The November 2002 disk update will be processed Monday, October 28th and Tuesday, October 29th. Disks will be shipped Tuesday, October 29th. You should have the November Update in your office by Thursday, October 31st.
The November 2002 Internet monthly update will be posted to our five monthly update websites on Tuesday, October 29th.
Unless you have made arrangements to purchase your diskettes, please return your "September" disks ONLY AFTER you have successfully installed this October 2002 Update. September disks are your backup in case you should have problems installing the October edition.
With the steady increase in the number of subscribers getting their monthly updates by Internet, the number of disk updates having to be processed has now reached a point where the disk duplication and packaging can be completed in just over a day. With some extended hours the first day, and the mail truck coming just after lunch on the second day, our turn around time to duplicate, package and ship can now be done in a total of two days.
We thank all the subscribers who have switched to obtaining monthly updates by Internet. There can be no more tangible way to say thanks than the $80 per year reduction in cost which you enjoy by getting monthly updates by Internet.
For those who continue to obtain updates by disk, some good news and some bad news. First, the good news is that there will be no price change for January 1, 2003. The additional cost for disk updates will remain at $80 more than the Internet Updates. However, effective January 1, 2004, we expect to increase the cost of disk updates to $100 more than the Internet monthly update. If you have been wondering whether to get your updates by Internet, we hope that will be one more reason to think it is a good idea.
Last month we told you that we were introducing a pair of new options into our Windows program. These were sparked by changes that we have made to our Internet comparison engine. A new, more sophisticated version of that internet engine is now available through our authorized web providers so that agencies can now have "on-line quotes" for their agents. The systems will be userID and password protected and a user/usage fee system is charged for this new software service. For full details, please read our September monthly update bulletin.
To facilitate multiple product categories being filed into our internet Pick 12 spreadsheet, we came up with an innovation that we have called the "Multiple Category" option. For full details about the use of that in our Internet software please read the September Monthly bulletin.
The new option is now complete but it did require extensive work to the program. We are always nervous to ship a new program to all our subscribers at one time. Last month, and on in to this month, we are making the new version available at our mid-month update site only for those who select and want the update.
IMPORTANT: The new version is NOT downloaded by automatic mid-month update. You must do the download manually.
The new version will not be provided in the November monthly update but it will be part of the first "automatic mid-month update" which will be available at the beginning of November. Assuming all goes well, the new version will be part of the December monthly update.
When you do a comparison with the new Windows version you will see a new button at the top right hand side of the header in the "Display Product Comparison" window. The button is called "Multiple Categories". You can also select this option from the category selection list in the top left hand corner of the Display Product Comparison.
Pressing "Multiple Categories" will display the Multiple Categories selection window. Here you will need to do two things.
First, check off the categories that you want displayed. For example, you may want to select 10, 15, 20 and 30 year guaranteed term. Second, you should select the number of results that you want displayed for each category. For example, if you would like the four categories to appear on one page, you might select the lowest 6 results for each category. When the "Compare Now" button is pushed, the lowest priced 6 products for each category will be displayed on screen. Each category group is separated by a light red line indicating the category that they are from.
From these combined and categorized comparison results you can file products to Pick 12 the way that you always have, using the right mouse button.
Another way to use the multiple category option would be to have your favorite group of companies selected using the "List or Modify Product Database" option called "Select a Group of Companies to Quote". When you do your 10, 15, 20 and 30 year multiple category comparison, set it to show the lowest 3 products for each category. That will give you a total of 12 product results. Next, go to the top of the Display Product Comparison window and click on "File", then select "File First 12 Products". That will put all 12 plans into one spreadsheet.
Needless to say, the new feature lends itself well to some creative combinations.
If the last comparison you did was a multiple category comparison, and you leave the program then return, the multiple category comparison will display for whatever new client you enter. If you wish to change the category group, or simply want to do a single category comparison, use the category selection menu in the top left hand corner of the window. We suspect the new format and option will be so popular that many will leave it as their default option.
Another multiple category comparison variation is also available in this new version. When you have a comparison displayed, double left click on any one product to access the "Display Single Product" window. Alternately that same window can be displayed by clicking on "Display a Single Product" on the red Master Menu. That option can also be selected by pressing the F2 function key.
With the single product displayed, make certain that you have the company that you want. If not, click the down button to the right of the company name and select the company that you want from the list.
With the company that you want now displayed, you can go to "File" or "Options" at the top of the window. Either menu contains the new option "Compare this company's products". When you click on this selection all available products from this company will be displayed in the "Display Product Comparison" window. Each product category is separated by their category title in light red.
As before, you can now use your right mouse button to file products to Pick 12. Alternately you can double click your left button to display that particular product in the single product window.
If you elect to print a multiple category comparison the format is similar to Compulife's traditional single category comparison which we first introduced in our software in 1983. There are two exceptions to the way that the standard single category comparison works.
First, there are no summary pages. Only the product detail pages are printed. This is the format which places 6 products on a page, two products wide by three products tall. If your print format says you want two single product pages, then you will get 2 pages of 12 products for your first category, 2 for your second, etc. If you only specified 6 results in your multiple category comparison, the program will only print a single page showing the 6. If you specified 4 results, you will get a single page showing 4. The maximum number of comparison pages is set by the number of detail pages selected. The maximum is 3 pages which is 18 products per category.
If you have any questions about what the printout will look like, we suggest that you view the "Print Preview" before actually going to the printer.
Remember, if you are a Compulife subscriber you are entitled to one FREE listing at the www.term4sale.com webite. If you are not listed, "Why Not?"
Remember, we do not automatically list you. You must ask for the listing. We don't divulge our subscribers identities unless we are given their go ahead.
Last month we told you about our new internet quotation software for agencies and the first installation is now being constructed for the first agency by our authorized web-provider "Insurance Squared". Once the first implementation is complete, the second will be a cake walk. If you would like to discuss this with Insurance Squared, please call Glenn Cooke at 866-662-5433.
For full details of how the new system works, and the fees which will be changed for it, go to the September Monthly Bulletin.
I have received some calls from subscribers not happy with our technical support. Complaints have also been made with respect to my demeanor on the phone when assisting subscribers with problems.
I would like to apologize if we seem to be rushed or short on the phone. The fact is that we are rushed. Call volume has steadily grown but we have not added new personnel to handle the calls. The reason is quite simple, life agents do not want to pay any more than necessary for their software. We are attempting to keep costs to a bare minimum to ensure that we keep our pricing highly competitive. When personnel are pressed with more to do, and less time to do it in, they get brittle. That includes me. Once again, I apologize.
There are some things you can do to make your call experience more pleasant. Here are some tips which may help:
1. Do not leave the problem too long. Many times when subscribers call they are completely exasperated. They have encountered a problem and spent enormous amounts of time trying to fix it themselves not wanting to bother us. Unfortunately, by the time they call, they are brittle and rather than have a level calm discussion about the problem, the subscriber vents. If you're the third caller to have vented, there is a temptation to vent back. I believe you can help us keep our cool by calling before you get warmed up.
2. Please remember who called who for help. Sometimes subscribers call with a problem but expect us to listen to how they think it can be solved. Remember that no one understands our software better than we do. Also remember that most problems are problems that we have seen before. We don't need you to tell us how to fix the problem, we just need a careful description of the problem.
3. When we ask you to try to do something on your computer, and you don't understand what we are asking you to do, please tell us. Frequently we give a series of instructions to find that the subscriber hasn't completed the first step. They were too embarrassed to tell us they couldn't find a key on their keyboard. Remember, we cannot see what you are doing and you need to tell us what is happening so we can help.
4. Watch your computer screen carefully. Relay to us any messages it gives you. Once again, we cannot see your computer screen and if the computer is saying something, and you don't tell us, we are left to guess or question you. Sometimes, when we are rushed, those questions can sound like an interogation but we are only trying to help.
5. If we seem unwilling to talk about things other than the software problem it's not because we are snobs, it's because we have other customers calling and wanting help. Our mission is to solve your problem and get on to helping the next subscriber. Please forgive us if we rush things along.
Let me conclude by saying that we deeply appreciate each and every subscriber. We have no illusions as to who pays the bills at Compulife; YOU DO. It is our view that the customer is always right, unless they are really really wrong. Please be patient with us as we try to help you and if for any reason you are not happy with any aspect of our service, please call me, Bob Barney at 800-798-3488. Yes, I really do want to hear from you and I will do what I can to assist you or deal with an unresolved problem.
THANK YOU for your continued support.
1) Multiple options for comparison. For example, now you can do a comparison with waiver of premium OR you can do a comparison with monthly premiums. You can't do both. When this change is completed, you will be able to combine those options.
2) Multiple options for multiple lives. You will be able to run a multiple life comparison and get monthly premiums for individuals and total premiums.
3) Pick 12 will be modified to allow the filing of multiple life quotes reflecting discounts for companies which offer multi-life options. You will be able to print pages showing total premiums for all lives and then subsequent pages for each individual life. Discounts, where available, will be noted. As the Pick 12 features become available they will be posted to our mid-month update site.
4) Pick 12 will allow multiple options. For example you will be able to quote modal premiums together with waiver of premium. Currently, when you click on waiver of premium, the spreadsheet defaults to annual premium. If you switch to another premium mode, the waiver of premium is dropped.
All of the above changes are in progress as I write this. They will not be released until they are all completed and tested.
Our current software is working very well. We have no intention of rushing into play new software that may require bug repairs or additional technical support. We will start releasing these changes, on a mid-month basis, as they are ready.
In the meantime, we are closely following rate changes in the market and posting them as soon as they become available. Our commitment to you is to get you that new information as quickly as possible.
As previously announced, Compulife has amended our pricing structure.
Two year subscription pricing for those receiving disk updates has been eliminated. This reflects the fact that we would like to see more customers switch over to obtaining updates from Internet. Internet saves us money which we like to pass on to you. We are doing everything we can to be as competitively priced as possible.
Internet updates help us manage costs so well that we have now added a three, four or five year subscription pricing option. Agents or agencies can save $99 per year for each additional year that they purchase when renewing a one year subscription.
For example: A personal use subscription to Compulife is $199, but a second year can be added by paying an additional $100 for a total price of $299. A third year can be added by paying an additional $100 for a total price of $399 for 3 years, $499 for four years, $599 for five years.
The strategy behind the price changes is quite simple. Those who obtain their monthly updates by disk represent the most work and expense for Compulife. By contrast, we do not have to ship or handle disk returns for Internet subscribers.
Further, each year, when we invoice you for your subscription renewal, and have to process your subscription payment, there is substantial administrative work that is entailed. We must invoice you. Frequently our customers move and they do not advise us. We must track them down. When we receive your payment we have to process it. Next we issue you an Internet Master Disk authorizing you to obtain updates for another year. Then many call to ask, "What do I do with this disk?" And of course there are those subscribers who pay late. The Internet Master Disk is not shipped until payment is received and so those who pay late have found that their subscription expired and they can't get their latest update. At that point the phone starts ringing and there is a mad scramble to get the customer back up and running. Nobody is happy.
Add it up and it's a lot of time and work not to mention a lot of frustration and expense. When you purchase a two year (or now 3, 4 or 5 year) subscription, we can eliminate all that work and hassle for the additional years that you buy. That saves us money and it enhances our customer relations, retention and satisfaction.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no subscription refunds for early cancellation. Subscriptions may be transferred (resold).
ANOTHER NOTE: We do not automatically invoice 2, 3, 4 or 5 year subscriptions. If you want the option, you must take the initiative when you get your one year renewal invoice. Most don't read these bulletins, so most miss the opportunity.
All of this adds up to us affording to be able to offer very deep price cuts for 2, 3, 4 and 5 year subscriptions. You want to save money? There it is, go for it.
For those who update by Internet, Compulife has gone to great lengths to provide you with redundancy in our websites. Our main website is:
However, we keep another completely separate website, on a completely different server, in a completely different country, at:
Whatever we update to compulife.com, we also update to compulife.cc. If one website goes down, for whatever reason, the other is ready to serve you. That includes both monthly and mid-month updates.
For those doing monthly updates by Internet, we relay on three other websites to supply monthly updates. These are automatically checked and used by our automatic Internet update software.
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 $80 per year in subscription fees.
To switch to Internet monthly updates, go to our webpage www.compulife.com and select the last menu choice "Forms, applications, instruction tutorials, etc." Under the section "License Agreements", the third license is the "Internet Update Endorsement". Print the endorsement. Once you have it, please read it carefully, 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 take 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.