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2019 Alert1 Medical Alert System Review: Pros, Cons, and Costs

Alert1

Overview

If you’ve ever looked for a medical alert device, you’ve probably heard of Alert1 (not to be confused with security company Alert One). Maybe you’ve seen the service on LinkedIn, or perhaps you’re one of its 1,500 followers on Twitter.

This brand didn’t rank in our review of the best medical alert systems because of customer service problems the last few years. There are reasons why Alert1’s such a well-known brand, though. In this review, we’ll walk you through this medical alert system’s pros, cons, costs, equipment, and features.

Compare Alert1 plans

HomeFall DetectionOn-the-GoOn-the-Go Fall DetectionOn-the-Go + Home Fall Detection
Price$19.95/mo.$30.95/mo.$30.95/mo.$41.95/mo.$52.95/mo.
Fall detection
No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes
Range600 ft.400 ft.UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Battery backup24 hoursNA30 days5 days24 hours
Landline connection
Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes
Cellular connection
No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
Works on the go
No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes
GPS
No

No

No

Yes

Yes
Speaker in the button
No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes
Showerproof
Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
Learn moreView PlansView PlansView PlansView PlansView Plans
Price
Fall detection
Range
Battery backup
Landline connection
Cellular connection
Works on the go
GPS
Speaker in the button
Showerproof
Learn more
Home Fall Detection On-the-Go On-the-Go Fall Detection On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection
$19.95/mo. $30.95/mo. $30.95/mo. $41.95/mo. $52.95/mo.

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes
600 ft. 400 ft. Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
24 hours NA 30 days 5 days 24 hours

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans View Plans

Data effective 07/18/2019. Offers subject to change.

Alert1 pros and cons

Pros

  • No cancellation fees
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Customer service in 190 languages
  • GPS and home systems
  • Two-way communication
  • Showerproof buttons
  • Wearable options: necklace or bracelet
  • Auto fall detection
  • Emergency dispatch or call family/friends
  • Innovative equipment such as pearl necklaces and lock boxes

Cons

  • Only 24 hours of backup with basic at-home service
  • Extra cost for warranty
  • Exorbitant equipment replacement fee
  • Poor customer service reputation for billing issues
  • No month-to-month payment option
  • No mobile app

Price

Alert1 has three-, six-, and twelve-month pricing options. To get the best monthly pricing for each plan, you have to pay for a year of medical alarm service in advance. The monthly price for a basic year plan matches industry best prices, while the monthly price for a six-month plan is just slightly higher and the three-month plan price is average.

ASL Take Note

Alert1 refund policy pitfalls

Alert1 doesn’t offer prorated service. If you prepay for a year and your loved one dies after seven months, Alert1 won’t refund you (unless, as some reviews indicate, you twist the company’s arm). Just make sure you cancel before your contract is up, since the company’s policy is to auto-renew your service package. Also, if you don’t return the equipment within 30 days of canceling service, you may be charged for more service or for the equipment itself.

Unlike some competitors (such as Medical Guardian and LifeFone), Alert1 doesn’t have a free lifetime warranty. Customers are charged full price to replace lost or damaged equipment. This includes a $595 fee if equipment isn’t returned at the end of the service. Even if you’ve used the equipment for five years, you’ll still be charged full price without adjustments for wear and tear.

Equipment

Each package comes with the necessary equipment, such as a home base for the in-home system and a fall detection pendant for the in-home fall detection system. We’ve noticed that each plan has its own equipment design, so while devices between plans may sound similar, they’re unique. The pendant for one plan is different than the pendant for another.

Home

The in-home package includes a base unit and pendant. The base unit consists of a small speaker box that plugs into a phone jack and power outlet. The pendant doesn’t include fall detection and can be used only in the home with a 600-foot coverage area. Definitely not for a bigger home, but in a smaller home, it works just fine.

This plan is ideal for people of all ages with basic home-care needs but who may not be at risk of falling.

Fall Detection

The in-home fall detection package includes a base unit and a pendant that detects falls. The base unit is similar to the one in the Home package, but the pendant’s range is only 400 feet.

This plan is ideal for anyone who spends most of their time at home and is at risk of falling.

On-the-Go

The mobile package doesn’t require any type of hub. That means there’s no limit to the range. It comes with only a button on a pendant, which can be carried or worn. When you press the button, help is sent to your exact location.

This plan is ideal for those who like their independence when leaving the house but may be at risk alone.

On-the-Go Fall Detection

This system is worn or carried, and it also includes fall detection. If you fall, the pendant will detect the fall and have someone call you to make sure you’re okay.

This plan is ideal for those at risk of falling but who enjoy their independence.

On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection

The combination package includes a mobile fall detection device, a home fall detection device, and an at-home wristband. Because the system is designed for both leaving and being at home, there’s no base unit required.

This plan is ideal for anyone who wants the best of both worlds: someone who has a fall risk but still frequently leaves home for work or travel.

Other equipment

Alert1 also sells other equipment you can add to a plan. Some of these accessories are quite innovative and even fun. Here are some of our favorites.

Emergency lock box

If you fall, emergency personnel may have to force open your door or break your windows to reach you. If you don’t want to deal with that stress, you can get this lock box. Put your key inside, set the combination, and then share the combination with Alert1. If someone has to get inside your house, Alert1 will tell them the lock box combination.

The lock box is easy to install. It’s designed to just slip onto your doorknob.

Monitored smoke detector

When these smoke detectors are triggered, Alert1 contacts the user to make sure they’re safe. If the check-in call isn’t answered, Alert1 will call 911.

Automatic medication dispenser and organizer

Some medical alarms have apps that send notifications reminding users to take their medication. Alert1 does even better with this automatic medication dispenser.

A user can program up to four medication drops a day, and the dispenser has a 48-hour backup battery. It’s also tamperproof.

Stylish wristbands

Who says medical alert devices have to be ugly? Alert1 has a special line of wristbands that’s legitimately called “stylish senior alarm button wristbands.” These personal alarm devices come in attractive shades of gray, blue, and purple.

Pearl necklace

If you’ve ever wanted an elegant strand of pearls that’s actually a fall alert necklace, now’s your chance. You can also get fall alert necklaces with onyx beads, ribbons, silver chains, and more.

Multiple language feature

We think the feature that really makes Alert1 stand out is the 190 languages in which it offers services. In fact, language is probably the only area in which Alert1 actually ranks above some of our top picks.

It can be difficult to find quality healthcare providers in the US who speak languages other than English. If someone is more comfortable conversing in another language, they may not get the care they deserve due to miscommunication. We appreciate that Alert1 can converse with customers in many different languages to afford equal care to all its users.

Customer service

The biggest barrier to Alert1 getting a top ranking on our best medical alert systems review? Customer service issues.

What customers are saying about Alert1

Most customers seem happy with the equipment and service itself. They praise Alert1 for being responsive and even saving lives. But when it comes to talking with customer service reps about billing issues, reviews are not good.

ASL Insider Tip

30-day guarantee loophole

Multiple customers state that Alert1 won’t honor the 30-day, no-risk guarantee unless you’ve paid for a year of service up front and you’ve removed the equipment from the box and tried to use it. So even if you change your mind mid-transit, make sure to at least try the equipment when it arrives. Otherwise, you might not get your money back.

Some of the reviews we read show Alert1 being Ebenezer Scrooge-ish. They talk about getting service charges after cancellation or even after the death of their loved one who used the system. When these customers had extenuating circumstances—like if they couldn’t ship equipment back right away because they lived in a different state than the user—the customer service reps didn’t respond appropriately.

Alert1 vs. the competition

We’ve compared basic Alert1 information with basic information from some of its competitors to see how they stack up.

Alert1Medical GuardianLifeFoneBay Alarm Medical
Lowest monitoring price$19.95/mo.$29.95/mo.$24.95/mo.$19.95/mo.
Basic range600 ft.1,300 ft.1,300 ft.1,000 ft.
Minimum price for fall detection$30.95/mo.$39.95/mo.$29.95/mo.$29.95/mo.
Fall detection range400 ft.1,300 ft.1,300 ft.800 ft.
Battery backup24 hrs.30 to 32 hrs.32 hrs.32 hrs.
WarrantyMust purchase protection planLifetimeLifetimeMust purchase protection plan
App
No

No

Yes

Yes
Landline connection
Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
Cellular connection
Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
Learn moreView PlansView Plans
Read Review
View Plans
Read Review
View Plans
Read Review
Lowest monitoring price
Basic range
Minimum price for fall detection
Fall detection range
Battery backup
Warranty
App
Landline connection
Cellular connection
Learn more
Alert1 Medical Guardian LifeFone Bay Alarm Medical
$19.95/mo. $29.95/mo. $24.95/mo. $19.95/mo.
600 ft. 1,300 ft. 1,300 ft. 1,000 ft.
$30.95/mo. $39.95/mo. $29.95/mo. $29.95/mo.
400 ft. 1,300 ft. 1,300 ft. 800 ft.
24 hrs. 30 to 32 hrs. 32 hrs. 32 hrs.
Must purchase protection plan Lifetime Lifetime Must purchase protection plan

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes
View Plans View Plans
Read Review
View Plans
Read Review
View Plans
Read Review

Data effective 05/21/2019. Offers subject to change.

The price pictured for Alert1 is the lowest possible price, which you get when you pay for a year of service up front.

The Alert1 basic package doesn’t have as good of a range or battery life as its competitors’ basic packages, but like we said, it’s a great price for the industry. Keep in mind that not everyone needs a thousand-plus feet to roam. For example, if the user lives in an apartment and places the home base in a central location, being able to go four hundred to six hundred feet in any direction is more than enough.

Our recommendation

While Alert1 doesn’t have the shiniest customer service reputation, it does have a fair price, sweet accessories, and multiple-language service. As long as you’re wary of potential billing issues, you can have a decent experience while getting the medical protection you or your loved one needs.

If Alert1 sounds like the right choice for you, sign up. If you’re still undecided, check out our Medical Guardian review, LifeFone review, and Bay Alarm Medical review to learn about our top-rated medical alert systems.

Contributing author: Kimberly Alt

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