Update News for December 2021 Here is a quick run-down on what you will find…
Update News for August 2021
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
No Time for Bulletins?
You Better Read This One!
Is The 6 Year Legal Battle Coming To An End?
Internet Engine Changes
Webquote Changes and Price Changes
Powered By Compulife
Copyright Compulife Notice
Remember, Inflation Is Coming Fast
We Are Testing The New CQS.EXE
Our Current Programming Plans for 2021
These topics will be dealt with in more detail throughout this bulletin.
No Time for Bulletins?
You Better Read This One!
This bulletin contains a LOT of important information and announcements about changes to our software, to our pricing and opportunities for discounts regarding our upcoming 40th year in business celebration. We think it is all important and so important that we will be talking about elements of this over and over in the coming months. You can get ahead of the curve by taking some time to digest it all now.
We had good news regarding out lawsuit against David Rutstein and his partners this month. You can read the decision which I have posted on the website:
The court decision is the first link at the top of the page.
My many, many thanks to our lawyer Joel Rothman who has soldiered on in this battle, long after I would have given up and laid down. I can’t tell you how emotionally exhausted I was after the first court decision went against us but Joel was adamant that the judge got it wrong and Joel chose to fight on. Joel mounted an appeal and carried us through a second trial in November. The resulting victory is all due to Joel’s hard work and God’s great mercy.
If you have ANY intellectual property matters that require legal assistance, such as copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc., I cannot endorse Joel Rothman strongly enough. The man knows his stuff. Further, I consider myself a VERY productive individual but Joel simply amazes me. He is sharp, he is fast, and his memory is amazing. Much more important, Joel is fair and he is honest; Joel has great integrity. I strongly endorse Joel if you need the kind of legal assistance that he provides and as you may know (or should know) I RARELY (I almost said never) endorse anyone. You can learn more about Joel here:
One of the great disappointments in the latest legal decision was reading that the judge did not think that much of our HTML code, which talks to the internet engine, was deserving of copyright protection. Apparently, when you use a word like “sex” and variable like “M” or “F” that is NOT creative enough to warrant copyright protection. Now I understand the logic of that, but I was disappointed by the judge who did not seem to put any stock in the fact that in order to get our internet quote software to produce a quote, you have to pass over 400 characters of such information to our software PRECISELY as it expects you to do. If you use “Sex” it works. If you use “sex” it doesn’t work. If you use “SEX” it doesn’t work. If there was even ONE error like that, in all those 400 characters, the software would puke and not quote.
But that’s spilled milk under the bridge. This is the second judge who took that position and we have to respond in order to protect our html source code copyright in the future. To do so our VARIABLE NAMES and VARIABLE VALUES are going to be changed with respect to communicating with the Internet Engine. Unfortunately our proposed changes have not yet been reviewed by Joel (our lawyer) and until then there is no point getting further into this, only to say that changes are coming and we will have more to say about those changes next month.
The changes will tick some of our engine customers off, because our changes will mean they will need to make changes. Before anyone panics, we are going to give you lots of time to get this done.
Good news first. The price of the webquote Option is NOT changing (other prices are changing – keep reading). It will remain $96 per year. We are going to lower the price for the consumer ID option from $48 to $24. We are going to lower the price for the health analyzer from $72 to $60. The other webquote option prices will remain unchanged.
Those of you who have put our webquote option on a web page by placing a “link” in an “iframe” will have NO CHANGES to make. We will be making ALL the changes needed to your quoting page that appears in that frame. Once again, there will be nothing for you to do if that is the way you have put our webquote options on your website.
On the other hand, some of our subscribers want to change the “look and feel” of the quoting page and so those subscribers have taken a copy of our html code and placed that code on their site, and have made changes to that. If you want to keep doing that, you have a lot of work that will need to be done,
Other subscribers who have had the webquote option for many years, and who have never upgraded to the new webquote page (which is RESPONSIVE) are still using html code that has been put on their website to talk to our internet engine. If you want to keep doing that then you will have changes to make.
The easiest way to avoid the changes that will be needed, and to make this VERY EASY, is to simply upgrade to the newest version of Compulife’s webquote option (FREE UPGRADE and you end up with “responsive quote pages”). When you are ready for this upgrade you simply make an iframe on your web page and put the quoting tool link that we give you into the frame. Once again, the upgrade is FREE and once you have made that upgrade on your page there is nothing more for you to do and there will be nothing more that you have to do in the future.
Some subscribers want to modify our quoting tool because they don’t want people to know that it is Compulife that they are using for a web quoting tool. Part of the reason that we ONLY charge $96 per year for the option is because you have a “Powered by Compulife” note at the bottom of the page. That note is our “advertising” and that message links to our website. This will have NO impact of your insurance customers because they don’t buy life insurance quoting software or compete against you. The advertising is directed at other agents who wonder where you got that great quoting engine. With that line of advertising they can find us easily.
Now it is understandable that some agents don’t want to inform their competition about where they are purchasing the quote tool. We understand that. But the $96 per year ASSUMES that we are getting some advertising benefit from that. Therefore, if you want to remove that in the future, you can do so but the cost to remove the footnote is $36 per year.
With the changes that we are going to be making to our variable names, if you have placed Compulife’s html source code on your site, and not simply put our link in an iframe, you will have changes to make to update the source code so that it will talk to the new engine.
If that is you – DON’T PANIC. As we noted above, in the discussion about the internet engine, the old engine will stay in place for a few months, until we have adequately and repeatedly warned everyone that they need to make the changes. Only after a protracted time period will we remove the OLD engine. If you have ignored all our bulletins and notifications, you will have to scramble at that moment, but we will try to make sure that we do not blind side anyone.
But if you are a webquote user, and using out HTML code on your site, you must have the “Powered by Compulife” notice or be paying the new $36 per year fee to remove that advertising.
The copyright notice that Compulife has placed on the webquote option will be moved from the visible page to a “comment” (hidden from your viewable page) in the html code. That will happen once we have the new variables working with the updated engine. The removal of that notice will happen when we upgrade your html code – there is nothing you have to do. We will most likely repeat the copyright notice at the beginning of the html code, at the end of the code, and in some key elements of the code. Future infringers will have to delete it more than once and so the argument “I didn’t know” won’t work.
If you decide to place the html code on your own page, we will require that you display our copyright as a comment in that page. Once again it will need to be displayed as a “comment” and you will not need to make it visible. As a licensed user with our permission to use the software, there is no reason for you to not leave the copyright notices in the source code as a hidden comment.
We have great news for those who want to do it all their own way, Compulife offers two other options for quoting on your website. You can purchase the API option for as little as $300 per year (versus $96 for the webquote option) or you can purchase the Internet Engine. Either the API or Internet Engine give you full and complete control over the pages that communicate with our engine. If you don’t want anyone to know that you are using Compulife to power your website quotes, then either of those products will give you that option.
I have been unwilling to make any moves about our product pricing until I saw what the outcome of the court case was going to be. The defendant in that case has VERY vocal and made a lot of “big claims” about what was going to happen to Compulife as a result of losing the court case (and we did lose the first trial). I have been very concerned about the damage his rhetoric has done to our reputation. Those who do not know me well may have had concerns about the long term viability of Compulife, but hopefully any such concerns are now alleviated. Having spent almost 40 years of my life as the owner and President of Compulife, and with absolutely NO INTEREST in retiring or selling the company, I can assure you that we fully intend to continue to provide the quality product and service you have been able to expect.
But the time has come for some changes to pricing. Some are staying the same, some are going down, and some are going up.
The new prices will be taking effect with the December invoicing, which is done in the middle of October, 45 days in advance of the renewal.
A personal use version of Compulife’s PC software, which currently sells for $180 will be increasing to $192 per year. Compulife Basic will continue to be provided for free, with 3 devices as a maximum.
A standard license version of Compulife’s PC software, typically purchased by agencies and companies, which currently sells for $300 will be increasing to $324 per year. Currently that license includes 12 devices for the Compulife Basic program,. The number will be reduced to 6.
The number of Compulife devices now lines up with the number of local zip codes that each license permits.
NOTE: There will be NO change to the pricing for term4sale listings.
There will be NO change to the pricing for the individual purchase of Compulife Basic, which is the minimum required subscription for webquotes. Someone who wants webquotes and only webquotes will still be looking at $192 per year ($16 per month).
Agencies that want to purchase more Compulife Basic devices for use with their agency standard license to Compulife’s PC software, can now do so in packages of 3, versus packages of 25 which we were selling before. If you want to add 3 additional Compulife Basic devices to your total allowed, the price for the additional 3 is $24 per year. You can buy up to 10 of these additional packages of 3 per standard license. Therefore, $240 would get you 30 additional Compulife Basic devices, in addition to the 6 which are included in the standard license price. The old deal was $300 for an additional 25 and so this actually represents a price reduction. As before, agencies can permit their agent-brokers to use those device allocations, and there is no problem if the agent broker is not resident in your office. As before, the Windows PC software that is part of the standard license agreement may be placed on up to 5 PC’s within same office. It may not be used off-site unless there is a specific agreement to do so with Compulife.
Personal use subscribers are NOT allowed to purchase additional devices for the Compulife Basic. Over the time that we have offered Compulife Basic, there is no agent who needs more than 3 devices. The Windows PC software can still be used on any Windows PC that the agent has or uses, providing that other licensed agents are not given access and provided that quotes are not sent or given to other licensed agents. If you want to be able to give quotes to other agents you would need a standard license.
The Internet Engine will be going up in price from $1,200 to $1,260 per year. You have to purchase a Standard license to have an Internet Engine, and so the total price is going up to $324 + $1,260 which is $1,584 versus $1,500.
There will be NO CHANGE to API pricing.
Between now and the end of November all subscribers will be able to lock in the old lower prices (and still benefit from any price reductions) by “extending their subscription” from 24 to 48 months. We are allowing the offer to extend old prices to be combined with the discounts for those who pay for more than 12 months at a time.
October 2022 will mark Compulife’s 40th year in business. From now until then we will be offering a new 4 year subscription discount of 25%. If you combine that with locking in the old pricing, it means you can avoid any of the prices increases that we have discussed for 4 years, and also lock in the old prices from any further price increases during the next 4 years.
As discussed in previous bulletins, I believe that we are heading into times of double digit inflation due to government deficits and debts. These deficits are paid for with an increase in the money supply that is HIGHLY inflationary. Experience teaches me that when inflation gets going, it will run away from governments trying to control it.
How do the discounts work?
The new price of a standard license will be $324. The current price is $300.
EXAMPLE: Let’s say your current subscription will renew in June 2022 (you are paid to the end of May 2022). You can now extend that subscription for up to a total of 4 years BEFORE the end of November, at the old price. In November you would have 6 months left on your current year. A 4 year subscription is 48 months, and so you can add up to 42 months at the old price of $300 / 12 = $25 per month.
42 X $25 = $1,050
Because you are extending to 4 years, then your discount on that additional $1,050 is 25% which reduces the $1,050 to $787.50 which saves you $262.50.
IMPORTANT: Any additional software options that you are buying must also be extended and paid for at the same time.
EXAMPLE: Let’s say your current subscription will renew in September 2022 (you are paid to the end of August 2022). Your subscription also includes $36 for 3 local zip codes and $96 for a webquote option. The new price will be $324 + $96 +$36 = $456. You can lock in the old price which is $300 + $96 +$36 = $432
You can now extend that subscription for up to a total of 4 years before the end of November, at the old price. In November you would have 10 months left on your current year. A 4 year subscription is 48 months, and so you can add up to 38 months at the old price of $432 / 12 = $36 per month.
38 X $36 = $1,368
Because you are extending to 4 years, then your discount on that additional $1,368 is 25% which reduces the $1,368 to $1,026.00 which saves you $342.00.
Bad news: Software subscriptions are non-refundable. If you no longer need the software, there is no refund. Having said that, if you have a subscription with 30 months left on it, that has value and you are free to flip it to a new agency or agent. What they pay you for it is between you and them. We will continue to honor the subscription to the new licensee that you transferred it to.
Good news: Because your subscription is a non-refundable purchase of software, you can take it as a business expense in the same year you pay it. There is no need to amortize it. That means that the invoice for the payment is tax deductible. If in doubt, talk to your accountant.
Last month we introduced this offer for the first 2 Canadian life insurance companies. So far, no takes. We are down to two months left for this special offer! Here’s that offer again:
Compulife is making a special offer for Compulife’s Batch Analyzer for Canadian life companies. This offer is intended to “prime the pump”.
The first 2 Canadian life insurance companies that buy the Compulife Batch Analyzer for the normal price of $1,920 (annual fee) will get the Analyzer for 2 years for $1,920. This special offer is ONLY good to the end of September. Further good news, this is $1,920 in Canadian dollars (for Canadian customers). If we get no takers by the end of September we will simply declare the Canadian market to be hopelessly disinterested in being competitive.
Now before our U.S. company customers get mad at us, there is a deal for you also. Compulife currently offers a 10% price reduction (for all software) by buying 2 years instead of one, or a 20% discount for buying 3 years instead of 2.
EXAMPLE: A life insurance company buying the batch analyzer is paying $300 + $1,920 = $2,220 If the company buys 3 years instead of 1, the total is $3 X $2,200 X 80% = $5,328. $5,328 represents a saving of $1,332.
Our programmer has been working to remove a programming component from our software called “Delphi”. Delphi is a programming tool that generates the screen and menus that you see in Compulife. It has been part of our Windows software since the time we first rolled out Windows software. It is also one of the reasons that our software “looks” dated and old fashioned. While current subscribers worry much more about function than appearance, newer software prospects tend to put a lot of emphasis on how it looks. That’s going to be changing with the new software, and while we are at it, we are retooling some of the menus to make them easier for new customers. Existing customers will NOT like the new menus at first but we are convinced that you will like them once you get used to them.
The first goal was to convert the program “as is” to get rid of Delphi. That work is coming to an end. I was actually surprised how much the converted screens looks like the old screen created by Delphi. The Delphi to C++ converter that Chris our programmer has been using has done an amazing job. Having said that, a good tool in the wrong hands does not work well but in this case we have a tool in great hands and Chris is doing outstanding work. As the English would say, “I’m chuffed”.
There are remaining bugs and portions of code left to convert and Chris continues to work on that. Once we think it is working as it should, he will begin changing the Red Menu, Client Entry Screen and the subordinate Red Menu “options” and “Manage Product Database. He will also be moving some of the Red Menu options to the Enter Client screen so that the OLD Red Menu becomes much simpler than it is now.
If that sounds confusing, it won’t be as confusing once you see it. Further, the current comparison windows, single product display, Pick 12 and Analysis screens will have NO changes initially. Once again, I am amazed at how much those screens without Delphi look and work just as they did with Delphi. I am very pleased; that’s American/Canadian for I’m chuffed.
Once this work is completed we will roll out the new CQS.EXE which you will be able to use while still having access to your current GOWIN.EXE. We want you to have the option of either program as we then direct our attention to the new “data structure” and overhaul of our database technology. Once we start rolling out the new data files, those new data files will be what the new CQS.EXE uses. The existing data files will continue to work with the old GOWIN.EXE.
As we have promised, you will have both old and new on your computer for a few months (after the job is done) to ensure that everyone is happy with the new software and that our internet engine customers have updated and are using the new data files. Once that is all settled we will then retire the existing windows software and old data files.
And finally, once that happens some big changes can then begin to happen. The new data structure will allow us to quickly abandon many old limitations which will simplify our system. Following that we will incorporate new features and functions that will help us to dramatically improve our product.
The following is the current order for new work that we will be doing in 2021:
- 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:
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 2021. 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.