GreatCall is a leading provider of cell phones and alarm systems which are engineered to get you assistance right away. Famous safety advocate John Walsh is the Vice Chairman of GreatCall, and he is dedicated to providing life-saving health and medical alarm devices that are reliable and cost-effective.
Rank Chart
Price
Consumer Rating
Review

#1

$29.95-$49.95
8.5

#2

$37.95-$41.95
9.4

#3

$27.45-$36.62
8.7

#29
GreatCall Logo

$19.99-$112.49
3.9

The Good

  • Medical monitoring
  • Pricing
  • Contracts

GreatCall offers cutting-edge medical monitoring services for their customers. By combining medical monitoring with cellular phone service, they provide a unique option for seniors on the go.

Pricing for monitoring is dependent on the service options selected, but in many cases is competitive, considering that cellular phone service and medical monitoring is bundled. Customers purchase their equipment, which is affordable, compared to many cellular phone carriers. Seniors have the choice of a flip phone, an Android™ phone or a simple medical alert system. Different colors are available.

GreatCall is one of the few companies in the industry that does not require customers to sign a long-term contract for medical alert services. This provides an added measure of flexibility for customers on a fixed income. For those not wanting to combine their cellular phone service with medial monitoring, or those for whom the network does not cover, a mobile medial monitoring device is available which is waterproof and easy to carry/wear.

The Bad

  • Fees
  • Smartphone
  • Data plans

GreatCall functions a bit differently than their primary competitors and has added equipment fees as well as activation fees. Some customers have complained about the added telecommunication fees which appear on their accounts which are required by federal law for mobile phone service providers and customers.

The jump to a full Android ™ Smartphone might be difficult for some seniors and use might be more difficult for those with dexterity problems. The interface for the phone is simplified, but it still might be difficult for some to use.

Data plans are available, but can be a bit pricey.

The Bottom Line

Customers wanting to replace their current cellular plans and receive easy medical monitoring will be pleased with the offerings of GreatCall. Their Android™ devices are pre-loaded with several medical monitoring apps, allowing for one-tap assistance.

For some customers using their cellular phones with an unlimited plan, the limits on minutes, texts, and data will seem limiting. Plans vary, but customers should track their current average use in order to decide if the plan limitations will work for them.

Phones and service is available at selected Sears, Best Buy, Rite Aid and Walmart Pharmacies nationwide, so customers can purchase and receive their equipment quickly. Customer service representatives at any of these stores are not necessarily trained by GreatCall, and may not give accurate information, so customers should speak directly to a GreatCall customer service representative before purchase if they have any questions.

At this time, GreatCall is recommended as a solid option for mobile medical alert services.

View All Medical Alert Systems

More Information


Equipment Details


Jitterbug Smart (Smart Phone Device)

  • Powered by Android 4.0
  • Features 4’ touch screen
  • Includes Free charger and USB cable
  • Full-sized keyboard with larger buttons
  • Simplified menu layout
  • 5Star App Available
  • Built-in 5 Megapixel main camera and 2 Megapixel front camera
  • Built-in 8GB memory storage
  • 4G LTE Cellular network
  • GPS and Bluetooth capabilities
  • Mobile Internet Access (direct Wi-Fi)
  • Hearing aid compatibility

Jitterbug Flip (Flip Phone Device)

  • Comes in Red and Graphite (Grey)
  • Includes free charger and lanyard
  • Backlit keypad with large buttons
  • Bright colored screen
  • 5Star service access button
  • Simple navigation design
  • Features voice dialing
  • Powerful speaker and speakerphone
  • Built-in 1.3 megapixel camera
  • Hearing aid compatibility
  • Long-Lasting battery
  • Uses GPS location services
  • Reading magnifier with LED flashlight
  • Built-in Bluetooth and GPS capabilities 

Lively Mobile (Alert Button Device)

  • Comes in Silver and Gold
  • Fastest Agent Response Time (as awarded by Good Housekeeping)
  • Clip on for easy use and transportation
  • Patented GPS technology
  • Automatic Fall Detections software
  • Waterproof
  • Lithium-Ion battery
  • Includes free charging cradle, accessory clip and lanyard
  • Speakerphone communication with 5Star Service and 9-1-1
  • Built in fall detection technology

Lively Wearable (Wearable Device)

  • Comes in White/Gold or Grey/Silver
  • Sleek wearable design
  • No charging required (up top 6 months of battery life)
  • Built-in Fall detection software
  • Waterproof
  • Included 5Star Urgent Response Care
  • Customizable daily challenges (to set health goals)
  • Fitness tracking (measure daily step count)
  • Bluetooth capability (easy connection to smartphone)
  • Includes free adjustable wristband and lanyard

Company Details


Price

Pricing varies greatly depending the product and service plan that you choose. The Jitterbug5 costs $99.00 for the cell phone device and has plan options ranging from $19.99 a month to $112.49 a month depending on the amount of minutes and extra features you desire. There is also the option to create a custom plan that includes what you want without any unnecessary features. The Jitterbug Touch2 costs $149.99 with basic plans ranging from $14.99 a month to $59.99 a month. There are also data plans which range from $2.49 to $45.00 a month. You also have the option of signing up for extra features such as Handset Replacement, voicemail and MyWorld for an extra monthly charge. The GreatCall Splash device costs $49.99 and includes either the basic 5Star plan for $14.99 a month or the GreatCall GoPlan for $19.99 a month.

Activation Fee

There is a $35.00 activation fee for all GreatCall phones and devices which must be paid at time of initial purchase.

Warranty

Those products that customers purchase from Great Call are under a warranty for the first year of use. This warranty is limited and conditional on proper use of the device from customers. Some of the disqualifying actions include the following:

  • Improper storage
  • Exposure to liquid
  • Unusual activity

Cosmetic damage, including scratches or dents, that occur to the device are also not covered by this warranty. Customers can read the full warranty details on Great Call’s website to fully understand what is covered. When a damaged product meets the set warranty criteria, Great Call will replace the device without any additional charge.

Return Policy

All GreatCall phones come with a 30-day return policy for a full refund on activation, service and phone fees. However, you must have used less than 30 minutes of total talk time and less than 25 MB of data or you will still be held responsible for the first month of service and any fees accrued during that time. The phone must also be in “like-new” condition to receive a refund. Shipping charges are non-refundable, although it appears that shipping is currently being offered for free. You can call customer service for any questions or concerns regarding the return of a product.

Mobile Alerts

All the products provided by GreatCall are designed to provide mobile coverage from anywhere. The GreatCall Splash is the most basic medical alert device that features a one-touch call button to alert the Response Center of an emergency. The GreatCall Splash uses GPS capabilities to determine your location. The Jitterbug5 and Jitterbug Touch2 are actual cell phone services which can be used for calling, email and text messaging. The difference between these devices and average cell phones is their ability to instantly connect you with medical assistance using 5Star service. Jitterbug cell phones have a 5Star button built into the keypad so you only have to press one button for help to arrive.

Device Range

This information is undisclosed.

Service Map

Great Call Systems Available in All 50 United States

Contract Details*

Each customer who uses any of Great Call’s services will be under a Customer Agreement, which outlines their contract. The length of this contract varies depending on the exact service being used. Some of the highlights of this contract include the following:

  • Customers have the option to cancel their services within the first 30 days to receive a refund for the price of the equipment and the first month’s payment (if all applicable terms are kept).
  • Activation fees will be charged to all Great Call accounts.
  • When customers agree to Great Call’s Customer Agreement, they also agree to its privacy policy and the obligations there.
  • Great Call can cancel services at any time, without notice, for any violation of the written agreement.
*In no way does this summation strive to compensate for reading the actual terms of service or contract provided by this company. We are providing this information to allow consumers to see the points of the contract that we believe they should be aware of. Please refer to the company’s term of service or contract document to see the full details.

Support Quality

GreatCall devices use 5Star Urgent Response services to provide emergency services. 5Star employs NAED (National Academic of Emergency Dispatch) Certified Response Agents who are rigorously trained to handle any type of medical or emergency crisis. 5Star agents are multilingual so language barriers will never stop you from getting help. In addition, a feature called Urgent Care allows you to speak with a nurse or doctor 24/7 for quick medical advice or even to get a new prescription for common medications. In addition to 5Star service, GreatCall customer representatives are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the product or service. Customer service representatives are well-versed in all GreatCall devices and can assist you with any troubleshooting issues as well as determining if you will get coverage in your area. Between the 5Star service and GreatCall’s customer support, you will always have access to help and assistance when you need it.

Location of Certified Monitoring Centers

5Star Urgent Response monitoring centers are located throughout the United States to ensure maximum service coverage. Although specific customer service locations are not specified, GreatCall assures customers that all services are based and located within the United States.

Accreditations

The devices offered by Great Call for emergency medical alerts are all 5-Star Safety compliant. This is a strict set of standards enforced by 5-Star Safety to ensure the quality of machine each customer gets. Great Call routinely checks the manufacturing and products to make sure these standards are continually upheld.

 

Package Details


The customers who want to use the medical alert systems offered by Great Call will have the choice of three service packages. These packages and their prices are as follows:

Basic:

  • 5-Star Urgent Response team
  • Available 24/7
  • Fall detection
  • $19.99/month

Preferred:

  • Includes all Basic services
  • 24/7 access to medical professionals
  • Product replacement plans
  • $24.99/month

Ultimate:

  • Includes all Preferred services
  • Great Call Link package and network
  • $34.99/month

The Great Call customers will also have the option to choose between two different devices:

Lively:

  • Medical alert device with smaller body
  • Worn on lanyard, wristband, or as a keychain
  • Waterproof
  • Speakerphone, 2-way communication
  • GPS technology

Lively Wearable:

  • Medical alert device in fitness tracker form
  • Lively services and features
  • 6-month battery life
  • Fall detection
  • Fitness tracking capabilities

 

Additional Information


Time in Business

GreatCall Inc. was started on March 1, 2005 in California.

Company Contact Information

Address: 10935 Vista Sorrento Pkwy Suite 200 San Diego, California 92130
Email: [email protected]

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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71 GreatCall Reviews

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  1. User Score

    1

    February 23rd, 2017 Plainsboro, NJ

    We got the Lively device for my Grandmother. It’s a small thing you can wear around your neck. It has GPS to locate you, fall detection, and you can press a button right on the unit to talk to someone if you need.

    The first device came in the mail and she charged it at night. She also had to charge it in the middle of the day as it was showing red status for battery (low). After a few days the unit would no longer turn on or charge. The company said the battery situation is not normal. They sent us a new unit and a pre-paid mailer to send the old one back.

    The new unit arrived in about 2-3 days. It lasted less than a week and would no longer turn on or charge. Same thing. sent us a new unit and mailed the old one back.

    The third unit arrives and within 2 days of using it the device started acting funny. Light turns on for no reason, unit shuts off, comes on, shuts off, I finally got it to stay on all night I think, but I came home the next day and it would not power on or charge.

    We called last night and cancelled service. They are sending us something to mail the unit back to them and they will hopefully credit my Mom’s credit card.

    My Grandmother’s Sister has one of these units with no issues, but her neighbor had one that took her a year to get something she’s satisfied with.

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  2. User Score

    1

    February 17th, 2017

    Was told by GreatCall customer service that I was able to cancel my service during a long stay oversea. No with no explanation, they are billing me for what!!!
    When riding them letter they do not answer the worst is that they advertise inside theAARP magazine. Do NOT go with this alert company you will certainly regret it.

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  3. User Score

    8

    February 17th, 2017

    I don’t know where they get their info. But I paid $49.99 for the Waterproof unit and The activation was free. I can push the button at any time and talk to a person. If I had a problem I can hold the button 5 seconds and it dials 911. Monthly Charge was $17.99 when I got mine and has not changed, they now charge $19.99 a Month.
    It is Mobile, has a Comfortable Neck strap. I test once a month or so and always get an immediate answer, even when I traveled out of state.
    I never saw any additional fees for Phone service!

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    3

  4. User Score

    0

    February 16th, 2017 Farmville, VA

    I would NOT recommend this device to anyone. The first one we received did not stay charged for 12 hours. After more than 1 1/2 hours on the phone with support they agreed to send a replacement. After receiving the replacement I called activation as instructed and the device seemed to set up and charge okay. the device did not work after 2 hrs and would not take a charge. After another 1 1/2 hrs. on the phone with technical support they wanted to send yet another replacement. I simply said that after all of these problems with the first 2 I was not interested in receiving a 3rd replacement. 10 days have lapsed and I still have not received the return envelope to return the 2nd defective device and when speaking with customer relations it was as if this was the first conversation with them. I’m sick of dealing with in-effective service and will pay to return the device myself. The agent could not even give me a confirmation number for our conversation today “because it was in the hands of a supervisor”. I was not given the opportunity to speak with this supervisor. STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE.

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  5. User Score

    1

    February 2nd, 2017

    I have had this service for four months. Three times I have had problems with the device or the charger not working. When the device breaks or does not work, it takes at least 7 working days to receive replacement. I have had issues at least once a month with the device not working. Even though you are without service for days and days, you are billed the entire amount. I am now looking for another service provider. This company is no way to feel secure if you need help when it is broken half the time.

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    3

  6. User Score

    1

    January 25th, 2017

    Customer Service is awful. They do not know what they are talking about. The user has to call many times to get the right answer. Tech support is even more terrible. They hire people that are NOT trained. Lost my photos on a restart. Rep did not tell me photos would be lost. Never asked me about my photos before she did a restart on my phone.

    When I cut off service they charged me for the entire month when in fact I only used 4 days! No prorated rates. I was NEVER told that when I signed up. The service rep said “well maybe they had forgotten to tell me that”!!! How is this legal? I had been a customer for 3 years and this is how they treat their customers. Look real hard at this company LOTS of hidden information and policies.

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    4

  7. User Score

    1

    January 20th, 2017

    if you have a loved one that needs a device such as this. don’t get this one. every time you have to call them it’s a 10 to 15 minute wait to get through. the device was purchased 2 weeks before the user went into the hospital and you can’t put a hold on the service. If you cancel there is a reactivation fee. don’t these people realize that they are dealing with the elderly who are always in and out of the hospital. when you do get someone on you have to give them about 5 different security names or numbers to speak to someone or to even tell them that the thing is not working. we are on the 2nd device and now this one isn’t working. i don’t recommend this to ANYONE

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    5

  8. User Score

    4

    January 20th, 2017

    We paid extra to get the fall alert option and when I was gone, my wife fell and it did not even peep. Cancelled that option immediately.

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    5

  9. User Score

    0

    January 17th, 2017

    Try to contact customer service- you will be put in a que sighting the reason is because their product is so good that they are busy handling new customers. Called them 3 times on the first day, waited 45 minutes, received bad advice, 2nd call waited 25 minutes and got worse advice and then they dropped the call. The directions that came with the unit (Lively alert with fall detec) was not for that unit- the second CS person was aware that is happening. Could not create a new customer account online- it would not validate the codes that were given to us. Could not activate unit, CS said it already was even though all paper work said I had to activate it. Power the unit on, and it would shut off within 30 seconds. When I called the 3rd time for more ‘help’, I waited 20 min, and at that point decided to return it then, they said it was ordered at a certain date and my time was running out. The packing slip date and my credit card statement differ from their date more than a week. My 93 year old frail mother ordered this, they promised her the world, they pre on people like her. Disgusting. By far the worst company I have ever dealt with.

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    6

  10. User Score

    0

    January 15th, 2017 Scottsdale, AZ

    After having a phone stolen we ordered a replacement phone. The insurance purchased was delayed in starting so we had to wait two weeks for the order to process and have a new phone shipped. The order was to be sent expedited shipping but came after 10 days. The new phone was defective as determined by Great Call after two 1 hr sessions on the phone. A second new phone (although I think they are refurbished) is to be sent out but it will take again 7-10 business days to receive it.
    Where is the customer service with this company??? During this trying ordeal we asked for our contacts since we no longer had the phone. They could not email them or turn their system on for our account so we could access them from the web. We had to have each name and number read to us to write down.
    This company has a good idea but they are so technologically challenged that it is a great disappointment to have to deal with them. Someone has a great opportunity to take this idea and actually create a company that can handle it!

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    6

  11. User Score

    10

    January 13th, 2017 Endicott, NY

    I have never had any problems with this company. I have used them and their response was quick.

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    3

  12. User Score

    0

    January 9th, 2017

    January 4, 2017

    I have called customer service today and cancelled my account. I opened this account less than 30 days ago and during that time, The devices sent to me have failed 4 times. To contact you is terribly inconvenient. Each time speaking to customer service requires at least a 30 minute wait. Also I have spoken with technical support. They indicated they are having trouble with the latest version of this device. You don’t seem to understand that people order this service to protect themselves in case of emergency. In addition to not providing any protection, you take away peace of mind.

    I am hoping you will have the decency to forward this letter to senior management so they can see the effect on people.

    To make matters worse, you charge a trumped up charge called a restocking fee of $10. When you sign up for this service, you say if we are not happy in the first 30 days you return all our money???????????????? You do not say less a restocking fee.

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    8

  13. User Score

    8

    January 6th, 2017

    Have Great Call for 3yrs. Haven’t had to use. Customer service reps are excellent. Unit is long lasting. Conveniently fits in purse or pocket. I sometimes clip it to my outer clothing when I’m walking alone and carrying things in both hands, especially at night. Makes me feel safer.

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    4

  14. User Score

    10

    January 5th, 2017 Richmond, VA

    I’ve been very satisfied with the product and the service.

    I’ve had the device for over a year now and use it at least twice a month. (I have MS, fall out of my wheelchair, or get it stuck in the yard.) The Five Star rep always answers immediately. He-or-she gets the right 911 people. (When I hook up to 911 directly, we always go through a dispute about whether I’m in the city or county.) The rep stays on the line with me until the 911 people arrive.

    I can call away-from-my home – and they find me wherever I am.

    Everything *I* need.

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    5

  15. User Score

    0

    January 5th, 2017 Gunnison, UT

    We bought the unit at WalMart and tried to activate it online two different times (taking over an hour each time) only to have the links be a mess. We were first taken to a cart with the purchase of a unit after we had already followed the prompt to put in the serial number on the unit we had bought.
    The second time we tried to activate it, it recognized the email we had registered, but nothing else in setting up the account.
    Both times we called twice trying to get through, but the automated message told us that they are “experiencing high call volume. For better service, call back at another time.”
    How good can their emergency service be if they cannot even have a way to activate the unit without issues?

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    8

  16. User Score

    2

    January 5th, 2017

    I have had this for a little over a year and am not very happy. It goes off when I am sitting quietly in church. “Fall detected” !!! Everyone is looking around. Then, when I dropped it, nothing! I am not impressed. I told my son to cancel it.

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    7 2

  17. User Score

    10

    January 5th, 2017

    Luv it! I have had mine for 3 years and have had no problems at all. I can wear it for 3 days without charging it. Maybe even longer——-I just do it every 3 days.

    I have the one that has ON STAR and can be worn in the shower. They may all have ON STAR, but at one time some could not be gotten wet, so I upgraded to this one. In the bath tub or shower is when it is very much needed in case of a slip and fall.

    My only complain is the weight of it. I wish it was smaller and less heavy, but, I guess with all it does, that\s life.

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    6 1

  18. User Score

    9

    January 4th, 2017 Sarasota, FL

    I like the GPS feature on the Preferred Plan. I receive a call from 5 Star Service every once in awhile because they received a Alert. I answer or they will proceed to alert 911 or what is needed. (The Alerts so far have been accidental on my part !). I am satisfied that living alone I am being well protected, and my children are all able to check on my location at any time. (Children are scattered in 3 States).

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    4

  19. User Score

    4

    January 4th, 2017 Altadena, CA

    Ordered this for a family member and came as advertised. Calling in for support is trying on patience since they seem to continue to be under staffed in this area. Quick to order, slow on support. But once we got in, they were nice, polite and good. Problem is the neck device we have has totally died twice now requiring a new complete one to be resent – taking a week without support. You would think after the 2nd one in 3 weeks, they would overnight at their cost – but no such luck. We will see how long it take before another failure – still waiting now on 2nd box. This does not leave us feeling good about our loved ones. I would expect a much better response and turn around for a company in the market.

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    7

  20. User Score

    0

    December 30th, 2016

    Great Call Lively emergency button is awful. Failed after one month. Company promised to send a replacement right out. After five days the replacement button still hasn’t shipped. Customer Service is even worse than the products. Twenty minute hold times is the norm for GreatCall. Just tried to call and got a recording telling me they have a high call volume and and can’t take my call, call back later.

    Dont make the mistake I did, STAY AWAY from GreatCall!!

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    9