LifeFone comes in a close second on our overall best medical alert system rankings thanks in large part to its friendly customer service, lifetime equipment warranty, and low entry-level pricing. The downside is that the low price means you’ll get the most basic equipment, so you’ll either limit your range from the base station or have to pay extra for mobility. But the fact that you can get fall detection for such a good price can outweigh the limitations. LifeFone gives you everything you want in a medical alert device at a price you can afford.
LifeFone Reviews: The Most Affordable Medical Alert System
LifeFone pros and cons
- No activation fee
- No long-term contracts
- Low entry-level price ($24.95*)
- 30-day free trial
- iOS and Android mobile app
- Prorated refund available
- Fall detection
- Up to 1,300-foot range
- GPS/mobile tracking available
- Lifetime equipment warranty
- Small buttons on bracelet
*$24.95 price is if paid annually. Monthly price is $29.95.
What sets LifeFone apart from the competition?
LifeFone stands out by making it easier to afford a medical alert system. It offers the lowest entry price ($24.95/month if you pay annually) of all the medical alert companies that we reviewed. LifeFone also has the lowest price for fall detection ($29.95/month if paid annually), which is the most important feature in any medical alert system. If you’re looking for solid medical alert system on a budget, you should seriously consider using LifeFone.
Prices and packages
Picking the right package for your budget may depend on what you want out of your medical alert system. We recommend springing for fall detection—a feature that automatically alerts your monitoring center if you fall—regardless of the package you choose. It can make the difference between receiving help and not in an emergency situation where you’re unable to activate your pendant. LifeFone offers fall detection on all of its packages, and we think it’s well worth the additional $5 to $10 you’ll spend each month to guarantee that you’ll have help when you need it most.
|Package||At Home Landline||At Home Cellular w/ Optional Fall Detection||At Home and On-the-Go||VIP Active®||AT-HOME & ON-THE-GO VIPX®|
|Fall detection price||Add $5/mo.||Add $5/mo.||Add $10/mo.||Add $5/mo.||Add $5/mo.|
One of our favorite things about LifeFone is that it offers a prorated refund. Most medical alert services don’t have you sign a contract, but instead require you to prepay for your service. You can usually get a discount by prepaying six or 12 months in advance, but what happens if you need to cancel your service after you’ve already prepaid? Some companies don’t offer refunds if you cancel your service, but LifeFone will prorate your terms and give you a refund so you’re not paying for a service that you no longer need. We wish every medical alert company would adopt this type of prorated refund and it definitely shows that LifeFone cares about its customers.
Equipment and key features
When you look at a medical alert system’s equipment and features, you really should look for how it’s going to affect your day-to-day life. If you want to go out in the yard, work in the garage, or even leave your home without feeling constrained to a certain area where your device will work, you’ll want to get a package with either a large range from base unit or GPS capability. Take a look at this table to see which LifeFone package matches your needs:
|Package||At Home Landline||At Home Cellular w/ Optional Fall Detection||At Home and On-the-Go||At Home and On-the-Go w/ Pendant|
|Connection||Landline||Cellular||Cellular w/ GPS||Cellular w/ GPS|
|Range from base unit||1300 ft.||1300 ft.||Mobile device: 1400 ft.|
Pendants: 600 ft.
|Works anywhere with GPS|
|Battery life||32 hours||32 hours||30 hours||36 hours|
|Supervised battery||Pendant & base unit||Pendant & base unit||Pendant mobile unit & base unit||Pendant & mobile unit|
LifeFone mobile app
LifeFone also offers a mobile app that makes your smartphone a medical alert system similar to the GPS device option. This is a separate service and completely independent from LifeFone’s other medical alert offerings—it’s not just an add-on feature for your system; it’s more like a substitute.
You can choose between the Mobile Alert plan for $5.95 per month and the Family Guard plan that starts at $9.95 per month. This is a great alternative for someone more mobile or constantly on the go. However, the downside to using the mobile app is that neither mobile option offers fall detection. You can learn more about LifeFone’s mobile app options here.
Our experience with LifeFone
Good customer service
There wasn’t anything about our interaction with LifeFone that blew us away. LifeFone representatives were kind and receptive, and they patiently answered all of our questions without pushing us to make a decision right away. We left feeling informed and pleased with our experience overall, but also wanting something more. It felt like driving a really nice Honda after first test-driving a Cadillac.
Limited two-way communication
We noticed that with the exception of the At Home and On-the-Go package with the Voice-in pendant, none of LifeFone’s pendants allow for two-way voice communication. This means you’ll have to be within range of your base unit (480–1,300 feet depending on your package) in order to communicate with a LifeFone representative during an emergency situation. The good news is that if you can’t communicate with the LifeFone representative, they will automatically refer to your emergency response plan and send help.
What LifeFone customers think
LifeFone receives mostly positive feedback from its customers, and it’s worth mentioning that many refer friends and family members to use LifeFone after having positive experiences. Take a look and see what some existing LifeFone customers have to say.
“My daughter ordered the whole thing although years ago, I got one for my husband when he was still alive and that’s how I knew about LifeFone. It is a very good product. I’m happy to have the GPS and that was an extra bonus I got at the time I ordered it. It's something that I can take with me, which makes a lot of sense that I could get help when I'm not at home. I haven’t had an emergency yet but when they were setting it up in the house for me and my daughter and son-in-law, I tested it at that point and I felt so bad because it kept alerting the people. But we had to know that it was done right so it’s all part of it. I’ve been very pleased with it and I have referred it to other friends in the past.”
-Alex of Sunrise, FL. consumeraffairs.com 3/10/2017
“A friend of mine got LifeFone for me. She felt I needed it because I fall a lot. When my son put it in for me, he tested the device and their people responded right away. The monthly rate is very fair but I feel it was too expensive in the beginning. It’s $40 and other people I know have the same system and feel the same way. They oversell it, too.”
-B. Of Ca, CA consumeraffairs.com 01/29/2017
Which package do we recommend?
If you’re trying to keep the price down, go with the At Home Landline package—just keep in mind you’ll have limited range and it requires a landline connection. On the flip side, it’s worth springing for the GPS options only if you really need the mobility beyond your home. We recommend going for the At Home Cellular with Fall Detection package because it gives you a more secure cellular monitoring connection, and it comes with fall detection built in to the price. It’s the most secure option that allows for movement while keeping costs relatively low.
LifeFone keeps you in mind
There’s a reason LifeFone grabs the second spot on our overall best medical alert system rankings. Friendly customer service agents, a lifetime equipment warranty, and affordable low entry pricing make LifeFone a strong contender for anyone looking for a good medical alert solution, especially if you’re looking to stay on a budget. LifeFone gives you and your loved ones peace of mind at a price you can afford.