Life Alert Emergency Response has been a pioneered of the medical alert system industry since its start in 1987. Popularized by its “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” ad campaign, the Life Alert system has become a household name; the brand is so synonymous with medical alert systems, that many know the medical alert industry simply as the Life Alert industry.
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Below we have provided you with the Good, Bad, and Bottom Line about Life Alert in order to give you a quick breakdown of the facts to help you decide of Life Alert Emergency Response is the right medical alert system for you or your loved ones.
- CSAA five diamond certified
- Free equipment, shipping, and warranty
- Large monitoring call assistance
- Transparent about successful services
- Family notifications
- Waterproof pendant
- Additional types of protection
Life Alert has remained consistent in a growing and evolving industry for nearly three decades. The company has so far stood the test of time, accumulating a strong reputation in the market, not to mention a number of awards and accolades along the way.
Areas where Life Alert Excels:
CSAA Five Diamond Certified
Not many medical alert companies are CSAA five diamond certified. This certification implies the company maintains a high-quality call center service.
Free Equipment, Shipping, and Warranty
Not only is the warranty absolutely free, but it also lasts for the lifetime of the equipment.
Large Monitoring Call Assistance
Being one of the largest medical alert companies in the industry, Life Alert operates its services with its own monitoring center.
Transparent about Successful Services
In 2014, Life Alert assisted authorities in saving approximately 54,490 lives—that’s roughly one life saved every 10 minutes!
At the push of a button, the customer’s emergency contact, along with a emergency dispatch unit, will be immediately notified of the problem.
The waterproof pendant is especially handy when facing in-bathroom emergencies.
Additional Types of Protection
Life Alert also offers fire protection, CO gas protection, home intrusion, mobile tracking through GPS, and a mobile app.
Summary of The Good:
The Life Alert system offers simplistic equipment ideal for people who don’t want to fuss with a lot of buttons or complicated gadgets. This system also enables customers to have more than just medical protection by providing services such as fire and carbon monoxide detection. The Emergency Help Phone is also a great feature that allows you to get help even when you’re not at home.
- 3-year contract
- Installation fees
- No discounts
- Poor Glassdoor rating
- No auto fall detection
- Equipment details
While Life Alert Emergency Response has enjoyed enormous success in years past, the company’s main weaknesses stem from average-quality equipment, its limited services, a subpar website, and more. To compete with top medical alert system companies, Life Alert should consider decreasing its contract length, improving equipment, and eliminating its startup fees.
Areas where Life Alert Could Improve:
At three years, Life Alert locks customers into one of the lengthiest contracts in the industry.
While the company offers free equipment, shipping, and warranty, it also charges a high installation fee. Top medical alert companies charge zero installation fees.
Because Life Alert is so well established in the industry, the company does not rely on or offer discounts on its products and services.
Poor Glassdoor Rating
While not part of our ranking criteria, Life Alert has a 1.7 out of 5-star rating on Glassdoor; Glassdoor ratings are submitted by current or former employees, suggesting Life Alert may not be a great place to work.
No Auto Fall Detection
Many medical alert systems in the industry today offer auto fall detection. Life Alert does not currently offer any products with auto fall detection capability.
The website offers next to no information on equipment details or company policies.
Summary of The Bad:
This system has expensive activation and installation fees which far exceed the industry average. Another concern is the lack of information on the company website. Consumers are simply prompted to call in for pricing and system details which adds extra inconvenience.
Life Alert’s three-year contract for service is much longer competing systems in the industry. And as little information on products and services is offered upfront, customers are required to sign a lengthy contract without knowing fully what they’re getting themselves into.
Frequently Asked Questions
Life Alert offers a home-based medical alarm system that allows you to have protection during common (and uncommon) emergencies. Some systems also provide security during other household threats such as fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. This company also offers an Emergency Help Cell Phone that allows you to contact help while you’re away from home.
How much does Life Alert Cost?
Life alert doesn’t make their pricing available directly on their website. However, according to third-party sources, the monthly cost for the basic Life Alert system is $29.95 a month. However, this can increase to as much as $49.95 a month depending on how many extra features you decide to add to your monthly plan.
Is there an activation fee?
The combined costs of initial activation and installation fees can range anywhere from $95 to $115. Some customers have reported that initial installation has been quoted as high as $295. This is significantly more expensive than the industry standard where installation fees usually never exceed $100. You cannot opt out of the installation fees.
Is there a contract?
You must enter into a 3-year contract agreement to use the Life Alert system. There is a possibility of terminating service before the contract is up, although the company has stringent guidelines for early termination. Read the service contract agreement carefully before signing up if you do not want service to auto-renew after 3 years.
When can I purchase Life Alert?
You can purchase Life Alert anytime. Visit their website and call for a free brochure or order their product.
What is similar to Life Alert?
BestCompany has provided over 50+ different Medical Alert Company reviews. To see a quick breakdown of Life Alert Alternatives we recommend checking out this page.
Life Alert Alternatives | Top 10 Medical Alert Systems
Who started Life Alert?
Isaac Shepher founded Life Alert in 1987. Isaac Shepher migrated to the United States from Isreal with his wife Miri in 1975. Later, living in Los Angeles they created and founded Life Alert. He said that the company idea originally started from an experience with a home invasion.
Is Life Alert Waterproof?
Yes. The Life Alert pendant is waterproof, meaning you can keep it on your person while you shower.
There is no information available about whether Life Alert requires its customers to sign a long-term agreement in order to receive services. Life Alert does publicize that its 36-month service plan would cost a customer less than a month in a retirement facility. So that could possibly indicate that customers would sign up for a 3-month period at a time, but does not necessarily guarantee that. Customers who are interested in Life Alert’s emergency protection systems will need to contact customer service for a more detailed description of what is required.
*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.
Life Alert has published that it offers each of its customers a lifetime warranty for equipment and services. This warranty is free to customers and has no additional, hidden fees. Any equipment that is malfunctioning will be replaced free of charge for the entirety of your service agreement with Life Alert.
Each monitoring center that Life Alert uses to help their customers in emergencies is certified by the Underwriters Laboratories. UL is a company that tests services offered by companies to ensure that the services are up to industry standards. This type of accreditation and certification allows customers to feel more comfortable with the type of service they will be getting.
You can choose to include an Emergency Help Phone in your Life Alert alarm system package. This device is meant to be carried with you while you are away from the house. It uses GPS location services to guide help towards you no matter where you are. This device does not need to be charged and battery life can last for up to 10 years. This device has excellent nationwide coverage and should get a signal in any location that GSM cellular phones are able to operate.
The range for the personal help button is about 150 ft, although this information is inconsistent. Some sources suggest that the button may be able to function up to 300 ft away from the home base system. The Emergency Help Phone is meant to be mobile and can provide service in any location that is capable of receiving a cell phone signal.
Life Alert Systems Available in All 50 United States.
Life Alert employs their own emergency dispatchers to provide monitoring service. When you send an alert signal via your alarm system, the call will be picked up in the Life Alert Monitoring Center where a qualified professional will help you determine the best course of action to deal with the issue. The company has over 600 employees, which are all based in the United States. According to the company website, Life Alert’s ratio of emergency staff to service members is 200% greater than the industry standard. This means that someone will always be available to answer your call at any time of the day or night.
Time in Business
Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc. was founded on January 1, 1978. It did not become an incorporated company until May 1987.
Company Contact Information
16027 Ventura Blvd #400
Encino, CA 91436-2747
Location of Certified Monitoring Centers
The specific locations of monitoring centers are not provided, although the Life Alert headquarters is located in California. Life Alert has multiple office locations, including Encino, Beverly Hills, New York, New Jersey, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and El Segundo.
The specific details of Life Alert’s service packages, including the price, are not available on its website. Potential customers will have to contact Life Alert’s customer service in order to get more details of what they will receive if they sign up for services. The details about Life Alert’s services that are available to the public are as follows:
- 24/7 monitoring by online command center
- Mobile help network
- GPS locating software
- Pendant or wristband options
The Life Alert system offers very basic equipment which is in alignment with industry standards. There is one basic system with many options that can be included in your monthly service:
Home Based System
- Features a Master Unit communication box
- Hands-free two-way voice communication
- Use a standard telephone line or VOIP connection
- Includes a waterproof help button pendant
- Pendant can be worn on the wrist or neck
- Highly-sensitive speakers for efficient communication
Emergency Help Phone
- Features one large emergency help button
- Simplistic design for easy use
- Never worry about charging batteries
- Battery life is about 10 years
- Utilizes GPS location services
- Nationwide service coverage
Additional System Options
- Carbon Monoxide detection
- Fire Detector
- Protection against home intrusion
- Life Alert apps for smart phones
- May receive 10-20% discount on homeowner’s insurance
Life Alert Alternatives
If you were alive and watching TV in the eighties, chances are good that you’ve seen commercials just like this one:
And if you haven’t, then you’re almost guaranteed to have heard the phrase, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”® This tagline and these commercials, while inspiring generations of parody, have nevertheless become cultural icons. Originally pioneered by the medical alert system company Life Alert Emergency Response, this marketing campaign apprised the general public of the dangers faced by homebound senior citizens every day. Just by purchasing a simple pendant and home-base system, emergency professionals, relatives, and even next-door neighbors could provide immediate assistance in case of a fall or medical emergency.
The medical alert system industry has come a long way since the eighties. Now, there are dozens of companies, all providing different services, features, product lines, and pricing rates. Suddenly, shopping for the right medical alert system isn’t so easy; and while Life Alert Emergency Response is certainly one of the most widely recognized companies in the game, recognition doesn’t necessarily imply quality. In fact, Life Alert Emergency Response isn’t even close to the top-ranked companies reviewed with BestCompany.com.
So, the question is, if you are looking for the best medical alert system company to fit your unique needs, and all you know about the medical alert system industry is those outdated Life Alert commercials, how do you go about choosing? What do you look for? What Life Alert alternatives are out there?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
Believe it or not, Life Alert is not the only life alert system out there (although, conducting a Google search of “life alert systems” might suggest otherwise). And while it’s certainly not the best system on the market today, it’s certainly not the worst either.