Medical Alert Cost Comparison: Medical Guardian vs Life Alert

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Written by Aaron Hall | Last Updated October 31st, 2019
Aaron N. Hall is a Content Management Specialist for Best Company and specializes in the home security and medical alert system industries. He would tell you that he’s probably taking pictures, writing music, or working on his next novel while out of the office, but he’s actually just watching Parks and Rec.

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Medical alert devices have been around for decades and largely serve the same purpose they always have, so how can you know which company is the best? Two of the most well-known names in the medical alert industry, Life Alert and Medical Guardian, both serve thousands of customers and feature 24/7 monitoring by certified emergency representatives, but what are the key differences between the two? Allow us to break things down for you.

Price

Medical Guardian's systems cost anywhere between $29.95 to $49.95 per month. The least expensive system is the Classic Guardian system that plugs into a landline connection and features 1300 feet of range. The most expensive unit is the Premium Guardian, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards and is GPS-enabled, so you can take it with you anywhere. This means that wherever you go, emergency responders will be able to pinpoint your exact location, even if you're outside.

Unfortunately, Life Alert doesn't disclose any prices on its website, so it's hard to make a solid comparison. However, it appears as though Life Alert offers similar products to Medical Guardian. There are even mobile apps available with Life Alert. But since we don't know the prices of Life Alert's products, we can't know for sure if the customer is in for a bargain.

Winner: Medical Guardian (by default)

Equipment Fee

Medical Guardian offers no equipment fee for its systems. This means that you won't have to pay extra just because the system shows up at your door. Thankfully, Life Alert doesn't charge an equipment fee, either.

Winner: Tie

Activation Fee

Medical Guardian charges no activation fee for any of its packages. When the product comes in the mail, just plug it into your wall outlet and/or landline connection, and it should be ready to go. All of your contact information comes pre-loaded and assigned in accordance with the unit you ordered.

Life Alert charges an activation and installation fee of $95 to $295 depending on the package. This can be frustrating because this could equate to a month's worth of groceries or several months of emergency monitoring. Many top medical alert companies are doing away with these fees, and Life Alert would do well to do the same.

Winner: Medical Guardian

Contract

Medical Guardian operates based on a month-to-month basis. If a customer needs to cancel services for any reason, there isn't a hefty contract binding you into monthly payments regardless of your need. Just ship the equipment back to Medical Guardian headquarters and you're good to go. However, there is a 90-day service agreement, so you must pay for the first three months of service. If you want to return the device before the 90-day period expires, Medical Guardian will refund you the remaining amount in due time, but you must pay for the first three months beforehand.

On the other hand, Life Alert operates based on a 3-year contract. This means that the customer will be required to pay every month until the 36-month period has expired, and this can be incredibly frustrating if funds are running low or you don't need the product anymore. The customer may have the option to buy out of a contract, but depending on how much time is left, that can cost upward of $1,000.

Winner: Medical Guardian

Warranty

Both Life Alert and Medical Guardian offer lifetime warranties on their equipment. This means that if anything goes wrong with the equipment you've purchased, the company will replace it free of charge.

Winner: Tie

Range

Medical Guardian's most basic system (Classic Guardian) offers 1300 feet of range, which is one of the greatest distances currently available on the market. The Home Guardian, which is $5/month extra, only offers half that range. Remember, though, that Medical Guardian has a more expensive GPS-enabled system that allows it to operate anywhere.

In comparison, Life Alert's system offers 800 feet of range. This is still an impressive number, but Medical Guardian's most basic system can outshine this by 500 feet. There is a mobile option available to Live Alert customers that is also GPS-enabled, but the price of the product is unknown.

Winner: Medical Guardian

Time in Business

Life Alert has been in the medical alert industry for 30 years at the time of this article's publication. The company established itself in the late 1980's with the television commercials featuring an elderly woman crying, "I've fallen and I can't get up!" These popular commercials have helped Life Alert to be the most well-known name in the medical alert industry.

Medical Guardian has only been in business for 12 years at the time of this review. However, we found that Medical Guardian has a much more robust and navigable website in comparison to veteran company Life Alert. Life Alert would do well to follow Medical Guardian's lead with an organized blog, clearly outlined package pricing, and informative videos.

Winner: Life Alert

Customer Reviews

According to BestCompany.com, Medical Guardian boasts over 1,400 customer reviews with an average rating of 8.6/10. The majority of customer reviews indicate quick response times, friendly customer representatives, and easy setup.

Comparatively, Life Alert currently has a 1.6/10 rating based on 45 customer reviews. Most of the reviews complain about poor customer service and rigid contracts with overwhelming buyouts.

Winner: Medical Guardian

Overall

Comparing the two companies, the obvious choice is Medical Guardian. The company offers several pricing options boasting different functions that should complement most customers' budgets. Even the most basic package has one of the best ranges of any device in the industry, and higher-priced units are GPS-enabled so you can take the product anywhere. The company also has excellent customer feedback based on over 1,400 experiences. This speaks to the company's customer service and ease of use.

Life Alert is one of the pioneers in the medical alert industry, but according to feedback from customers and a lack of pricing transparency on the company's website, the organization seems to be a little out of touch. The lifetime warranty and lack of equipment fee are definitely encouraging but aren't enough to set the company apart from other companies in the medical alert industry. Looking at customer feedback is especially discouraging.

Winner: Medical Guardian

The Top Medical Alert Systems Companies

company logo
#1 Medical Guardian chevron_right
9.5 Overall Score
4.5
starstarstarstarstar_half
(10,165)
company logo
#2 MobileHelp chevron_right
9.3 Overall Score
4.7
starstarstarstarstar_half
(7,920)
company logo
#3 LifeStation chevron_right
8.3 Overall Score
4.5
starstarstarstarstar_half
(2,394)

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