We all think of home security as protecting our families from intruders, but it doesn’t end there. When an accident happens, who looks out for our loved ones if we’re not around? A medical alert system can reassure you if your older parent lives alone. Alert1 is one of the leading medical alert systems and is ranked on our top medical alert systems review; with 29 years of experience and no contracts, it’s a great option. In this Alert1 review we’ll go over the key components you should consider and whether the company can meet your needs.
Overall summary: Alert1 has a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. The equipment performs well, and the company has a positive reputation. Where the company falls short is charging an activation fee for people who choose not to prepay for the year. However, Alert1 is easy to install and use, which is why it ranks as one of our top medical alert systems.
Alert1 pros and cons
- No cancellation fees
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Responders speak 190 languages
- GPS and home systems
- Two-way voice
- Showerproof buttons
- Wearable options: necklace or bracelet
- Auto fall detection
- Emergency dispatch or call family/friends
- Lifetime warranty
- Must pay activation fee for month-to-month plans
- Expensive monitoring plans
- Only 24-hour battery backup
Unlimited button presses and talk time. Unlike some competitors, Alert1 does not charge for pressing the button and talking to a rep. In fact, when I spoke with a sales rep, she told me about a woman who pressed her button when she was feeling nauseated. She asked the operator to contact her daughter to come sit with her. (The sales rep also told me about a person who pressed the button to order pizza—we don’t recommend this though.)
Easy installation. All the equipment comes preprogrammed, so all you have to do is plug the necessary parts in and then test it. You can test it as much as you want without penalties since you are not charged per button press.
No contracts. There are no contracts for Alert1. It is a prepaid service—you can prepay for the month or get a discounted rate by signing up for the entire year.
Pricing & equipment
The table below shows the four medical alert packages offered by Alert1. You have the option to sign up for a month-to-month plan or an annual plan. If you opt for the month-to-month, there is an additional one-time $59.95 activation fee.
|Package Name||Home||Fall Detection||Mobile||Mobile + Fall Detection|
|Price per month||$39.95||$45.95||$45.95||$59.95|
|Price per month with annual contract||$29.95||$35.95||$35.95||$49.95|
|Works on the go|
|Range||600 feet||400 feet||N/A||N/A|
|Battery life||5+ years||2+ years||2 months||36 hours|
|View Plans||See Plans||See Plans||See Plans||See Plans|
The in-home plan includes a base unit and pendant. The base unit consists of a small speaker box that is plugged into a phone jack and power outlet. The pendant does not include fall detection and can only be used in your home with a 600-foot coverage area. This system is ideal for people of all ages with basic home-care needs.
The mobile plan does not require any type of hub. This plan comes only with a pendant, which can be carried anywhere on your person. It has built-in location technology so when you press the button, help can be sent to your exact location. This unit is ideal for those who like their independence when leaving the house but who may be at risk alone.
The in-home fall detection package includes the base unit and a pendant that detects falls. The unit is similar to the one above in the Home package. This is ideal for anyone who is at risk of falling.
Mobile + Fall Detection
Similar to the mobile package above, this system can be carried on your person, and it also includes fall detection. In the case that you fall, the pendant will detect the fall and place a call automatically to make sure you are okay. This unit is ideal for those who are at risk of falling but enjoy their independence and ability to leave the home on their own terms.
How does Alert1 work?
If you need assistance, all you have to do is press the button on your pendant. A representative will contact you through the base unit. If you don’t respond, they will dispatch emergency help. If you respond, you and the representative can discuss your emergency, and you can let them know what you need.
What happens if a fall is detected?
If you fall when you have a system with fall detection, your pendant will automatically alert the monitoring center and someone will check in with you to make sure you are okay. If you do not have fall detection, you are in charge of pressing the button yourself, which can be less than ideal since a fall can be dangerous and you (or your loved one) could be unconscious from the fall.
My experience with Alert1
I was completely shocked when I called Alert1. I was able to get in touch with a sales rep immediately. and best of all, she in no way pressured me to purchase a system. I asked her all of my questions, and she was upfront with me. She never asked for my name or contact information, which I was happy about. Many times when I conduct mystery shopping, the companies ask for my contact information and then I get unwanted calls or emails. The woman I spoke to was pleasant and most of all, helpful. This experience gave me further confidence in Alert1.
The good and the bad according to Alert1 customers
Like most companies, Alert1 has customers who love their service and customers who don’t like it as much. Below we’ve gathered reviews for both experiences to help you learn more about what you can expect from Alert1.
I was on my way to work when I received the call from Alert1. My Mom had fallen & was home alone. An ambulance was sent to her home within minutes. She was diagnosed with a fractured back & she had surgery & is now doing well & is back home. Thanks to Alert1, she received help within minutes. Thank you Alert1. – Rhonda, Consumer Affairs 8/14/2016
We are happy with Alert1’s response and very glad to have the service for my mother. Normally when she falls, the operator calls 911 for the Fire Department to help her get up, as well as calling the contact person. But in this case, the operator (If I understand correctly) called the contact person but did not call the Fire Department also. When I asked him to please go ahead and call (because Mother is too heavy for my sister-in-law to pick her up), he did so, and that is fine. We are very appreciative of the service that you provide. God bless Alert1 and all you do. – Thuy, Yelp! 1/21/2016
We had this product for 4 months before I called with questions about the box only to find it had never been activated! I tried to get a refund but they thought since it sat on my desk for 4 months (not working) I shouldn’t be reimbursed! Never, never, never again!!! – Glenn, Consumer Affairs 9/26/2016
Horrible customer service!!!! Paid for overnight shipping and was told UPS would leave it even if no one was home. That was a lie! When I called they said they listened to the recording and I never mentioned anything about that, when asked if I could listen to my recording they said no…funny huh! They were extremely rude, talking over me so obviously not listening. – Sandra, Yelp! 7/6/2016
What do we think about Alert1?
We think Alert1 is among the best medical alert systems. The fact that the company doesn’t charge per button press, has no contracts, and doesn’t use high-pressure sales tactics gives it our nod of approval. However, we do think Medical Guardian and a few others have a leg up on Alert1. We tested Medical Guardian ourselves and feel with its cellular connect, battery backup of 30 to 32 hours, and great reputation, it is a step above Alert1. You can see how both of these companies compare against others in our Best Medical Alert Systems Comparison.
What features are most important for you/your loved one? Tell us in the comments below.