Alert-1 Full Review – Top 5 Medical Alert Systems for Seniors | Reviews & Comparison
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Alert-1 Full Review

  • Estimated Price: $25.95 – $45.95/month
  • Official Site:  Alert-1.com

Alert1 is dedicated to helping seniors stay in their homes. They provide a range of medical alert systems and have provided peace of mind to more than 200,000 seniors since 1988. They also have a focus on style and provide options for blingy necklaces and colorful wristbands. They provide basic, low key options, too. Depending on which system you choose, you can use Alert1 on the go or at home. Their mobile devices come with GPS-location capabilities so you can get help fast wherever you go.

How does Alert1 work?

When you press the alarm button on your Alert1 pendant, bracelet, base unit or wall button, you’ll be connected to their care center within 20 to 40 seconds. The Alert1 operator will talk with you through the base unit to assess your situation. If you’re unable to communicate, they’ll still proceed to get you help.

Alert1 will contact a family member, friend or neighbor whose contact info you’ve provided. They will also contact your local emergency response services if you need them. If you’ve pressed the alarm button by mistake, just let them know, and there’s no problem. In fact, they recommend that you make a test call at least once a month to make sure your system is operating correctly.

Alert1 Products

Alert1 has five different medical alert systems, some are for at-home use only, others can be used both at home and on the go.

1. Home Medical Alert System (Telephone Landline Required)

This is the classic Alert1 system that’s designed to be plugged into a traditional telephone landline. Plug the base unit into a phone jack and then carry the lightweight, showerproof alarm button with you at all times. You can wear the alarm button around your neck as a pendant or on your wrist with a wristband.

This Alert1 base station picks up the signal from the alarm button from as far as 600 feet away—the size of two football fields. This unit needs to be plugged into a phone jack and an electrical socket. This system has 24-hours of battery backup power in the event of a power outage. That’s on the low end for most backup batteries, but it’s most likely sufficient.

 

Included with this plan:

  • A POM base unit with a signal range of 600 feet
  • A showerproof pendant or wristwatch alarm button
  • 24 hours of backup power on the base unit
  • Automatically self-tests every 28 days
  • Unlimited button pushes
  • A quick start guide

 

Cost:

  • $26.95 per Month Billed Annually (Must commit to one-year contract)
  • $36.95 per Month Billed Monthly

Other Options

Alert1 has medical alert systems that don’t require a landline. They also don’t require that you own a cellphone or have a cell phone plan. They work using the T-Mobile cellular network. You can find out if you have T-Mobile coverage in your area by following this link. Their cellular-based medical alert systems do carry one-time activation fees from Alert1.

2. Wireless Home Medical Alert (No Landline Required)

No landline is needed with this Alert 1 system. This system is nearly identical to the traditional Home Medical Alert, but it connects to the Alert1 Command Center using cellular technology. You do not need to have a cell phone plan or a cell phone to use this service, but there has to be T-Mobile coverage in your area. The base station will pick up a signal from the alarm button from as far as 600 feet away.

 

Included with this plan:

  • A base unit with a range of 600 feet
  • A waterproof pendant or wristband alarm button
  • 24-hours of battery backup power

 

Cost:

  • $31.95 per Month Billed Annually (Requires a one-year contract)
  • $41.95 per Month Billed Monthly

One Time Activation Fee $59.95

3. Home Fall Detection Medical Alert (With or Without Landline)

This Alert1 system can detect a fall and automatically call the Alert1 Command Center to get you help when you need it. This system is available in a landline and a cellular version; however, you have to call Alert1 to order the cellular version, for some reason, it’s not available for online ordering.

The base unit can detect a fall or an alarm button press within a range of 400 feet. Its backup battery lasts for 24 hours in case your power goes out. The fall detection pendant has sensitive technology that can identify a fall, which will trigger a call to the Alert1 monitoring center to get you help right away. The pendant is designed to detect the difference between a fall and everyday movements to limit false alarms.

 

Included in this plan:

  • A base unit with a range of 400 feet
  • A showerproof fall detection pendant
  • 24 hours of battery backup power

 

Cost:

  • $32.95 per Month Billed Annually (Requires One-Year Contract)
  • $42.95 per Month Billed Monthly

Plus a $39.95 One Time Activation Fee

4. Kelsi Mobile Medical Alert System (No Landline Required)

This medical alert system is designed to be used anywhere you go. No landline or separate base station is required. Just carry your Kelsi mobile alert with you and press the alarm button when you need help. You’ll be connected through the T-Mobile cellular network to Alert1’s command center where a care agent will get you help.

This mobile unit lasts for an impressive 60 days between charges and features 911-location GPS technology. When you carry this device and press the alarm button, you can be located quickly even if you can’t communicate or are disoriented and don’t know where you are.

 

Included in this plan:

  • A showerproof mobile unit with GPS technology
  • 60 days of battery life between charges
  • Two-way voice capabilities through the mobile unit
  • AC wall charger
  • Lanyard, keychain and belt loop attachments
  • Quick start user guide

 

Cost:

  • $35.95 per Month Billed Annually (Requires One-Year Contract)
  • $45.95 per Month Billed Monthly

Plus a $59.95 One Time Activation Fee

5. PAX Mobile Fall Detection System (No Landline Required)

This unit is completely mobile and doesn’t require a landline or a base station. The PAX mobile medical alert device acts as an alarm button and base station all in one. The small, portable device will last up to 36 hours on a single charge.

You can wear your mobile unit around your neck or clipped to your waistband. Wherever you go, press the button to connect with the Alert1 Command Center. Speak with the care agent through the pendant. If you fall, the call center will be contacted on your behalf. Using GPS technology, the agent will be able to pinpoint your location to send you help when you need.

Included with this plan:

  • A PAX mobile medical alert device with fall detection
  • Two-way voice capabilities
  • Lanyard and belt clip
  • A charger, power cord
  • User guide

 

Cost:

  • $49.95 per Month Billed Annually (Requires a one-year contract)
  • $59.95 per Month Billed Monthly

One Time Activation Fee $59.95

Alert1 Accessories and Upgrades

Necklaces (Cost: $9.95 to $119.00)

Alert1 lets you make your pendants more stylish with their selection of jewelry-like necklaces, including Treasure Pearl and Elegant Onyx styles.

 

Wristbands (Cost: $9.95 each)

You can upgrade from a basic wristband for your personal alarm button to one that matches your style. You can choose from a selection of colors, including gray, blue or purple.

 

Medical ID Bracelets (Cost: $34.95 each)

Choose from an assortment of styles. These medical ID bracelets come with ID tags that allow health professionals to quickly learn your condition in the event of an emergency.

 

Medication Reminder and Organizer (Cost: $149.95 each)

This automatic medication dispenser helps to keep you or your loved one on track with their medication. It can be programmed for up to four medication reminders per day. If a dose is missed, the dispenser will deny access to the missed dose, so there is no risk of taking too much medication by mistake. The dispenser also has a lock on it to prevent tampering. This Medication Reminder and Organizer works with an AC adapter but has battery backup power in case it gets unplugged, or there’s a power outage.

 

Voice Extender (Cost: $99.00 each)

This add-on will allow you to communicate with Alert1 at an extended range. It’s perfect for those who live in multistory or exceptionally large homes. It works like a speaker phone, so you don’t have to shout to be heard by the Alert1 base station.

 

Fall Protection Package (Cost: $200.00 each)

This package was designed by Alert1 to provide optimum protection and peace of mind for those who are concerned about falls. It includes two wall-mount help buttons that work with your Alert1 system, two motion-sensing nightlights, an 18-pack of adhesive tub strips, and a 12-piece collection of corner guards that protect you from sharp edges.

 

Mobile Fall Detection Pendant (Cost: $49.95 each)

This pendant works with the Alert1 Mobile Fall Detection Medical Alert System. It’s showerproof and uses GPS location technology so help can find you wherever you need it. If you fall, this pendant’s sensors will detect the fall and contact Alert1 immediately. Speak with a care agent through the built-in two-way speakers.

 

Emergency Lock Box (Cost: $39.95 each)

This hanging lock box is shatterproof and can hold up to five keys. Alert1 will provide emergency personnel with the code if they need to access your home in an emergency. To use it, simply lock the loop around any exterior door handle. This prevents emergency personnel from having to break into your home. It’s also convenient if you accidentally lock yourself out. Just use the code to access your spare keys.

 

Wall-Mounted Emergency Button (Cost: $39.95 each)

Use the included Velcro adhesive tabs to mount a wall button on your wall anywhere you may need one. These wall buttons are waterproof and can be mounted near a bathtub. Many customers place them at the foot of stairs. The battery lasts more than two years. Use these with your Alert1 medical alert system.

 

Fall Detection Pendant (Cost: $32.95 each)

This is an extra pendant to use with the Fall Detection Medical Alert System. It has a battery life of more than two years and can be worn in the shower. Its state of the art motion sensors will sense a fall and call the Alert1 command center to get help fast.

 

Alarm Bracelet (Cost: $26.95 each)

This showerproof wristband with alarm button has a 5-year battery life. When you press the button, it connects wirelessly with your Alert1 base station to call for help. It’s designed to be lightweight and comfortable.

 

Alert Pendant (Cost: $26.95 each)

This is the basic pendant to use with your Alert1 system. It has a five-year battery life and connects you with the Alert1 call center when you press the button. You can swap out the basic cord with an Alert1 necklace for a fashionable look.

 

Advantage Plan (Cost: $75.00 each)

This warranty will protect you if you damage your Alert1 system. You’ll benefit from free replacement and repairs. You’ll also receive free priority shipping on your initial order if you purchase the Advantage Plan at the same time. All replacement items will be sent to you with free standard shipping.

 

Surge Guard (Cost: $19.95 each)

This surge guard protector will protect your home medical alert system from unexpected power surges.

 

Monitored Smoke Detector (Cost: $10.00 per month)

This smoke detector works with your Alert1 medical alert system. When it detects smoke, it sets off an alarm and contacts the Alert1 Command Center. A care agent will contact you to find out if you need help and will call emergency services if needed.

 

Additional information about Alert1’s Products

Alert1’s Medical Alert Systems:

  • Provide 24/7 service/365 days a year
  • Allow for an unlimited number of calls even if you just want to talk
  • Include a lightweight alarm button that you wear as a pendant or wristband.
  • Come pre-programmed and easy to install or set up yourself
  • Allow you to answer your phone remotely by pressing the alarm button (landline systems only)
  • Provide battery monitoring. You don’t have to worry finding a dead battery when you need help the most
  • Include the basic equipment free of charge. However, to cancel your service, you must return the equipment to them.

 

About the Company

Alert1 has been providing medical alert systems for 28 years and have given support to nearly 200,000 seniors, according to their website. They have an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their corporate headquarters is in California and their Command Center, which is what they call their call center, is in Williamsport, PA. Alert1 used to called Alert One and have undergone a fairly recent change in ownership.

 

About Alert1’s Call Center

When you press the alarm button on your Alert1, you’ll be connected to an emergency response agent at a US-based call center. Alert1 used to outsource their call center duties, but it now appears that they have a call center located in Williamsport, PA. However, in their FAQs, they only say that they don’t outsource calls outside of the United States. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they own their own call center, which some view as a mark of quality.

Alert1 has:

  • A UL-rated call center, called a Command Center, based in Williamsport, PA. They also say they have response centers in three different states to serve as backups
  • Agents that are trained to remain calm and sensitive to senior issues
  • Agents available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • The ability to communicate in over 190 languages
  • A 20-45 second response time when you press your help button
  • Diamond Certified by the Central Station Alarm Association, which indicates a high standard of quality for training in customer service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a trial period?

Only on the annual plan. You can cancel within the first 30 days after ordering your equipment. However, in order to qualify for a refund, you must set up and test your equipment with a test call to the Command Center. If you don’t make a test call, you won’t qualify for the full refund. It’s a strange loophole in Alert1’s cancellation policy.

If you are on a monthly plan, you can cancel anytime, but billing won’t stop until Alert1 has received your equipment. On the yearly plan, you cannot cancel for a refund after the first 30 days. You must pay out the remainder of your plan.

Does it take long to install?

Alert1 says their medical alert systems arrive preprogrammed. All you have to do is plug them in and make a test call. They provide one-page quick start guides to make it simple to set up yourself.

Is there a charge for shipping?

Yes. It costs:

  • $15.95 for priority shipping within 1-5 business days
  • $19.95 for 2-day shipping
  • $29.95 for next business day shipping

Can I add my spouse to my Alert1 medical alert plan?

Yes, but you will have to pay an additional membership fee to add your spouse or other person to your plan. Essentially, you pay for two memberships, but the second membership is discounted by 30 percent. For example, the Home Medical Alert System costs $26.95 a month on the annual plan. If you add your spouse to the plan, your total monthly cost will be $45.82 per month.

Customer Feedback

Alert1 has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which isn’t bad. That means they’ve responded satisfactorily to complaints made about them on the BBB site. There are very few complaints about the medical alert service or equipment. However, the main complaints seem to be about difficulties with cancelling.

One customer was surprised that they were told equipment is included free, yet in order to cancel, they had to return the equipment.

Another bone of contention was the test-call loophole in the 30-day money back guarantee for the annual plan. If you receive your equipment but never test it out, you will not get your money back and will be stuck paying for the full year. Alert1 does state this on their website, but it’s a detail that could be easily overlooked.

Pros & Cons

The Good:
  • Alert1 has a good rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • They’ve been in business since 1988.
  • Their call center is UL-rated for quality
  • Representatives that speak a total of more than 190 languages
  • Their equipment is included free
  • There’s a 30-day trial period on the annual plan
  • The mobile option with GPS gets you help fast when you’re away from home.
  • There’s a choice of fashionable options for necklaces and wristbands
  • Alert1 offers a bevy of options and accessories

The Bad:
  • The call center staff isn’t required to have EMT training.
  • All plans besides the Home Medical Alert System require a one-time activation fee
  • If you decide to cancel, Alert1 doesn’t stop billing you until they receive your returned equipment
  • It costs a lot to add a spouse compared to other medical alert companies
  • Shipping is pricey
  • They don’t mention any kind of warranty besides the one that you can purchase for $75

Final Recommendation

Alert1’s basic pricing is reasonable and is comparable with other competitive medical alert companies. Their call center is US-based and certified for quality. They also offer lots of upgrades and their options for decorative necklaces and wristbands will appeal to stylish seniors who like a little bling.

The downsides include activation fees for every system except for the most basic landline system. They also charge more than some other companies to add a spouse or family member to your plan.

Alert1 used to offer three billing options: monthly, quarterly and yearly. The longer the contract, the more you save off the total price. However, they now only offer two plans: Monthly and yearly. Each yearly plan is $10 cheaper per month than its corresponding monthly plan. That seems like a big push to get people to sign up for the yearly plan, which, by the way, you cannot cancel after the 30-day trial period is up. You will be locked into paying for the full year.

If you believe you will keep and use your Alert1 system, by all means, sign up for the yearly plan to save on the monthly cost. Just make sure you test your system within the first 30 days and return the equipment promptly if it doesn’t work for you.

Alert1’s mobile and cellular systems work on the T-Mobile network. Many other companies use AT&T. If you live in an area that doesn’t have good AT&T cellular coverage, Alert1 might be the company for you if you’re looking for a medical alert system that doesn’t require you to have a traditional landline in your home.

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