About Medical Alert System
The “As Seen on TV” Medical Alert System claims to provide you with “help at the push of a button,” which can give you a “renewed feeling of independence and safety.” The company claims to have sold more than 150,000 Medical Alert Systems, and to be recognized by the Arthritis Foundation and Good Housekeeping.
Medical Alert System is owned by Connect America, based out of Broomall, Pennsylvania. The company holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on nearly 170 closed complaints over the past three years. Regarding their service, the most common complaints we encountered during our research included billing issues, hard-selling tactics, and persistent sales calls after a system has been purchased. With that said, the company does appear to address complaints quickly.
How the Medical Alert System Works
According to the Medical Alert System website, 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 experience an accident or fall in their home each year. As a result, the company provides medical alert monitoring services that can help you:
- Maintain your independence, while remaining in your home.
- Receive help with just a push of a button.
- Gain 24/7 peace of mind.
Regardless of where you live, Medical Alert Systems are easy to use, and can provide support using “interactive two-way technology.” This is accomplished using short-ranged wireless devices that connect you directly to a UL accredited monitoring center. When pressed, your waterproof button will allow you to communicate with the speaker box base unit attached to your phone, which connects to a 24/7 support center via a phone jack or Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).
Each Medical Alert Home System includes:
- Base Unit – Features two-way voice communication via speakerphone, Emergency, Home, and Clear buttons, and up a 32-hour backup.
- Long Range "Medical Alert Pendant" Transmitter – A battery-powered miniature transmitter that works directly with the base station. Features a breakaway lanyard, and an automatic status test every two hours.
- Long Range "Medical Alert Wristwatch" Transmitter – Like the Pendant, this transmitter is small and waterproof, but can be worn around your wrist.
If you want all the convenience of the Medical Alert Home System, but live an active life and need professional monitoring wherever you go, the Medical Alert Mobile System might be a good choice. Instead of being tied to a landline, this system uses GPS technology to send your coordinates to a Response Center, who can then dispatch help to wherever you’re located.
Regardless of which system you choose, Mobile Alert works in 4 easy steps:
- Push your button for help.
- You unique digital ID and location information are sent to the Response Center.
- A Team Member initiates two-way communication with you.
- Your Team Member will then contact help, whether that means your neighbor or emergency services.
Though you don’t need to be near a phone to use the Medical Alert Home System, you will need to have an active phone line. Simply “plug in the base unit to a phone jack and power outlet,” and out on your pendant or wristband-style alert button.
Medical Alert System Pricing & Refund Policy
The Home Alert System is priced at $29.95 per month, and comes with:
- Medical Alert base unit
- Waterproof emergency button
- Rechargeable battery backup
- Plug-in power supply
- Plug-in phone cord
The Mobile Alert System is priced at $39.95 per month, and comes with:
- Handheld mobile device and charging cradle.
- “Go anywhere” help button.
- Wristband and pendant options.
If any portion of your Medical Alert System is damaged it can be replaced, but often at a very steep price:
- PERS – $350
- Mobile Alert – $350
- Alert 911 – $150
While there are no long-term contracts, hidden charges, or activation fees, you will have to sign a Monitoring Agreement and make a deposit equal to three months of service (e.g. $89.85 for the Home System, and $119.85 for the Mobile System) to begin service. At the end of this three-month period, you can cancel your Medical Alert System without further obligation with a 30-day advance notice. Also, all Medical Alert Systems come with a lifetime warranty.
Keep in mind that as soon as you place your order, you’ll likely start receiving telemarketing calls from Connect America. During our research, we read numerous complaints about persistent calls, even long after a purchase had been completed.
To cancel your service or opt out of sales calls, you’ll need to contact customer service at 800-800-2537.
- Claims to provide you with a feeling of independence and safety by connecting you to a UL certified facility.
- No long-term contracts or expensive fees.
- Two different models to choose from.
- Setup is fairly straightforward.
Steep replacement fees.
Mobile System requires AT&T cell phone coverage.
“As Seen on TV” product, which often carry lower customer satisfaction ratings.
There’s a lot of information here, so you’re probably thinking: “What’s the bottom line? Is the Medical Alert System a scam?” While we didn’t encounter anything during our research that would lead us to believe this is the case, keep in mind the following:
While the Medical Alert System does appear to have a primarily positive online reputation, the most common complaints we encountered included billing issues, hard-selling tactics, and persistent sales calls after a system has been purchased. With this said, the company does appear to rectify these complaints quickly.
Next, according to the company’s website, “the Response Center employs staff who are native speakers of languages other than English,” though they are claimed to be US-based. Because of this, keep in mind there may be a language barrier at times, which might be disconcerting during an emergency.
Finally, Medical Alert System was sued in 2013 for “impersonating Life Alert through fraudulent “robo-calls” and other telemarketing to obtain new customers.” However, the company later issued their own warning that they were victims of the same crime.