Psychologist and gerontologist. Andrew S. Dibner founded Lifeline Systems in 1972 to give elderly persons a viable solution to getting emergency medical help while living alone. The company initially sold its services to commercial entities, such as hospitals and other healthcare facilities, eventually transitioning to selling directly to consumers. Lifeline Systems became Philips Lifeline in 2006 when it was acquired by the Philips company, adding its products to their home care line. Today, Philips Lifeline remains the top medical alert service in the United States, having served over 7 million customers.
The major highlight of Philips Lifeline’s medical alert system is its Fall Detection feature. This feature picks up greater than 95% of falls. Customers have a choice of several safety alarm products, consisting of:
- HomeSafe Standard with AutoAlert Help Button (for in and around the home)
- HomeSafe AutoAlert (for in and around the home)
- GoSafe Mobile Alert System (for on-the-go protection away from hone)
- Response App (for Smartphone users)
All systems come with a Help Button Pendant, a Communicator Unit and 24/7 access to a U.S.-based Response Center.
Phillips Lifeline offers the following benefits to its members:
Depending on the product subscription selected, Philips Lifeline charges anywhere from $13.95-$54.95 per month for round-the-clock monitoring and emergency dispatch services.
Lifeline automatically replaces batteries when needed. Backup batteries have a life of 30 hours.
Works in bath or shower where falls are common.
The company’s medical monitoring center can accommodate more than 200 languages.
Customer service associates are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days a year to handle emergencies or just answer questions.
Optional Installation Assistance
Upon request, Lifeline can send a skilled technician to your home to ensure that everything is installed properly and that the system is securely connected to the monitoring center.
Medication Dispensing Service
Includes a dispenser button for the medication and an audio reminder when it’s time to take each dose.
Voice Extension Console
Increases the two-way speakerphone voice communication to a larger area., allowing you to place the voice extension console in a different area of your home from the main console.
In the case of an accident, minor or major, Lifeline can give the combination of the lockbox to whomever customers designate to enter their home to assist them, whether that’s family, neighbors or emergency services.
Their base price is average in comparison to the rest of the industry, but the add-ons for addition equipment/buttons can add up. One additional button may cost you $10 a month in addition to your regular bill. There have been some complaints about the system and equipment not responding to alerts during emergencies, however, we cannot substantiate this with customers.
Consumers need to be aware of the following:
The HomeSafe Unit only covers up to 500 ft, which compared to other companies in its niche who offer up to 1300 ft., is pretty small. The company also warns (in small print) that the range in and around your home must be tested. GoSafe mobile alert system is covered anywhere with AT&T service, but the range varies depending on cell tower coverage in that particular area.
System Installation Caveat
The optional installation help does cost a one-time fee. You can also have the equipment mailed to you so you can set it up yourself for no additional cost.
There is also an additional one-time fee for the voice extension console and the lockbox service.
Limited Product Information
Philips Lifeline does present adequate product information on their website, but some information is lacking transparency, such as warranty information, additional fees for things like activation and equipment fees, and backup battery life.
Philips Lifeline Equipment
Fall Detection – Detects 95% of all Falls
AutoAlert System – System Automatically Detects Falls. Includes Communicator & Fall Detecting Pendant
Base Station Communicator
- Enables Emergency Response Communications
- 300 ft Range
- Up to 30 Hours Battery Backup
- Automatic Self-Testing
- Remote Call Answering
- Sensitive Speakers
Slimline Help Button
- Wearable Wristband or Pendant
- Water Resistant
- 300 ft. Range
- 4-5 Year Battery Life
- 20 – 30 Second Response
The customers who use emergency alert systems have a variety of needs, which is why Phillips Lifeline offers many different service packages. These packages are all designed to give customers more peace of mind as they try to live a more independent life. The specific details of these packages include the following:
- In-home network
- Landline required
- 24/7 monitoring
Home Safe with Auto Alert:
- In-home network
- Wireless network used
- 24/7 monitoring
- In-home network and on-the-go coverage
- GPS locating software
- Communication from anywhere
- 24/7 monitoring
This variety of packages allows customers to choose the option that will work best for their specific situation. Each package has the same basic type of service with just a few differences which mostly come with the exact equipment used with each package.
Depending on what the customer wants, the cost may vary, but typically, the standard service starts at $29.95 per month. Lifeline AutoAlert is more, costing $44.95 per month. The Lifeline app for Android phones and iOS is $13.95 per month. Also, additional alert buttons will cost $10/month each.
Customers do not have to pay for repairs or replacements.
A part of the monitoring system is connected with the help button’s battery. When the battery is getting low, a new one will be sent to the customer for replacing. Any other malfunction or damage may have to be covered by the customer but will have to be discussed before service begins.
Phillips Lifeline advertises a variety of affiliations on their website to show customers which organizations they belong to. These affiliations include Medical Alert Foundation, Consumer affairs, and VNAA. When a company is accredited by a major organization that shows customers how the services compare to others across the industry.
Special deals for TBC customers: you pay ZERO in activation fees.
There is no mobile alert, though customers do not need a landline to use their device. The standard service works through a cellular network. However, company representatives say that a mobile device is forthcoming shortly.
The device range from the button to base unit is about 800 feet.
Each customer who uses Philips Lifeline emergency alert systems will be billed monthly for the services they use. This means that customers do not have to agree to a long-term commitment of service and are not locked into paying for the service after it is no longer needed. The specific details of the cancellation process are not available and it is unclear how customers are to go about it or if there are any associated penalties.
*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.
Time in Business
Lifeline Systems was found in 1972. It was acquired by Philips in 2006, and its name was changed to Philips Lifeline.
Philips Lifeline currently has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau. It has been an accredited member of the BBB since February 2002. The rating is not perfect, but solid. In the past three years, Philips Lifeline has had 37 complaints made against it to the BB. Of this total, 13 have been closed in the past 12 months. Most of the complaints—23—have centered on problems with products and its services. The BBB has determined that Philips Lifeline has been reasonable efforts to resolve issues. The company has a commitment to its customers and to operating professionally and ethically.
Company Contact Information
111 Lawrence Street
Framingham, MA 01702
Phone: 1 (866) 690-4340
Email: [email protected]
Location of Certified Monitoring Centers
Philips Lifeline’s response is company-owned and based in the U.S.
*Philips Lifeline Medical Alert System Equipment is FDA Registered & Regulated.
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