Life Alert Review

In a Nutshell

Life Alert is known to be one of the oldest suppliers of medical alert systems in the whole country, offering 2 systems—a home-based system that connects users to a call center via signaling device, and a cellular pendant that eliminates the need for a console and allows users to speak directly with the call center using a cell-phone sized microphone and speaker. Life Alert doesn't offer a lot of fancy additions; they aim to keep it simple.

Pros

  • Experienced, highly trained call center personnel
  • Technician-installed
  • Free warranty
  • No equipment fee

Cons

  • Setup fees
  • Doesn’t offer additional accessories
  • Certain medical conditions may disqualify you

Best For

  • Seniors who want to live independently at home alone
  • People who want to be able to get help when on-the-go

Monitoring Services

Life Alert runs its own monitoring center. It manages its monitoring center in-house to ensure good quality standards when handling emergency phone calls. Monitoring is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and calls are typically answered within less than 50 seconds.

The dispatchers are trained to stay on the phone with users until help arrives, or when the emergency is resolved. This way, the dispatcher is able to ensure that help arrives. At the same time, they also provide assurance to the user to let them know that they are not alone, that they know that they are hurt, and that they will get them the help they need. Life Alert offers battery backup of up to 72 hours on the standard in-home console unit in case of power outages in order to make sure that the system continues functioning until power is restored.

In addition to the main medical alert system for health emergencies, Life Alert also offers other additional monitoring services that protect users in other emergencies. This includes carbon monoxide, smoke, and fire detection alerts. With these services, whenever instances of carbon monoxide, smoke, or fire are detected, an alert will automatically be registered at the emergency monitoring center. A dispatcher will then address the situation according to Life Alert's procedures.

Having fire and smoke detection connected to a monitoring call center is also helpful because the user might have passed out or been deep asleep, and unaware of the danger that is facing them.

Product Features

There are 3 products that Life Alert offers:

  • Life Alert In-Home System: you can choose to use your cellular service or landline telephone.
  • Life Alert In-Home System with Help Button: An in-home system that does not require a landline and can use cellular service, instead. It includes a waterproof HELP Button that is especially useful for emergencies that occur in the bathroom, but you can place the button anywhere. The button never needs charging and can last up to 10 years.
  • Life Alert In-Home, Help Button, and Life Alert Mobile: All the protection of the Life Alert in-home system and HELP Button, plus Life Alert Mobile for on the go coverage. Uses GPS location services to help pinpoint your location in an emergency.

Life Alert may not provide the same number of features and packages that some of its competitors do. However, there are a few extras that Life Alert does offer. There's a cell phone app and a companion call center service that makes reaching one of their call centers with the user's own mobile device simple. Life Alert offers "help buttons" that are large and eye-catching wall-mounted versions of its signaling devices. These are intended to be put in rooms like the bathroom and bedroom, where users are less likely to be able to access the device that they would normally be wearing. Finally, Life Alert also provides a home intrusion service that allows users to silently get help and allows the call center personnel to monitor the situation in the home through concealed microphones.

Installation Process

Although these systems are generally very easy to install yourself, sometimes as easy as plugging it in, this is not an option with Life Alert. Installation of Life Alert services is done by their professional technicians only. This can be a very big advantage for users who are nervous about installing or not knowing how to hook up the system on their own, or those who don’t have a family member or friend that could help them. The downside is that their service costs between $96 and $200 just to be installed, which is a requirement for using their service, so you don’t have the option of not paying to have them install the system.

Contract and Fees

PricingAt HomeAway from Home
Monthly Fee$69.99$89.85
One-Time Annual Payment$769.89$898.50
One-Time Fee$96.00$198.0

The monthly cost of Life Alert is between $69.99 to $89.85. Life Alert has various product bundles that include an in-home Life Alert base unit and pendant, along with options like a shower button, on-the-go mobile GPS button, etc.

In addition to the monthly cost, users have to pay $96 - $200 for programming, installation, processing, and shipping to get started. Sometimes, sales representatives will provide a quote that is much higher for the installation. If you want to purchase the system, we suggest that you let the sales representative know that you've done your research and that installation should be around $100. It also provides free shipping and free use of the equipment. The company offers a discount for those who pay a year in advance and offers a free warranty for all of its equipment.

The contract for the Life Alert service is for 3 years. They don’t offer a trial period, which obviously makes registering for the service a risk that not everyone will be willing to take on. That being said, they do allow for cancellations, but only under very strict conditions, like with documentation showing that the user moved to a specialized nursing facility. All of their terms are spelled out in their contract, so be sure to read it very carefully before making the decision to sign up.

Customer Service

Life Alert is known for its call centers; it runs its own multiple call centers instead of contracting the service out to a 3rd party. The call centers have been in operation for over 30 years, and Life Alert has worked hard to maintain a staff-to-customer ratio that doubles that of its biggest competitors. This ensures a quick, personalized service. Because of Life Alert's large customer base, which, according to the company, is 150,000, these call centers respond to more than 2 million calls every year.

Life Alert provides a mobile service that connects users to their monitoring center via cell phones. This works with both smartphones or older phones. With the press of a keypad button or through a smartphone app, users are connected to the Life Alert emergency response center to get help. This service is applicable for users needing help outside of their homes. It is useful for people of all ages who need protection and security.

If a user is ever stuck in a threatening situation, whether an emergency or, for example, they're being followed by sketchy characters, they can call a monitoring center dispatcher to stay on the line with them until they feel safe.

Bottom Line

Life Alert doesn't offer the most complex or most advanced features, but they are considered one of the medical alert companies with the most experience in the business. With the services that they offer, they include a basic pendant and base station set up, a mobile device, and an app for cell phones that allows users to turn their cellular device into a medical alert system. This has made them a very popular choice and has brought them lots of praise from their customers. Behind all the devices, Life Alert maintains and staffs multiple very highly regarded certified call centers across the country with a low client to staff ratio, and has a very high track record of helping customers in need.

Bear in mind that when you go with Life Alert, you’ll be signing a 3-year contract, while most other medical alert providers typically have much shorter service agreements. The cost of the contract is also fixed for the 3 years, so they can’t raise their prices during the contract.

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About Life Alert

In 1987, over 30 years ago, Life Alert made the idea of home medical alert systems for seniors popular through their television advertising. Life Alert is often the first name consumers think of when they hear the term medical alert system. The Life Alert service is of high quality, and they run their own call centers. Customer reviews are very positive regarding the service level.

Life Alert claims that they help keep a senior's life from potential catastrophe once every 11 minutes. Their headquarters are in Encino, California, and they have offices spread across the country in California, New Jersey, New York, and Florida, where they employ over 600 people and their dispatchers are ready to take calls 24/7. They have over 150,000 customers across the country, receiving approximately 500,000 calls a year, over 10,000 emergency signals every week, and over 12,000 life-threatening emergencies each year.

Contact

The only way to contact Life Alert is through their toll-free number: 1800-360-0329

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