Life Alert Review: Is Their Medical Alert System Reliable?

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Elderly lady on floor of bathroom who fell (caption: Life Alert Review)When most people think of medical alert systems, Life Alert comes to mind thanks to their prevalent commercials with a senior saying, “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.”

Life Alert has been a leader in the industry since 1987, but is this company the best option to help you or your loved one when a medical emergency happens? What equipment do they offer? And how much does Life Alert cost? We’ll answer these questions and more to help you choose the best fit for your needs.

Visit Life Alert’s Website

Article Overview

Life Alert

3.95 / 5
Life Alert
Variety of Equipment 4.0
Equipment Performance 4.2
Reliable Monitoring 4.8
Value 3.3
Customer Service 3.7

Pros

  • No equipment fees
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Excellent base and pendant battery life
  • Good range from base
  • GPS mobile pendant available as add-on
  • Monitoring center is UL and TMA certified
  • Generally good customer reviews for their monitoring center representatives

Cons

  • Monthly pricing is much higher than average
  • Pricey activation fee of $95+
  • Requires a 3-year contract
  • No fall detection available
  • No money-back guarantee
  • Can't purchase GPS unit separately (only as an add-on with home base system)
  • Can't purchase online, only via phone
  • No pricing on website
  • Several user complaints that their business customer support reps are rude and unhelpful

How Does Life Alert Work?

Life Alert equipment
Life Alert wristband and necklace pendant

Like other home medical alert systems, Life Alert has a base station that you put in a central location in your home and a wearable pendant or wristband with a button you can push if you need emergency help. When you push the button, it calls Life Alert’s dispatch station.

The base station and pendant have two-way audio so that you can communicate with the dispatch operator about your emergency. The dispatcher then calls an ambulance and gets in touch with one of your emergency contacts (family members, neighbors, etc.).

Life Alert Shower Button
Life Alert shower button

Life Alert also has a couple of add-on products — a large help button you can mount in the shower, near the tub or other locations that pose a fall risk and a mobile GPS pendant for when you’re on the go.

One potential negative with Life Alert is that you can’t purchase the GPS unit separately if that’s the only piece of equipment you want. You have to have the home base station and then can add on the GPS unit. Most other companies offer GPS units separately regardless of whether you have a home unit or not.

Key Features

  • 24/7 monitoring and operators stay on the line with you until the emergency is over
  • Own and operate their monitoring center, which is UL and TMA Five Diamond certified
  • Can choose landline or cellular for home base unit
  • Home and GPS pendants don’t require charging – the batteries can last up to 10 years
  • Home pendants are waterproof
  • Base battery backup at 72 hours is much longer than many other companies
  • Range from base is 800 feet, which is about average
  • In business since 1987 with a well-established reputation
  • BBB accredited: A+ rating

Price

Life Alert doesn’t list its pricing on its website, so you must go through the long phone sales pitch just to know how much their services cost. By contrast, most other companies are very transparent with their pricing. We contacted Life Alert to get their pricing, so you don’t have to.

  • $95 activation fee
  • $49.95/month for home base station and pendant (landline or cellular)
  • $69.95/month for base station/pendant + bathroom help button
  • $69.95/month for base station/pendant + GPS device
  • $89.95/month for base station/pendant + GPS device + bathroom help button

What Do People Think Of Life Alert?

Positive Reviews

Since I started using Life Alert, I feel secure. The answering service of Life Alert Emergency Response, they are awesome. They pick up the phone fast. Sometimes I’m alone in house. That day I wasn’t feeling well. When I’m at home, I always have the Life Alert necklace on with me. I press the button of Life Alert response. The person on the other end of the phone of Life Alert picked up. I was very scared. She told me not to be scared. She is with me and you are not alone. She told me if I can walk to the door and open it. So the police and the rescue come in. I was short of breath and my blood pressure was very high. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for being there when I need you. I say to all of you, God bless you all. – Mark H., BBB 4/3/2020

Whenever my mother needs help, she presses her Life Alert button. The people on the other end always help her out no matter the issue. Most importantly, when she had a mini stroke last year, Life Alert sent help right away. I really believe she is alive because of their quick action. I trust Life Alert with my mom’s life, and that says a lot. – Sarah W., Trustpilot 2/29/2020

Negative Reviews

Life Alert was good when my mom needed it. She has since passed and trying to cancel the services is impossible! It’s a vicious circle. I have been told by different departments ” “I’m sorry, you need to call our customer service department. I am not authorized to cancel your services.”. It is very heartbreaking to me to lose my sweet mom, and only to be told I cannot be helped, it’s not my Department. Customer Service phone line to cancel has been busy over one month’s time. I received a busy signal and please call back later! So disappointed and feel scammed by this company. – Daria M., BBB 2/12/2020

Never spoke with anyone at Life Alert who was not ill mannered…They have equipment that fails frequently…I requested American Express to attach a merchant block on this company so they could not bill me. – Kathe B., Trustpilot 1/14/2020

Life Alert Alternatives

Visit Life Alert’s Website

Life Alert has a long-standing reputation as one of the leaders in medical alert systems, and their emergency dispatch center is reliable and operators are kind and helpful. But the system is one of the most expensive on the market and being locked into a 3-year contract is a major drawback. Most other companies offer month-to-month contracts that you can cancel anytime.

We think you have better options that are just as reliable and much more affordable. See our reviews that compare the best medical alert systems, which include equipment options, pricing, pros and cons and more.

Which medical alert system features are important to you?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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