Comparing medical alert companies can be difficult because you are actually comparing service companies. Our goal is to use our industry knowledge and experience to act as a personal shopper and researcher for you.
Comparing service companies is kind of like going out to dinner at a restaurant that you’ve never been to before. The restaurant may appear clean, have nice atmosphere, and great food selection, but the wait staff may be lacking in service and the food itself may be marginal or inconsistent. You may have been better off asking a friend what their experience was like, read reviews by others online, or a review by a local food critic. That’s where we come in.
- Think of the restaurant itself as the medical alert monitoring equipment that you or your loved one will use. Does it have all of the physical features, functions, or the look and feel that you want?
- The hostess is like the sales person you’ll be speaking with. Are they able to give you an accurate estimate of how long your wait time may be for a table? If they tell you they can accommodate your group size, or maybe a request for a child booster seat or special accommodations for a handicapper, will they deliver?
- The wait staff is like the central dispatch operators and customer service representatives. These are the people that you or your loved one will spend the majority of your time communicating with and get the most satisfaction from. Are they friendly, attentive, knowledgeable, and patient? Are they required to have continual training to be sure they are maintaining the highest standards available?
The Three Main Types of Medical Alert Companies
- Full Service – These companies provide the entire operation from sales, to equipment service, to central station monitoring, all themselves. They do not source-out the operations to any third parties.
- Partial Service – These companies typically take care of the sales and service, but hire out the central station monitoring to a third party. This is due to the very high costs of opening and maintaining a central monitoring station; especially if it is certified or listed by one or more agencies like Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Reseller/Marketing Only – These companies take care of the marketing only of the product and service. In today’s digital age, they typically have a website and place ads in magazines, on television, or through retail displays in their storefronts.
Why You Should Care
The full service companies have a much larger capital and human investment than the partial and marketing only companies. That gives them a vested interest in the quality and care provided to their customers from end-to-end.
The partial service companies have a much greater investment than the reseller/marketing only companies because they take care of the sales, customer service, equipment service, shipping, etc. themselves. They don’t handle the monitoring, but they do more than just market the service.
Who is Who
The key is finding out who is really who. That can sometimes be very difficult to do. The full service companies can be easy as they will usually come right out and tell you! The partial service companies will usually tell you who will monitor your loved one typically after you come right out and ask. Very few are up front about it, but some are.
Some reseller/marketing only companies can be difficult to get the right information from. We try to reveal who these companies are, and let you know who is handling the services for them, so you can read about the actual company servicing your loved one.
It is very important to find-out what type of medical alert company you are dealing with. The more services that are under one roof could mean better quality control and higher customer satisfaction.
If you can get a quality, highly rated, full service company in the same price range as a partial or marketing only company, would you choose the full service company?