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Life Fone vs Philips Lifeline

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LIFE FONE

Since 1976, LifeFone has been a part of the healthcare communications industry. With both a A+ rating at the BBB and thousands of independently-verified positive customer reviews, this company continues to offer reliable, effective service through their medical alert systems.

When considering what LifeFone has to offer, you'll see that they have three general packages for their medical alert services:

  • At Home Landline and Cellular: for a monthly fee of $29.95 for landline service and $34.95 for cellular connection, you'll get an in-home base unit and a wristband or pendant help button with a range of 1,300 feet: one of the best in the industry. It also includes a high/low temperature sensor, where help can be automatically summoned if extreme temperatures are detected.
  • At Home and On-the-Go GPS: for a monthly fee of $39.95, you'll get both an in-home base unit and a mobile system that can be used anywhere and that uses AT&T cellular coverage and GPS to determine your location in an emergency. You'll have 600 feet of range from this base station and 350 feet of range from the mobile unit, which can be placed in different parts of your residence when at home to expand your signal coverage and voice range.
  • At Home and On-the-Go GPS with Voice-in-Pendant: for a monthly fee of $46.95, you'll get the same features as the previous package, with the addition of a pendant that includes a two-way speaker. The pendant can also be worn on a belt clip, and it allows you to speak directly to the 24/7 monitoring center in the event that you need help. It should be noted that LifeFone does not recommend this system for those who have trouble hearing; instead they should consider the previously-described medical alert system.

All plans offer discounts if you pay quarterly or annually; look at the bottom of the main pricing page to see those options. Only the annually-paid plans come with free standard shipping on your equipment; however, there was a limited-time promotional offer at the time of our review that included free shipping and a free month of service on all plans, regardless of payment schedule.

LifeFone has a 30-day free trial on all medical alert systems, and you can cancel at any time. If you've prepaid for your service, you will get a refund on any unused amount as soon as your equipment is returned.

The company offers several add-on services, such as daily-check in calls, medication reminders, and location services. Check at the bottom of your desired plan's pricing and information page to see what additional features are included and at what cost. Most plans allow for free monitoring for a spouse, though you may have to pay for the additional help button pendant or wristband. Also, Fall Detection is available on all plans for an extra charge of either $5 or $10 per month, depending on which plan you choose.

With LifeFone, you also have the opportunity to create a customized plan of Emergency Care Instructions with the help of a customer service agent. This plan includes the user's medical history and medications, preferred hospital and physicians, allergies, as well as family members, friends, or neighbors who should be contacted in an emergency. Such information makes it much more likely that you or your loved one will get the right kind of care in a timely fashion, and that first responders will be well-informed when they arrive.

We were glad to see so many customers with good things to say about LifeFone's response to emergency situations. Their monitoring center has a great track record for getting people help quickly as well as informing the family members or friends designated in the Emergency Care Instructions.

In short, LifeFone keeps people safe with a good selection of medical alert systems that are priced fairly and serviced well.

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PHILIPS LIFELINE

Philips has been a key player in the electronics market for many years, but you may not have known that they also offer medical alert systems sold under the name of Lifeline. The Lifeline subsidiary had an A+ rating with the BBB at the time of our review.

You'll see four systems to choose from when shopping the Lifeline site:

  • HomeSafe: starting at $29.95/month, this system is the basic, traditional landline medical alert system that comes with a pendant or wristband help button and home base unit. Philips doesn't specify the range distance between the help button and the "in-home communicator". If you need a cellular connection, you'll pay $41.95/month.
  • HomeSafe with AutoAlert: starting at $44.95/month, this system is the same as HomeSafe but adds the AutoAlert Fall Detection capability. Because of that capability, you'll need to wear the help button as a pendant, not a wristwatch. Again, if you need a cellular connection, expect to pay more ($56.95/month).
  • GoSafe: starting at $54.95/month, this system uses 6 locating technologies beyond traditional GPS to send help in an emergency. It also includes AutoAlert fall detection. You still get an in-home communicator that connects automatically to your remote pendant when you return to your residence. Once more, you'll pay extra ($64.95/month) if you need a cellular connection instead of a landline.
  • GoSafe 2: similar to the GoSafe, this system starts at $44.95/month plus a one-time device fee of $99.95. It includes automatic fall detection, but it does not include an in-home base unit. Connection is through AT&T wireless networks.

Philips Lifeline has thousands of positive customer comments, especially regarding the responsiveness of the 24/7 monitoring team. We were pleased to see praise from customers who have used Lifeline for years and have gotten excellent service throughout.

On the other hand, we found a number of complaints regarding Philips Lifeline's customer service department, mostly with respect to billing and shipping. Some customers had a hard time cancelling service, and got conflicting answers from different parts of the company - including being taken to collections despite showing that their equipment had already been returned and the account had been cancelled.

Philips Lifeline pricing is slightly higher than similar medical alert systems on the market, but they may be a good option for you if you like the idea of working with a business that enjoys a long history and an overall good reputation.

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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 Fone and Philips Lifeline.

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.

 



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