Life Alert Review

Life Alert  Watch Pendant


Review Summary:

Life Alert is most well known for their TV commercials showing a senior saying "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up." They are industry leaders and have been in business for a long time. When most people think of Life Alert systems, this is the company that comes to mind.

We did though have a difficult time getting detailed product information on their medical alert systems, including the Life Alert cost, without going through their phone sales process. The company does not have any online pricing and has a dated looking website which makes it difficult to compare medical alert systems.

There are three system packages that Life Alert offers:

  1. Life Alert: In-home system that does not require a landline.

  2. Life Alert Classic: In-home system that does not require a landline, and includes a HELP Button especially for emergencies that occur in the bathroom. Per Life Alert, over 80% of emergency calls happen in the bathroom.

  3. Life Alert 50+: All the protection of Life Alert Classic with the in-home system and HELP Button, plus Life Alert Mobile for on the go coverage that uses GPS when you are out and about.



Pros: Their company was built around medical alert monitoring for seniors and they have a long history in the market. They used to offer some other traditional monitoring services including smoke alarms (many states require specific licensing and permits for installation of these devices) and carbon monoxide detection but they do not offer these services anymore.

Cons: Life Alert Cost - their base monthly cost are higher than similar medical alert companies, and their start-up costs are higher than most providers too. You must contact them by phone and there is no online ordering, which can result in conflicting information from their sales reps.

Their website has a dated look with very little information on it. They also have more than one website that can be a bit confusing. They have a 3-year contract with limited cancellation options. With such limited information about their services online, we could only go by what information was provided to us by sales representatives and websites.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Quick Stats:

Most Important Things To Consider
How did Life Alert do?
Price
Life Alert Review

Cost for Equipment

The cost for equipment and shipping of the basic Life Alert system is between $95 - $198.
If you get their entire bundle, we were told they send a tech to install for free. The most basic package should be an easy self-installation.

Cost Per Month

The monthly cost of the basic Life Alert system is $49.95. Options like carbon monoxide, smoke and fire monitoring are no longer available. There is also a one time setup fee of $95 - $198, as mentioned above.

The first month is prorated and then they bill on the 3rd of the month after that.
Adding a HELP Button (Life Alert Classic) or Life Alert Mobile (Life Alert 50+) can add $20 to $40 per month.

Advance Payment Discounts

Yes, pay annually and get one month free

Monitoring Agreement Term

3 Years and the rate is fixed during the contract term

Repairs or Replacement Charges

None, replacements shipped for free if it is equipment malfunction. It's $49 to replace a lost pendent
Cancellation Policy & Discounts
Life Alert Review

Cancel at Any Time

No. Can cancel only with proof that 24-hour care is required for your loved one (in-home, nursing home, or a long-term care facility) or if your loved one passes away.

Senior Discount

No

Other Discounts

2 free months of service if you refer a customer to them and they sign-up for service.
Equipment
Life Alert Review

Approximate Button Range in Typical Home

Up to an 800 ft. radius.

Watch/Button Battery Life

Up to 7 years, per their website, or up to 10 years for Life Alert Mobile and Life Alert HELP Button options.
On one call with a sales rep, we were told all of their equipment had a 10 year battery life.

What Happens if I Lose Power

72 hours of battery backup

Is the Watch/Button Waterproof

Yes

How Can The Button Be Worn

Pendant and wrist. You get both when you order.

UL Certified Equipment

Yes

Does The System Automatically Test Itself To The Monitoring Center

No, but it sends a trouble signal. We were told they provide self-diagnostic equipment.

24 Hour Technical & Customer Support

Yes, except on Sundays
Monitoring Station
Life Alert Review

CSAA Five Diamond Certified Monitoring Center

Yes

Typical Response Time When Button Pressed

Approximately 15 - 20 seconds
Other Options & Information
Life Alert Review

How Fast Does System Ship

Ships via UPS and arrives in approx. 3 business days. With Life Alert Classic or Life Alert 50+,you will also receive a phone call to schedule the installation of the equipment in anticipation of its approximate arrival.

Do You Need Separate Systems For Mom & Dad

No. Additional $10 per month which includes the service and additional pendant
Optional Advanced Features
Life Alert Review

Activity or Inactivity Monitoring

No

Senior Fall Detection

No

Cellular or No Phone Line

Yes. $10.00 additional per month

Non-GPS Mobile Alert System For Protection On The Go

No

Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Protection

Not anymore

GPS Medical Alert Tracking System

Yes, with their Life Alert Mobile system, which is included in the Life Alert 50+ package.
Special Offers
Life Alert Review

Special Offers For Our Visitors

None at this time



Likes:

Installed By Company - Although these systems are typically very easy to install yourself (see our Basic Installation & Set-Up video) some might find it convenient to have it professionally installed, especially if you live a long distance from your loved one.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Options - Life Alert provides solutions for monitoring smoke and carbon monoxide. This long time service is not being offered anymore.

Mobile Options - Life Alert Mobile which is also used for GPS location services.

No Phone Line Option - They do offer a cellular model in case you are without traditional land-line phone service

Smartphone App - If you have a smartphone, you can install this app to connect you with their call center We were told this has not been being offered anymore.

Discount For Advanced Payments - If you pay annually, you can receive one month free.


Dislikes:

Life Alert Cost - We found the Life Alert start-up costs to be higher than most in the industry. for similar services. They also do not seem to follow a set pricing strategy when it comes to the installation charges or credit for a self-installation option which makes it difficult to compare medical alert systems.

Cancellation Policy - If you are not happy with your system or service, you can only cancel (without penalty) with proof that 24-hour care is required for your loved one (in-home, nursing home, or a long-term care facility) or if your loved one passes away. Remember, you're signing a 3-year contract.

No Automatic System Tests - Most system consoles will automatically test weekly or monthly to the monitoring station, but per the Life Alert sales reps, they offer no automatic testing but the system will send a trouble signal if there is an issue.

No Activity Monitoring - Activity monitoring typically requires the user to check in with the system by pressing a button once every 24 hours. This is very beneficial as it allows you to know that your loved one is active and about each day. This is a great option that is not offered by Life Alert.

No Fall Detector Option - Since diabetics can have the tendency to faint, fall detectors can be helpful because the user would be unable to press their medical emergency button.

Unpublished Rates - With the rates not being published online, the quoted cost of life alert service could vary depending on the sales rep you speak with. In past calls, when we told the rep we spoke with some competitors, they said the one-time charge for enrollment, shipping etc. would be substantially lower than previously stated.


Bottom Line:

If you feel more comfortable working with a medical alert company that is one of the most well known brands in the industry and don't mind paying a bit of a premium for their service, then Life Alert may be the right choice for you. You will have to keep in mind that you will be signing a multi-year contract while most other well known medical alert providers typically have 1 to 3 month service agreements.

Since most seniors typically only require a medical alert monitoring system that has a simple wireless button to press for help, two-way talking communication with the monitoring station, and automatic system testing of the main unit, then know that most other reputable companies can provide these service as well.

Further, there is no pricing information on Life Alert's website, so to get information on Life Alert's services, many times we had to provide a mailing address and phone number before we could be told about their products and pricing. For many people, this may or may not be the shopping experience you're looking for. You could be on the phone for quite a while and may have to make multiple calls to get the best price.

Although our experience with this company had these results, your experience may be different. If you're interested in this company's services, contact them to judge for yourself