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Life Alert vs Response Link

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LIFE ALERT

Life Alert may be the most well-known provider of medical alert systems: founded in 1987 and famous for the "I've fallen and I can't get up!" TV spots, this CA-based business has a large customer base and a solid A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Unfortunately, Life Alert continues to make it difficult for prospective customers to get information about their plans and costs. The only way to get current pricing information for Life Alert is by calling to request a brochure. If you're not willing to give them your address and phone number, you'll be transferred to a customer care representative instead.

The representative we spoke with was very pleasant and emailed us the brochure right away. But, once again, there was no pricing in the brochure. The rep said the reason they don't put their pricing on the website is because they design a package to meet every individual's needs. She did say that they have three programs that range in price from $49 to $89 a month; she made no mention of an activation or startup fee, but many customers refer to it in their comments.

According to the customer representative, "We are the most expensive, but there's a reason: we're the best." She went on to say that one of the reasons that Life Alert is the best is because everything is guaranteed and put in writing.

Life Alert offers five main areas of protection:

  • Medical
  • Fire
  • Help Button
  • Home Invasion
  • Mobile Help/GPS

It is worth noting that there's no specific service that detects fire. Life Alert has the traditional base unit / pendant or wristband help button system as most medical alert systems, and the wearer would still need to push the button to tell the monitoring station that there is a fire. Similarly, the home invasion protection assumes that the user pushes the help button and tells the dispatcher that there's a break-in in progress; the dispatcher can then hear activity within the home through the monitoring system, report an invasion in progress to the police, and warn the intruders over the base unit's speaker that help is on the way.

Customers can choose between landline or cellular base units, and the help button range is up to 800 feet.

Life Alert's "Protection on the Go" offers nationwide coverage via cellular networks and uses GPS to locate the wearer if needed. The help button can be worn, carried in a bag or purse, or even in a pocket.

We respect the fact that Life Alert is reliable and reputable. But, customers pay a lot for that name-brand value, for services that seem to be readily available through several other companies with solid reputations.

In today's age of buy-it-online, Life Alert is shooting itself in the foot by not being transparent with their pricing (and by having a website that looks like it hasn't been updated for at least a decade). If their service is truly head and shoulders above the rest, people will still be willing to pay higher prices. But, without the ability to see those prices right away and even to order a package directly through the site, we think many people will just move on to other companies offering medical alert systems.

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RESPONSE LINK

ResponseLINK has come a long way during their almost 20 years in the medical alert systems industry. Originally created out of a partnership between Advantor Corp. and Bell South, this company has moved away from its previous distributor-based sales model with an updated, easy-to-use website that allows customers to order directly - no salesperson required.

You'll find two basic, no-frills options when buying a medical alert system through ResponseLINK. Neither plan requires a long-term contract or equipment fees, and both come with free 1-5 business day shipping:

  • In-Home Alert: starting at $19.95/month, this system uses a landline to connect users to their 24/7 monitoring center. The waterproof, wearable pendant-style panic button has a 600-foot range from the base station. If you'd like a system that automatically detects falls, you can choose the system that includes that feature for $30.95/month. The ResponseLINK site doesn't specify whether that system uses a landline, but the equipment photos look exactly like the In-Home system - so it's probably safe to assume you'll need a landline.
  • Mobile Alert: starting at $30.95/month, this system uses a device that looks something like an old-style pager and uses GPS location through the T-Mobile cellular network to provide help wherever the person goes.

We weren't thrilled to see that the ResponseLINK site proudly proclaims an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, because the BBB site showed a lower grade of just "A". Most of the complaints there centered around their sister site, Alert1, which offers several equipment/service plans not available through ResponseLINK.

One frequent area of complaint is billing. You can save money by paying for your medical alert service annually or semi-annually, but buyer beware: we found many customers complaining that they were not able to get a refund for unused months if they had to cancel the service (e.g. if the user passed away or entered hospice care). You can only get ResponseLINK's "30 day risk-free money-back guarantee" on service plans paid in advance, not monthly billing, but for many customers that just means a big fight with customer service to actually get their prepaid money back.

Seniors and their caregivers need the best technology combined with excellent customer service and hassle-free billing. ResponseLINK's medical alert systems fall very short in all three of those criteria. We strongly suggest you choose a more customer-friendly service provider.

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Best Medical Alert Systems

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

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.

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:

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.



How to Choose a Medical Alert System

Each year many sick and elderly people encounter accidents and health issues that needlessly take their lives. Medical alert systems can make all the difference in the world for those living alone and in distress. In an emergency, medical alert units create a direct line of communication to needed assistance. If a person falls or becomes ill they simply press a button on a pendant or wrist transmitter to gain the attention of an emergency specialist. That person will immediately call the authorities to send help if needed. The fear of a loved one waiting hours or even days for assistance is no longer an issue with a medical alert system available.

If this is your first medical alert system purchase you may be looking for help with choosing the right device. Making a well informed decision will ensure you get the most for your money and are satisfied with the end result.

There are several important elements to consider when choosing a medical alert system. Some of these include:

Equipment
Not all equipment is created equal. The medical alert button needs to be easy to wear and use. Some may want a unit that's water proof and sturdy to handle showers. If hearing is an issue you'll want a unit that is easy to adjust and has adequate volume options. Knowing the size of the home and how far the transmitter will reach is also important. You'll want UL tested equipment with a good history. Look for products with a battery back-up should the power go out. Also look to see how often batteries need to be replaced. Some batteries last a few months while others last for years. Ask about installation and if a professional is required and how much that will cost.

Warranty
If something happens to the equipment you'll want to make sure it comes with a guarantee. Preferably, the company will replace any broken equipment at no cost. Also look for a company that regularly tests the in home system for good working . Are extended customer support hours available should an issue or question come up about the equipment.

Monitoring Center
In the event of an emergency you'll want a company that provides fast, top notch service. A monitoring company that utilizes its own employees, and doesn't outsource, will most likely provide the best overall service. One that is accountable and well staffed. Does the monitoring company have back-up power, during outages, and are they UL certified?

Cost and Contracts
All medical alert companies price their equipment and monthly monitoring fees differently. Some will sell you the equipment and then charge a monthly fee while others will allow you to rent the equipment and including the monitoring costs in the monthly charges. Some require a several year contract while others are more flexible. If you decide to cancel the contract early you may encounter an early termination fee. Make sure you understand any fees associated with a medical alert system you're considering.

 



Medical Alert Systems In The News

Cox Homelife Care introduces medical alert system designed to support aging adults

It was late at night. Cindy had fallen while walking through her home and was unable to get up, or to reach her phone to call for help. That was the moment that the birthday gift that she didn't want saved her life. Cindy was one of the first people in ...

Published:  Sat, 16 Jun 2018 22:00:00 GMT



UMd. grad advances medical alert system startup with new tech

There have been many a product over the years aimed at getting help to seniors who suffered a fall. But when Erich Meissner's grandmother had a fall of her own, her device didn't work for her - because she wasn't wearing it, a problem the ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:40:00 GMT



Health Beat: High-tech fall alert: MyNotifi

Craven fell so often that she needed a lifeline. She tried several medical alert systems, but didn't like that they notified a call center and even called 911 before knowing if it was a real emergency. Then, she found MyNotifi, which she wears on her wrist ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:44:00 GMT



Medical alert system/ pers market insights shared in detailed report

Medical Alert System/ Pers Market By Type (Landline PERS, Mobile PERS, Standalone PERS) By End Users (Home - Based Use, Nursing Home, Assisted Living Facilities, Hospices). North America region holds the highest market share in 2017. Asia Pacific market ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Jun 2018 22:34:00 GMT



Global Medical Alert System/personal Emergency Response System Market Is Expected to Register a CAGR of 5.5%

Princeton, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/19/2018 -- Personal emergency response systems (PERS), also known as medical emergency response systems, allow users to call for help when in an emergency by pushing a button. It has three components: a small radio ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 10:04:00 GMT



Algae health alert issued for part of Lake Billy Chinook

Anyone drawing in-home water directly from the affected area is advised to use an alternative water source because private treatment systems are not proven effective ... and require immediate medical attention. Symptoms of skin irritation, weakness ...

Published:  Fri, 22 Jun 2018 17:29:00 GMT



HealthWatch: High-Tech Fall Alert: My Notifi

Craven fell so often that she needed a lifeline. She tried several medical alert systems, but didn't like that they notified a call center and even called 911, before knowing if it was a real emergency. Then she found this one, called MyNotifi, which she ...

Published:  Fri, 15 Jun 2018 04:15:00 GMT



Nurse Call System Market to Experience Massive CAGR Owing to Adoption of Wireless Technology, Evaluates MRFR

and drawing a competitive landscape for the market Nurse Call System as the name suggests are devices that alert nurses in cases of medical emergencies & need for care. Simultaneously, these systems are also effective for tracking a patient especially in ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:50:00 GMT



High-Tech fall alert: MyNotifi

She tried several medical alert systems, but didn't like that they notified a call center and even called 911, before knowing if it was a real emergency. Then she found MyNotifi, which she wears on her wrist, like a watch. MyNotifi detects falls ...

Published:  Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:08:00 GMT



A new Life Alert UMd. grad advances medical alert system startup with new tech.

Symbiont Health founder Erich Meissner is advancing his medical alert system, which requires no pendants, body sensors or wearables. The system is testing in two retirement homes in Kensington and Gaithersburg, with 300 patients in the pilot. Founded in ...

Published:  Tue, 12 Jun 2018 12:06:00 GMT




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