Since we can’t actually use all the medical alert services we review, we can’t speak for the actual customer experience after the sale. We can only make pre-sale judgments based-upon the research we’ve done and knowing what questions to ask and what we consider important. Our medical alert system ratings are here to help you choose the very best for your senior loved ones.
Equipment and Features
Most companies do not manufacturer the equipment they use so many companies can be using similar or the same equipment. But just like cell phone companies, not all features are made available by all companies to their customers. They may be programmed differently to limit or enable certain functions.
This is where the full service companies have the most flexibility. Since they aren’t limited by what the third-party central monitoring station is willing or able to monitor, or charges them to monitor (like activity monitoring ) they can provide the services they want to their customers without their hands ever being tied. Be sure to read Comparing Medical Alert Companies is Like Going To a New Restaurant to better understand the types of medical alert companies that are out there and why you should care.
The criteria that we follow are based-upon the following key areas:
- Monitoring Station
- Our Experience as a “New Customer” Getting The Information
- Contract Term & Cancellation Policy
- Pricing & Discounts
- System Options & Order Processing
We do our best with the information provided to answer the following questions:
- What type of medical alert company are they – Full Service, Partial Service, or Reseller/Marketing Only? Some are more obvious than others.
- What type of equipment do they supply and is it UL-Listed?
- What’s the cost of the basic service and are there discounts available through advance payments, coupons, or other means?
- What optional services are available and at what cost?
- How difficult was it for us to get information from the sales representatives or the company’s website?
- Who actually does the monitoring of the system and is the central monitoring station UL-Listed, FM-Listed, and CSAA 5-Diamond certified?
- What if you don’t like the service? How easy would it be to cancel and at what cost?
An Example Profile of a 5-Star Rated Company
Since rating companies that provide services are based largely upon the customer’s experience at a particular time, it’s difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons.
We try to make things as even as possible by researching the information that is placed on our detailed review charts and commenting on that information to express our opinions and experience on gathering the information for the review.
A 5-star rated company could resemble the following:
- The medical alert company would be full-service
- In business for at least 5 years
- Better Business Bureau Accredited
- Operate their own CSAA 5-Diamond Certified central monitoring facility
- No questions asked cancellation policy
- Use UL-Listed equipment
- Have competitive pricing
- The most common system options
- Same-day/next-day shipping or free professional installation
- Provide friendly-knowledgeable pre-sale staff that should make it very easy to get the information you want without pushy or aggressive sales tactics
As companies change and new technology becomes available, we may update how we rate the companies we’ve reviewed. We will always try to focus on companies that provide the services and features that the majority of customers need or desire. These are typically proven technologies that have stood the test of time.