When you choose a monitored medical alert system, you will often be given the option of paying your monitoring fee in a lump sum to save money.
You’ll often see the monitoring service prices advertised this way on websites: “As low as $XX per month.”
What that means is that if you pay for a 12 month period, in advance, you can get that low monthly rate.
If you pay month by month, you’ll pay a higher rate.
The problem comes if you choose the lower rate, pay in advance, and then have a problem with the medical alert system. In this case you probably won’t be able to get your lump sum payment back. This may feel very unfair, but part of the way the company is able to offer you the cheaper monthly rate is to “lock you in” for a longer period of time. This reduces the “churn” among their customers and makes it less expensive for them to run their medical alert system monitoring business.
In a recent review of medical alert systems, a customer reported that they were having trouble getting their monitoring fee back from the company when they realized the service wasn’t appropriate for their mother. The company claimed they’d been very clear that the fee wasn’t refundable, but the customer was upset because he’d told the company about his mother’s cognitive deficits and they’d still sold him the product. Not only that, but they hadn’t offered him a month-to-month subscription, which might have been more appropriate in this situation.
Of course, when you’re looking at several different medical alert systems, it’s easy to get confused about the different policies of the different vendors. That’s another reason you might want a simple tracking sheet like the one I offer for free when you sign up for my free newsletter about medical alerts and aging parent issues.
Photo courtesy of AMagill