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      September 23, 2018

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Alert Systems

  1. Bay Alarm Medical
  2. Mobile Help
  3. LifeFone
  4. Philips Lifeline
  5. LifeStation
  6. Rescue Alert
  7. ADT
  8. Life Alert
  9. Alert 1
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Life Station vs Rescue Alert

Best Medical Alert Systems

To help you find the Best Medical Alert Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Life Station and Rescue Alert.

To see ALL of our reviews for the Best Medical Alert Systems, please Click Here

Who has the best Medical Alert Systems? As the US population ages, the need for medical alert systems grows. Given the increasing number of seniors who prefer to "age in place" - living in their own home as long as possible, rather than moving to an independent or assisted living facility for the elderly - it is easy to see why a medical alert system could make the difference between life and death.

Medical alert systems give users the ability to rapidly contact emergency services, typically through a button worn on the wrist or as a pendant around the neck. All it takes is a click of that button to get in touch with an operator who will help determine if a call to emergency medical services is needed. For added peace of mind, a number of companies offer equipment that can automatically detect when the wearer has fallen.

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Best Reviews

2018

Medical Alert System Reviews

3 stars
Life Station

LIFE STATION Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $25.95/month when paid annually

LifeStation is based in New Jersey and has been in business for 14 years. They offer both landline- and cellular-based medical alert systems, along with Fall Detection if desired.

Unfortunately, you can only get pricing on non-landline medical alert systems if you call a representative; LifeStation could improve their ability to compete with other services by being more transparent with all of their systems and prices right on their website.

We did speak with a very knowledgeable customer service representative. We like that their reps do not work on commission, which makes it less likely that callers will be pushed to commit to a plan. Between the representative and the website, here is the available information for LifeStation's plans:

  • In-Home: landline required. Base unit plus button wristband or pendant. 500 foot range. Fees range from $25.95/month to $29.95/month, depending on whether you choose annual, quarterly, or monthly payment plans. Fall Detection can be added for an extra fee.
  • Enhanced Location with GPS: necklace has two-way speaker to communicate with the monitoring center. We were given a quote that included Fall Detection, priced at $42.95/month if paid annually, $44.95/month for quarterly, and $46.95 if we paid month to month.

LifeStation does offer a 30-day trial period, where you can return the equipment and get a full refund if you're not satisfied with any part of the service. However, if you choose a prepaid plan and cancel after the first 30 days, you will not be eligible for a refund of your prepaid fees. This is also true if the user no longer needs the service, so we suggest you consider carefully before committing to a quarterly or annual plan if there's any chance that you may not use the medical alert system for the full three months or year.

The rep we spoke with gave us a "limited time offer" of $29.95 per month on the Enhanced Location system, but we would have had to give them a credit card over the phone to hold the price until making a decision. Without having that pricing in writing, we were hesitant to give them that kind of information.

Looking at many of the complaints filed with the BBB, it's a good thing we didn't: several people report being asked to provide a credit card "to hold the special pricing", and they were charged for the plan/medical alert system even though they never called back to authorize it. LifeStation has an A+ rating with the BBB and seems to respond - using a copy/paste response - to the complaints.

On a positive note, a plus offered by LifeStation is 24/7 customer service. While all medical alert services have 24/7 monitoring for emergency response, these operators aren't necessarily able to help users with technical issues like getting a GPS unit to track properly or installing a base unit. LifeStation does both: 24/7 monitoring as well as customer service, to make sure their clients can get either kind of help whenever they need it.

LifeStation gets high marks for a good rating with the BBB and round-the-clock customer service. On the other hand, they could improve by adding transparent pricing to their website, as well as by not seeming to play games with using credit cards to hold "special-offer pricing" and then charging customers without their permission.

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3 stars
Rescue Alert

RESCUE ALERT Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $27.95/month (rental) or $15.95/month (purchase equipment)

Rescue Alert is based in Utah and provides medical alert systems for both home and mobile use. We love that Rescue Alert has been in business for more than 30 years and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Even more remarkable is that they have zero registered complaints with the BBB: an accomplishment for a company that has been around for three decades and BBB-accredited for nearly 15 years.

One reason customers like Rescue Alert is the 21-day check-in: if no calls or button-pushes have happened over the course of a 3-week period, RA's customer representatives will reach out to ask the user to test the system and make sure it's still functioning properly. Many seniors and their caregivers have said that they feel extra peace of mind knowing that the medical alert system is working even when they've not had to use it.

Compared with our highest-ranked medical alert services, Rescue Alert comes up a little short when it comes to monitoring: although customers are generally pleased with the courtesy and responsiveness received when they've pushed their button, RA's call center is in-house, with no backup in place. Our top services tend to have multiple call centers or service locations, so that in the event of a natural disaster or other outage, there is no break in service to their medical alert customers.

Pricing is also more complicated with Rescue Alert. While most companies have no equipment fees and just charge a monthly fee for monitoring, this provider breaks their medical alert service fees into two categories: rental vs. purchased equipment. With further pricing differences depending on whether payment is made monthly, quarterly, annually, or one-time, the average customer could understandably come out confused.

Here's the rough breakdown of what Rescue Alert has to offer:

  • MXD: the traditional, landline-based unit with a pendant-style or bracelet Personal Help Button. Pricing options include the $32.95 monthly rental plan, $29.95/month quarterly rental plan, and $27.95 annual rental plan; alternately, you may purchase your equipment for a fee of $199 and then pay just $15.95 for monthly monitoring, or a one-time fee of $849 that comes with lifetime monitoring. All MXD plans come with a free gift of a key lock box(valued at $39.99) that allows first responders access to the residence with no need for forced entry, or a second Personal Help Button for another user in the home. You can also include the fall detection service - myActive Alert - for an additional $10/month, or a wall button that can be mounted anywhere in the home that falls are likely ($5/month).
  • MXD3G: the all-cellular, no landline required system, which uses the AT&T network to connect the base unit to the monitoring system. This also uses the same pendant/bracelet panic button as the MXD unit. Pricing options include the $42.95 monthly rental plan, the $39.95/month quarterly rental plan, and $37.95/month annual rental plan; you may also choose to purchase your equipment outright for $299 and then pay just $25.95/month for monthly monitoring. This plan also includes the free gifts and additional services available with the MXD plan described above.
  • Rescue Alert GPS: this plan uses the AT&T network and updates the users location via GPS every 15 minutes. The device only weighs 10 ounces and can be worn or placed in a pocket or purse. This system includes both a lanyard and carrying case/belt clip for the help button, along with a free lock box ($39.99 value). You can also choose to bundle this with the landline-based MDX unit for an additional $15/month in monitoring fees. Pricing for the GPS-based unit starts at $44.95/month for monthly rentals, $39.95/month for quarterly rentals, and $37.95/month for annual rentals. This plan does not offer the capability of adding the myActive Alert fall detection or wall button features.

Overall, Rescue Alert has a good reputation for service, and some customers may like having the option to purchase their equipment outright and pay lower monthly monitoring costs.

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Continued from above

There are a wide variety of choices when it comes to medical alert systems: some services that have been on the market for many years, and others that are newer to the industry. When shopping around for the right product for yourself or for a loved one, you may find a straightforward, easy-to-use website that clearly explains your options. On the other hand, some companies still rely on pushy sales tactics that won't give you much information unless you speak with a representative.

As you compare the various medical alert systems currently available, there are several aspects to keep in mind:

  • Cost. How much will you spend for equipment and monitoring fees?
  • Variety of Productsand Services. Can you get the coverage you need? Does the business offer upgrades like fall detection?
  • Cellular vs. Landline. If you or your loved one doesn't have a landline, can they still use the system? Or will you need to incur the extra expenses of installing a landline and paying for a phone plan?
  • Ordering Process. Can you easily shop the site and get what you need on your own terms, or will you have to work with a representative in order to start service?
  • Contracts. Will you have to sign a lengthy service contract for the medical alert system? Can you cancel the service if it doesn't meet your expectations or the user no longer needs it?
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about the company, the equipment, the service, and the attitude of company representatives? Does the business have a rating with the BBB?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best medical alert systems on the market today. We hope these reviews give you the information you need to select the medical alert service that will give you or your loved one extra safety and peace of mind.

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