2020 Alert1 Medical Alert System Review: Pros, Cons, and Costs

We updated the pricing and plan information.

Alert1 has a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s easy to install and use, it has some innovative equipment, and it offers service in 190 languages. Reviews show that Alert1 customers run into issues when they need to replace equipment or get a refund due to death or other circumstances.

Our rating:
3.1 out of 5.0
3.1 out of 5 stars3.1
Customer service
2 out of 5 stars2.0
4.5 out of 5 stars4.5
2 out of 5 stars2.0
Plans start at 

    *Price reflects a one-year contract. While Alert1 has a $16.95 option spread out over three years, we don't recommend that one since Alert1's services are difficult to cancel, even in an emergency.


    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

    Data effective 01/13/2020. Offers subject to change.

    *Price reflects a one-year contract. While Alert1 has cheaper options spread out over three years, we don't recommend them since Alert1's services are difficult to cancel, even in an emergency.

    Alert1 pros and cons

    • Pro BulletNo cancellation fees
    • Pro Bullet30-day money-back guarantee
    • Pro BulletCustomer service in 190 languages
    • Pro BulletGPS and home systems
    • Pro BulletTwo-way communication
    • Pro BulletShowerproof buttons
    • Pro BulletWearable options: necklace or bracelet
    • Pro BulletAuto fall detection
    • Pro BulletEmergency dispatch or call family/friends
    • Pro BulletInnovative equipment such as pearl necklaces and lock boxes
    • Con BulletOnly 24 hours of backup with basic at-home service
    • Con BulletExtra cost for warranty
    • Con BulletExorbitant equipment replacement fee
    • Con BulletPoor customer service reputation for billing issues
    • Con BulletNo month-to-month payment option
    • Con BulletNo mobile app


    Alert1 has three-, six-, 12-, and 36-month pricing options. To get the best monthly pricing for each plan ($16.95), you have to pay for three years of medical alarm service in advance.

    But because Alert1’s difficult to cancel before your contract is over, we generally recommend the year plan we show in the table. 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.

    Alert1 refund policy pitfalls
    Our Choice
    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

    30-day guarantee loophole
    Our Choice
    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.

    Data effective 01/13/2020. 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