Medical Alert is a brand under Connect America, a nationwide company founded by Kenneth Gross in 1974. The Company specializes in Personal Emergency Response Services (PERS). Based in Broomall, Pennsylvania. The company's system has been chosen by major retail chains such as CVS to be the main provider of medical alert services at over 7,000 store locations in 43 States.
- Cost of Services
- No Long-term Contract
- Battery Life
Medical Alert sells both home and mobile devices, its standout feature being a long-range transmitter. At the touch of a button, the devices connect customers with professionals at a UL accredited Medical Alert emergency monitoring center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The company's medical alert system is a multifaceted emergency system consisting of hardware or wireless devices. Its medical alarm base unit has a powerful speakerphone located on it so that the emergency operator will be able to hear callers throughout most of the house.
Each customized Medical Alert System kit includes a base unit, a waterproof emergency button with a wrist, clip-on, and traditional pendant options. The system comes with an easy accessible waterproof button, worn as a necklace or wristband, which communicates with a two-way speaker box base unit. The base unit is easily connected through a traditional phone line (phone jack), or to a modem and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which communicates directly to a certified emergency operator who monitors calls 24 hours a day. This is an advantage since many medical alert systems are not compatible with VOIP.
Cost of Services
Depending on the specific product subscription, Medical Alert charges anywhere from $27.49-$42.99 per month for round-the-clock monitoring and emergency dispatch services.
No Long-term Contract
There is no long-term contract and customers can cancel Medical Alert's services without having to have an excuse or reason for cancellation. Medical Alert's packages are setup with customers paying an initial deposit fee that equals three months of service. After the initial three months are over, the subscription is month to month and can be canceled anytime without penalty.
In the case of an emergency, the SIA-certified operator will dispatch the appropriate help for a customer's situation, staying on the line and talking with them until help arrives.
32-72 hour battery back-up. The pendant checks for low batteries every few hours.
- Braille characters for emergency, home, and clear functions
- A clear button that lets user stop an alarm if pressed accidentally
- Distinct alarm tone to identify an emergency situation
- Crystal oscillator design medical alert neck pendants that are attractive, sleek, and more fashionable
- Waterproof accessories and equipment that can be worn in the bath or shower
- Free additional button
- Easy to install - plugs into any home power outlet
- Additional Fees and Financial Obligation
- No Automatic Testing
- Fraud Alert
- Cancellation Caveat
The popularity of the Medical Alert brand speaks for itself. There are many pros, but there are a few points that could be classified as cons, such as the following:
Additional Fees and Financial Obligation
There is a list of additional fees that consumers need to be made aware of. Such fees occur if the unit is lost or damaged. The customer will then be charged either $150 or $350, depending on the product. Also, the customer has to pay a return fee, including shipping and handling, for the equipment upon canceling their monthly subscription. Customers are also responsible for any additional fees associated with their local emergency services (e.g. ambulance rides).
No Automatic Testing
Consumers must manually test their own alarm once a month to ensure that it is working properly. The alert system does not test itself automatically. Members have to remember to press the button to make sure it is working and connected to the call center. This is inconvenient and unpractical for an elderly customer who may have trouble remembering this task.
Since June 2013, Connect America (Medical Alert) has been targeted by an unknown company or group of people that is using the name Medical Alert in their unsolicited calls to consumers. Customers are also encouraged to contact the Attorney General to file a complaint. While Connect America has made these precautions available on their website, the company needs to take better preventative security measures to protect customer information going forward.
After the initial three month contract, customers can cancel anytime, with the caveat that they have to cancel with 30 days prior notice if they want to do so at no cost.