Compulife with post-dated cheques. The fact is that there are only a handful of subscribers who still pay monthly.
The primary reason for these changes is to streamline and simplify administration. This helps us keep operational costs as low as possible. We believe that as the term insurance software market attracts more competitors, Compulife's ongoing success is rooted in providing reliable and dependable comparison software for the lowest price possible. Every option that we eliminate, whether in our software or administration, decreases our service costs. So you know, limiting software options limits telephone technical support which is a significant cost component.
Either way, we can pass cost savings along by way of lower subscriptions prices, and we believe our customers want lower prices.
This month's update includes the new "R+" premium category that we have been advising you was forthcoming. Products which have more than one "regular" premium rate, such as "Standard Plus" or "Select", will now have that lower rate marked as "R+".
Correspondingly, when you go to the DOS client entry screen, and are asked "Preferred": Yes or No, the Plus question now remains. Prior to this update the Plus question disappeared if you answered no for preferred. In the Windows version of the program, when you click the radio button on "Regular" the Plus question remains and it can be checked or unchecked.
If you say no to preferred, and yes to plus, then ALL regular products will quote just as they did before. The only difference is that the R+ marker will appear next to the premium in place of the previous Rg marker.
However, if you say no to preferred, and NO to plus, then only those Šregular products flagged as Rg will quote. Products flagged as R+ will NOT be included in the quote.
The following are the definitions of the above abbreviated markers which can appear next to premium results in a comparison.
P+ - Preferred Plus
Pf - Preferred
R+ - Regular Plus
Rg - Regular
For a full explanation of the categories you can visit the www.term4sale.com website, do a comparison and read the printed material following the comparison results. It contains an explanation of the categories.
We made another change to the DOS version of the program. Category markers now appear next to the premiums in the alphabetic portion of the comparison results. Previously markers only appeared next to premiums in the results table at the bottom of the comparison.
In addition, the category markers now appear to the right of the premiums in the printed summary page. This makes the printed summary more consistent with the DOS, Windows and Term4Sale display screens.
The next step in this process was discussed in great detail in our November bulletin. Given that copies of the November bulletin are available at our www.compulife.com website, we would refer you to the website for full details.
The expanded categories will be a significant modification and improvement to the system and will permit up to 4 preferred non-smoking categories, 4 non-smoking categories, 3 preferred smoking categories and 3 smoking categories. Each of these categories can be further qualified by being plus or non-plus.
In some cases life companies have adopted premium category titles that label categories in a confusing way. With the changes we will be implementing, we will be able to record and display the company's category labels instead of the standard language that we currently use.
During the month of November subscribers listed at Term4Sale were invoiced for the year 2001. Subscribers were warned that their renewal payment must have been received in our office no later than Thursday, December 21, 2000. Checks received after that date were returned to subscribers and the zip codes they had listed have been removed from the database.
Note: This does not mean that those subscribers cannot later purchase those zip code listings, it means the special 50% discount for 2001 does not apply.
Important Note: Subscribers who had expressed interest in zip codes which were previously full with three existing subscribers, should double check those zip codes in case one of the previous subscribers has not renewed.
It is interesting that the zip code auction process is something that most subscribers have not taken advantage of. It seems that if the zip code has already been spoken for by three others, subscribers are reluctant to exercise their option of bidding for the zip code. In our view that is up to you. The main reason for having the auction was to ensure there was an equal and fair way for dispute resolution over those that wanted the zip code listing. From our point of view, that has proven successful, while used rarely to date.
Those wondering what I am talking about can go to www.term4sale.com, enter a zip code, do a comparison, then click the "Get Agent" button. Following the list of three agents is a full and complete description of the rules governing the sale of zip codes to subscribers. Please read that carefully and if you have any questions call me (Bob Barney) at (800) 798-3488.
During December a "Click here for More Info" link was added next to the Income Replacement Calculator which now available at the www.term4sale.com website. Canadian MoneySaver published a series of three articles by Compulife president Bob Barney in September, October and November 2000 which addressed the concept of using term life insurance to provide an alternative income to dependents in the event of the death of the breadwinner. Hopefully consumers will pay attention to the need to purchase more term insurance.
During December our programmers completed conversion of Income From Capital Analysis and Retirement Investment Analysis into Windows. We Šhave purposely designed the new Windows versions to be simpler to use. Having said that, and as with the other DOS modules, you can use the Windows Master Menu "Options" selection to switch over to have the Windows version call the DOS module.
The first general release of the new Windows software was included in the October Internet edition of Compulife. Those who update monthly by disk will have to wait until the February 2001 edition to get the new Windows software.
If you want the newest Windows program now, and don't update monthly by Internet, you can download it from our mid-month update service. Call us if you have any trouble downloading the mid-month update.
Last month I told you that I don't believe I can adequately convey the importance of our mid-month updating service. Having talked about that, I feel the need to further stress the importance of that service and correct some misunderstandings that have arisen.
1. Internet Mid-Month Updates occur as needed. Some have told me they assume it is a single update in the middle of the month. If you read the bulletin page where you download the update from, you will clearly see that is not the case. Some changes are posted as often as daily.
2. You can use Mid-Month Updates regardless of how you obtain your monthly update from Compulife. As long as you have a copy of the current monthly update for Compulife, regardless of whether it is personal use, agency or a Lite system, you can obtain and process the mid-month update files.
If you are routinely downloading mid-month updates from the Internet and experiencing no difficulties doing so, and you are still taking monthly updates by disk, we would like to remind you that you can save yourself $50 per year by switching from disk updates to Internet monthly updates. It's your money.
Compulife has previously advised our subscribers that those buying our ŠInternet comparison engine are entitled to obtain, at no additional charge, 20 copies of Compulife Lite at NO CHARGE. Compulife Lite retails for $99 per year and is available to bulk buyers for $89 per copy per year.
Compulife wants to sweeten that deal further for bulk buyers. Compulife will permit those who buy Compulife Lite in bulk, and who are prepared to distribute their Lite systems by Internet (we'll tell you how) to include and ship the Windows version of the program to their sub-users.
For more information about that new option, and instructions on how all that can be done, please call Bob Barney at (800) 798-3488.
Just to remind you, a subscription to the Internet engine is a one time fee of $500 plus $1,495 per year. Once again, that includes 20 free bulk subscriptions to Compulife Lite.