Life Alarm is a fairly reputable company that offers landline based personal alert services. Their alarm services are referred through thousands of organizations, including public agencies, hospitals, community service groups, home healthcare services, and other referrers throughout the nation. They also offer a reputable affiliate service that helps individuals and businesses refer their products. They also have a generous customer service program, with email access, phone service, and the alarm system itself to help customers with personal alerts.
They compare their alarm system to an answering machine, in terms of setup. It simply plugs into the existing phone line and gives customers two-way voice communication with the monitoring service.
They also provide one auto check a month to help make sure that the system is working efficiently and correctly.
- Low monthly price
- Base station design
- Quick response time
- Free monthly auto check
One of the benefits of Life Alarm's system is that it has the lowest monthly price of many alarm systems out there. The system and service costs $27.95 per month, whereas many companies charge $30 to $40 for a similar product. Life Alarm gives the client a considerable savings amount over competitors. For example, Life Alarm saves a client $217.20 over a period of two years.
Another thing great about Life Alarm is the simplistic and efficient design of the base station. A big red emergency light and a green power light indicate that the product is functioning effectively and efficiently.
The response time from when an emergency call is placed for a Life Alarm Product is a fast 25 seconds. 25 seconds is one of the fastest response times found in the industry. Some of Life Alarm's competitors could take up to one minute to respond to an emergency help summons.
The free monthly auto check of the system is also a benefit. Many major alarm services don't offer an auto check, such as ADT. In terms of customer service, Life Alarm has been in business longer than most of its competitors, for a total of 13 years.
Another good feature is that Life Alarm is eligible for Medicaid assistance in some states. State and federal insurance programs do not cover most personal alarm systems.
- Customer service
- Lack of mobility alerts
- Two-way communication
- Manual monthly tests
- No reset button
There were many things concerning about Life Alarm, especially on the customer service side. A possible issue is that Life Alarm outsources their ordering and return services, potentially creating problems for customers. No customer should have to worry about returning their product to a third party company and then be charged a $250 equipment fee.
Life Alarm's lack of mobility alerts is another negative. A customer can go 300 feet away from the base station, but not much further. It might be possible to take the unit on a trip if the company is notified ahead. However, new location information requires Life Alarm sending out a packet to the client. Many other products that are GPS and cellular-oriented give their clients much more freedom and mobility.
Another concern came from the lack of two-way communication in the help button pendant. While Life Alarm answers their alerts very quickly, a customer who trips a false alarm might not have enough time to make it back to the base station to declare that the alarm was false. It is difficult to get any information about the frequency of false alarms, raising the concern about possibly purchasing this product. The lack of a warranty or terms of service printed explicitly on the website made it difficult to understand the contractual obligations of the product being purchased.
Another troubling factor is the expectation that a customer perform a manual test every month, in addition to the system's automatic test. The manual test should also not be a factor, especially considering if a client is paying for additional automatic tests each month.
In terms of functionality, the base unit also does not have a reset button. The reset button is necessary for clearing false alarms quickly, as well as rebooting the system.
The Bottom Line
It is concerning to hear about the customers who were charged an equipment fee after they returned the base station and button pendant. Due to this, Life Alarm is not recommended for alarm service. The equipment fee is just too high to consider using this product. The manual testing requirement is also worrisome, as it puts undue responsibility on the client. The system should be able to do automatic tests that determine if the machine is functioning correctly.
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