Walmart, one of the world's largest retailers, does in fact carry medical alert systems. However, the majority of the medical alerts it carries are available online only, (not in stores) and are sold by 3rd party sellers, not Walmart itself.
We also noticed, the sellers on Walmart.com aren't necessarily making available all of the products available from each manufacturer. As a result, you may find yourself being forced into a product that fits the sellers objectives, not yours.
Our recommendation would be to call one of the medical alert companies directly, and go through the process of having them fit you or your loved one, for a medical alert device that addresses your needs specifically. The other benefit of going direct is you won't have to pay for your device upfront and you'll be able to negotiate some special offers BEFORE you make a purchase.
What kind of Medical Alert Devices Does Walmart Sell?
Walmart carries many different types of medical alert systems, from the classic in-home only versions to mobile on-the-go systems. It also carries some medical alert systems that require a subscription for ongoing monitoring and others that don't.
Regardless, the vast majority of Walmart's medical alert systems are sold online only, through Walmart's 3rd party seller marketplace. That means that you're not actually buying the system from Walmart, but from a 3rd party company. In some cases, the medical alert company itself might be selling you one of their systems directly through Walmart's website, as is the case with MobileHelp.
One thing that almost all of Walmart's medical alert offerings have in common is that you have to pay for the device up-front. After the device is shipped to you, you'll have to call the company and subscribe for monitoring services, if that's the type of system you bought. The problem is, Walmart's site does not do a good job at all distinguishing between those medical alert systems that require ongoing monitoring and those that don't.
Which is Better? Buying Direct or Buying From Walmart?
There's actually quite a big difference if you want to buy from Walmart versus buying directly from the manufacturer. Let's take MobileHelp for example, which you can buy on Walmart.com or from MobileHelp directly.
When buying from Walmart.com, you'll pay $49.95 for the medical alert device. However, the site offers no information on how much it will cost per month thereafter for the actual monitoring fees - which is typically the largest cost! We find that odd, if not misleading.
Alternatively, when you buy from MobileHelp directly, the medical alert device is free, you typically get a rebate for the first month of monitoring and you can choose from a much larger selection of devices and packages to suit your specific needs - such as the MobileHelp Solo or Duo which come with GPS and fall detection.
Perhaps best of all, when you order through MobileHelp directly, there's a 30 day money back guarantee. Try it, don't like it, return it. We strongly recommend you try before you buy.
You'll notice that Walmart offers a lot of the other big brands like Medical Guardian and Life Station. But again, look twice and you'll see that they're actually being sold by a 3 party seller. That means Walmart will be taking its cut and so will the 3rd party seller. Why not just buy from the medical alert company itself and cut out the middle men?
What's the Verdict? Should I Buy from Walmart?
We don't think you should buy from Walmart. First, we don't think Walmart's website does a good job showing what the ongoing monitoring costs will be. Second, why buy through Walmart when you can buy direct, where it's cheaper, you don't have to pay for the machine upfront and you'll get advice from the manufacturer on which medical alert system is best for your situation.