Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin: Merry Christmas…
Here is a quick run-down on what you will find in this bulletin:
Securing YOUR Data
YOUR Data – Credit Cards
YOUR Data – Our Customer Files
YOUR Data – Term4Sale
YOUR Prospect’s Data – Term4Sale
YOUR Client’s Data
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.
Most of this is quite irrelevant to Compulife in that we do not store YOUR clients’ data.
What Compulife does is we license software that provides access to the data that we have accumulated and stored for life insurance products from multiple life insurance companies. This allows us to then quote the products that they offer for sale. There is a small amount of consumer data that we need in order to quote those products, but that consumer data is NOT accumulated and saved.
Now we realize that this will seem silly to some, in that it is obvious WHY you buy Compulife and what you do with it. But if you are employed in a company that does a lot more than just sell life insurance, those further up the food chain in your operation may not understand Compulife and may introduce procedures and forms that they expect us to respond to.
With that in mind, and in the interest of full transparency, we thought it would be good to talk about information that you provide to us and what we do with it. Hopefully we can point to this bulletin in the future, and that it will satisfy most who are trying to understand what we do and do not do, who are not familiar with our software.
IMPORTANT: We do NOT keep or store your credit card numbers.
In fact if you use the PDF copy of the renewal invoice that we send you to make your payment by credit card, we NEVER see your credit card number.
When it is time for you to renew your subscription our database issues an invoice which is a PDF file attached to an email that we send to you. When you open that PDF file there is a VERY colorful “CLICK TO PAY NOW” button that appears. That button is actually a link. When you click on that button your computer will take you to a summary of your invoice at an intermediary web page (a php file). That intermediary php web page has your customer number, invoice number, and the amount you are paying.
IMPORTANT: There is NO PERSONAL INFORMATION disclosing who you are on that temporary page.
When you click on the colorful “CLICK TO PAY NOW” button on that intermediary page it takes you to our bank’s software program on the bank’s website. The amount you are paying tells the bank the amount you will be paying with your card. The customer number and invoice number mean nothing to the bank, the bank simple communicates that information back to Compulife in an email which confirms you have made the payment. When we see the customer number and invoice number we know who made the payment. Once again, we are NOT telling the bank WHO you are, just your customer number, invoice number and amount that you are paying.
IMPORTANT: At no point in that process do we get your credit card number.
Once again, ONLY the bank gets your credit card number and all they tell us is the customer and invoice number that made the payment. Once we get that email from the bank, Jeremiah or Pat will then post the payment to our database. That’s a manual transaction because we do not allow the email to talk directly to our database. More on that in a minute.
The only way we get your credit card number is if you do NOT pay the invoice through the PDF file and instead CHOOSE to call us and give us your credit card. If you do that, we then take that card and use the same process to put the information into our bank software which you could have done yourself. If you send us your credit card in an email or fax, or we wrote it down because we were not in the bank software when you called, then those records are NEVER KEPT. Electronic copies are deleted and if there was a piece of paper with your credit card information on it, that paper is then shredded.
We are PARANOID about credit cards being stolen from Compulife. There are regular news stories about credit cards being stolen from larger companies than Compulife, and we are not so naive as to believe it could not happen to us. Therefore, the best way to ensure that it can’t happen is to NOT keep that credit information in the first place. Given that credit cards routinely expire, there’s not much point anyway. If you did keep them then you would have to continue to update the information as it expires. The matter would be different if we accepted monthly payments, but we don’t. The amounts that we charge are so small that the cost of administrating monthly payments make no sense.
The posting of that payment to our database is a MANUAL activity. There is no connection between the email and the database. That is to ensure a human being reviews it, and it is a human being AFTER the payment is posted that then uploads to the internet the necessary updated subscription expiry file which our software on your computer downloads after that has been done. The first time you run the software AFTER we have processed your payment and uploaded the subscription file, will pick up that new subscription file.
That is why there can be a delay between making a credit card payment and your software getting that update. If your software has expired, and you make the payment, it is a good idea to call immediately because the expired software will not automatically jump back to life until we process that payment and update our customer files. If there is an immediate need for that, it can be done while you are on the phone with us.
The customer database that we use is a non-web based database that was created by Jeremiah using a third party database programming tool. In fact we have used that same database software for over 30 years and the company is still in business. My father (Bob Senior) built the first database in DOS with that tool when he was involved in the company (RIP) and then Jeremiah updated it to windows and greatly expanded its capabilities when he joined the operation over 15 years ago. The important thing to know is that database is NOT run on the web, and there is NO access to the database through the web. My copy of the database comes from backups that Jeremiah makes of the main copy, and which are then sent to me. Once restored, I have the same database as Jeremiah, at that moment in time. But all changes are made on Jeremiah’s end, I use the database in a more limited way.
When communicating information to the web, such as sending out emails with renewals, installation emails, etc., the database simply calls our email software and communicates to that software the “content” of what is to be sent. The email program then does the job of sending the emails. When sending information to our servers, the database calls and passes information to our third party FTP software which then transfers the information to our servers as per the instructions issued by the database. The database does NOT communicate through the web, and it cannot be accessed through the web.
IMPORTANT: The information that we keep about you is secure from the web.
Why are we so paranoid? The reason is simple, anything on the internet can be hacked and accessed. If it is not on the internet, it can’t be hacked.
- YOUR Name
- YOUR Phone Number
While a consumer is allowed to email a group of 3 subscribers through term4sale, the email address is NOT exposed on the page and so the person attempting to get your information from that website cannot get your email address. They can get your name and phone number, but they cannot get your email address.
We minimize the information provided because we are concerned about people taking our customer lists from Term4Sale. In truth that has already happened (quite infamously) at least once. Many will remember that the term4sale website was hit by David Rutstein of NAAIP a few years ago. Rutstein used a web robot that used the email system to systematically message our customers through the system, distributing false and defamatory messages to our subscribers. He also made a list of customer names and phone numbers then systematically called and texted many of those subscribers, again spreading false and defamatory information. That example underlines why we are SO careful to NOT put more than is absolutely necessary on the web.
If a person is willing to do so, they could sit down and manually enter in 99,999 different zip codes, run quotes and see lists of subscribers. They could then copy and post the results to a spreadsheet and after going through those 99,999 zip codes, produce a list of ALL the subscribers listed at term4sale, along with their phone numbers.
In Rutstein’s case he hired a programmer to write a robot that did it for him. The first robot simply obtained the names and phone numbers. Once he had the list he then cut it down to just one zip code for each unique subscriber. Once he had the list of single zip codes he re-ran the robot to use the email form to send his message to the three customers at each of those zip codes. The message he sent was malicious, false and defamatory to Compulife.
As another example I get a fairly routine spam email that tells me that the email sender has obtained my passwords and gained access to all my personal information on the internet. The email then says that if I don’t pay a certain amount of money they are going to do all manner of malicious stuff with that information. Those emails are BS and they are a malicious attempt to extort money. That’s what people can do if they have a way to communicate with you. Normal, reasonable people do not employ these techniques.
In the case of Rutstein it was about him trying to lure away our customers to his internet offerings. In his mind he believed that he could do enough damage by taking away enough of our customers, then we would be out of business and no longer able to pursue our legal claims against him.
By way of follow up, Mr. Rutstein is now engaged in a similar battle and strategy with another entity in the insurance business, and is employing the same search and destroy strategy with that company. We are not involved but I am following the situation with interest.
All of this to say that there is a very good reason that we are paranoid about having our customer’s records on the internet. I believe that the VERY limited amount of information that we post about subscribers at term4sale is necessary. And finally, it is also worth noting that not ALL subscribers to Compulife participate at term4sale.
IMPORTANT: Compulife keeps NO internet based record of these inquiries.
The action of sending the request by the consumer simply generates an email to each of the three subscribers on the list and copies each of those emails to Compulife. We keep our copy of each of those three emails as the ONLY record of the request. That email is used for auditing purposes and is NEVER, and I mean NEVER, given, sold, sent, etc. to anyone but the subscriber who initially received it.
The audit capability comes into play if a subscriber alerts us to the fact that the email request is bogus. Some emails are on the face of them are NOT genuine based upon the name of the consumer. We will also consider it not genuine if both the phone number and email address are obviously NOT genuine. Those emails are then put into a separate folder away from the emails that we considered genuine.
Once again, we only use these emails for audits. For example we will use the emails when subscribers are renewing, and they tell us that they believe they have not received the minimum number of requests that we warrant that they should receive. We will then check the folder with the emails, find all the emails that the subscriber received and confirm if they are entitled to relief on their following year’s invoice. If we have an email the subscriber says they didn’t remember seeing, we will then forward that email to them. We strongly encourage you maintain your own copies of those emails.
The Windows PC software does keep the last client your quoted until you type a new client over top of the old client. Even that has some customers nervous, they would like a DELETE button to get rid of the client because they worry some other agent will get the information from the client page and do something with it.
It’s important to remember that PC is an acronym for “personal computer”. Why would some other agent have access to your copy of our software?
In the Web Quote option consumers visiting your website using the Compulife web quote option can communicate their personal information to you through the site.
IMPORTANT: Compulife does NOT receive that data.
Any email communications through those web quote options are only “TO” the emails that the subscriber has entered into their control panel. Compulife never sees or gets those emails. The only exception is if you believe that email system is NOT working, at which point we will for test purposes add our email to your account to see if it is working. Once the test is over, our email is removed. This ONLY happens if the subscriber reports a problem.
With respect to the API option, Compulife does receive information such as birth date, face amount, gender, etc., but the consumer name, phone and email are NEVER used in the process. We have no idea who you are requesting a quote for. And communication with your clients is from the web software you have developed on your server not ours.
With Internet Engine web quoting option Compulife is completely out of the loop as there is NO communication of any kind between our software running on the customer’s server and Compulife.
We think that this sums up all the various ways Compulife is involved in handling YOUR data. We believe that there is no one else who provides more secure quoting solutions for you and your clients.
40th Year Celebration 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” zip 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 zip codes – for two years plus the balance of 2022
- 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 zip codes, this should be a NO BRAINER. 2 local zip codes can be added to your account and even IF you have maxed out on your allowed number of additional zip codes, then we allow those added HOME zip codes over and above that limit. FURTHER, local zip 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 zip codes IMMEDIATELY and choose zip codes on a first come, first served basis (which assumes the zip code does not already have 3 agents listed in it).
You can accumulate these bonuses!
If you refer 6 people, and those 6 all do the tutorial, you get 12 zip 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 zip 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 referrals 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.
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 Zip 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.
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).
- 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 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.