The other day I was watching TV late at night and saw several ads for Life Alert.
Have you seen them? Did you notice they repeat the phone number 5 separate times, taking up almost half of the ad time?
Seeing the ads reminded me that I get a lot of questions on this site about Life Alert products from people who visit this website. The biggest question is this: is Life Alert really better than all the other brands?
Now, I’m not exactly sure why I get this question so much. I don’t get it regarding other brands like Bay Alarm Medical or LifeFone or the Phillips products.
I guess Life Alert’s materials — or their phone reps — must be making that claim. Or perhaps it’s just that they saturate the late-night airwaves and so people believe they’re good simply because the name is familiar.
So is Life Alert better?
As far as I can tell, LifeAlert is actually completely average.
They use old-school equipment that’s based on technology that was state of the art in the 1980s. True, they have their own monitoring center, but so do many other companies (the alternative is to contract out the monitoring of phone calls, which has both pros and cons).
What’s not average about them is their prices, which are higher than most, and the fact that they lock you into a 3-year contract (see an extensive discussion about this at the link). Most other medical alert companies don’t do this.
I’ve personally called Life Alert as a customer to see how their reps handled the call. While I wouldn’t characterize the rep as pushy or aggressive, he did require my phone number at the beginning of the call, and he was very persistent about calling me back. I didn’t enjoy the experience.
- You can buy a Life Alert. Whatever my problems with their marketing, they do sell a reliable system and they are likely to be at least as good as any other company at answering your emergency call.
- If you’re looking for a medical alert that works the same way Life Alert does, but at a much better price, take a look at my review for Bay Alarm Medical. They use pretty much the same equipment and provide the same level of protection, but they charge a lot less (your exact savings depend on the plan you choose, and whether or not you use the Bay Alarm coupon code to save even more)
- For a system that provides a higher level of protection by using a talk-through pendant, take a look at the Medipendant. This system is great if you have a larger house or you spend time outside, because you can still have a two-way voice conversation with the responders even if you’re far from the base station.
What’s your opinion?
I’ve shared mine. Do you have something you want to share? People tend to be pretty polarized about LifeAlert, so please try to keep things civil!
By the way, just for fun I’ve collected a few old life alert TV commercials.