Life Alert Cost Comparison and Review 2020

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Life Alert is famous for its wildly successful “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials, bringing medical alert systems to the mainstream. Unfortunately, despite its early popularity, our Life Alert cost comparison and review reveals that the company disappoints when it comes to price, transparency, quality and customer service when compared to other reputable medical alert companies.

Our conclusion is, that if you’re looking for a medical alert system, there are far better alternatives available, with no long term contracts, at much lower cost than Life Alert, as the chart below clearly demonstrates.

Life Alert Cost Comparison 2020


Medical Alert Companies

In-home Landline Cost per MonthIn-home No Landline Cost per MonthMobile On-the-Go Cost per MonthPrice Lock GuaranteeNo Contract30 Day Trial PeriodValue RatingLearn MoreFree Consultation
Bay Alarm Medical$19.95$29.95$24.95 + $79 fee
Visit Site(855) 692-0104
LifeFone Medical Alert Services$22.87$28.37$36.62
Visit Site(844) 263-7216
Medical Guardian$27.45$32.00$41.20
Visit Site (800) 942-1829
Life Alert$49.95 + $96 fee$49.95 + $96 fee$69.95 + $96 fee
Visit Site(800) 360-0329
Philips Lifeline Medical Alert$29.95 + $50 fee$43.95 + $50 fee$49.95/ + $99 fee
Visit Site(855) 410-3191
ADT Medical Alerts$29.95$35.99$39.99
Visit Site(800) 588-1934
MobileHelp Medical Alert Systems$22.95$29.95$32.95
Visit Site(800) 920-1745
LifeStation$19.95$26.95$34.95 + $49.95 fee
Visit Site(855) 622-5040

Note: In our experience, we've found the best way to get the cheapest life alert cost for medical alert systems, regardless of provider, is over the phone. Let them know you've done your homework, see what they have to offer and don't be afraid to ask for an additional free month, pendant, lock box or for them to waive shipping, equipment or activation fees.

How Much Do Life Alert Systems Cost?

As you can see from the chart above the cost of a life alert system (medical alert system) varies depending on the type of device you're buying and the company you're buying it from.

In-home landline systems are the cheapest, and you can typically get them for $19.95 a month (fall detection is an extra $5-$10 a month typically). If you're looking for value (low cost with quality product and service), we recommend Bay Alarm Medical, (855) 692-0104. They charge $19.95 a month, no contract, no hidden costs and it comes with a 30 day money back guarantee, making it risk free to try, which we love. (New Years Special expires January 27th, 2020)

Mobile systems are a little pricier than in-home systems. However, there are also lot of differences in the type of technology and pendant used for mobile systems, which can impact the cost of mobile systems relative to one another. We recommend an all-in one pendant, with fall detection embedded in it. Our favorite for value is the Medical Guardian Active Guardian system, (800) 942-1829. It's $41.20 a month, no hardware costs, free cancellation (even on the annual plan you'll get your unused months refunded), and we like the all in-one system i.e. you don't have to carry around more than one device. (New Year Sale expires January 16th, 2020)

Our Assessment of Life Alert the Company

We do not recommend Life Alert the company to our readers. Not only does Life Alert cost more than most of its competitors, it offers fewer features and locks customers into long term 3 year contracts, when many competitors offer no contracts with 30 day money back guarantees.

What we found most concerning however, was the high number of customer complaints made to the Better Business Bureau. In the last 3 years, there have been 249 complaints lodged against Life Alert to the Better Business Bureau, compared to only 28 made about Philips Lifeline, another leading medical alert company. Many of the complaints against Life Alert had to do with aggressive sales tactics, poor transparency and inflexible contracts.

Quick Assessment

Life Alert Base Station

  • Life Alert cost far exceeds its value;
  • Life Alert costs nearly $30 a month more than other leading medical alert companies;
  • Life Alert has up-front fees of $96 to $198. Many top medical alert companies offer $0 in up-front fees;
  • There is no 30 day money-back period. We are strong believers in try before you buy, especially for seniors;
  • You must sign-up for a 3 year contract when most competitors offer month to month contracts and easy cancellation;
  • Uniquely long lasting battery for the mobile system, but it lacks a fall detection option;
  • Red Flag: Life Alert has more Better Business Bureau customer complaints than any other leading medical alert company in the United States.

Our conclusion is that there are far better medical alert systems available, offering more flexibility at a much more reasonable price than Life Alert, as can be seen in the chart above.

Life Alert Pros

Monitoring Center

Life Alert owns multiple monitoring stations, all of which are located in the United States. Because it owns its own monitoring stations, and doesn't outsource calls, it has more control over quality and training. Its monitoring stations have also been accredited by a 3rd party and are UL listed.

Monitored Fire / Smoke / Carbon Monoxide

Life Alert can also monitor for fire, smoke and carbon monoxide. The cost is extra, but the service is available.

Long Back-Up Battery Life

If there is a power outage, Life Alert's devices do have a longer back-up battery life than the average medical alert device of 5 days. Most other medical alert devices offer back-up battery power of close to 3 days. It's mobile Life Alert, which uses lithium ion batteries, claims to last 10 years, which would make it the longest lasting mobile system available, although it does not have fall detection.

Life Alert Cons

Life Alert Cost For Monthly Monitoring

The Life Alert cost for the basic system is $49.95 (confirmed by company sales associate). That is significantly more than the average of $19.95-$29.95 per month most other medical alert systems charge. Life Alert basic doesn't even come with fall detection and offers no additional product feature or service that merits a higher price. At a full $20-$30 more per month, we just don't think Life Alert is worth the extra cost.

Start-Up Fees

Life Alert Help Button

In addition to its monthly charge of $49.95 for monitoring services, the Life Alert cost also includes up-front fees between $95 and $198, for things like shipping, programming and processing fees. Many other companies offer $0 start-up fees.

No Automatic Fall Detection

One of the big advancements in medical alert systems is the development of automatic fall detection. In the event a senior falls and is unable to press their emergency button themselves, the automated fall detector will call the emergency response center and they will send help within minutes.

Life alert does not offer fall detection. They said they had researched fall detection, but ultimately determined it was unreliable. While we agree that fall detection does not detect 100% of falls, we understand the best systems catch around 90% of falls, we think it performs an essential service and is a great back-up plan in the event the user can't press the button themselves due to shock or loss of consciousness.

Long Term Contracts

Another big drawback of Life Alert, is that it locks its customers into 3 year contracts. Most of Life Alert's competitors have migrated to no contracts, allowing customers to cancel at any time, for any reason with no penalties. Life Alert only allows contracts to be terminated upon death, if you move into a senior living facility or if you receive 24 hour care, however, you will have to provide a letter from your doctor or the long term care facility as proof.

The problem with long term contracts for medical alert systems, is that sometimes people's needs change, especially those of the elderly. Perhaps you don't like the way the equipment looks or feels, you move in with a family member, get a full-time caregiver or simply don't use the equipment often enough to make it worth your while. With Life Alert, you're stuck paying $49.95 a month until then end of your 3 year term - not so with the competition.

No 30 Day Money-Back Guarantee

Life Alert does not offer a trial period, plus you're locked in for 3 years. Many of the leading medical alert companies will give you a 30 day money back guarantee - get your money back, no questions asked - and a month to month contract. This is important for a few reasons. First, sometimes you may find that you or your loved one don't end up wearing your help button. Second, if you order a mobile alert system, you may find that you don't get good reception. Third, you may find it's too uncomfortable, big or unpleasant and want to try a different system that's a better fit.

Lack of Transparency

Life Alert Cost

We find Life Alert's sales and marketing practices less than transparent, especially given their target population. Neither the monthly Life Alert cost, nor its upfront fees are disclosed on their website. When we called, we found they engaged in high pressure sales tactics, which was also a frequent complaint customers made with the Better Business Bureau. We're not fans of the high pressure sales tactics, especially for a vulnerable senior population that is trusting and likely feeling anxious or fearful at the time they're calling for a life alert system.

Lots of Customer Complaints

One way to get a feel for a medical alert company's customer satisfaction levels is to check out the number of complaints lodged against it through the Better Business Bureau. Unfortunately, no medical alert company had more complaints against it than Life Alert - a total of 249 complaints. Some companies like Philips Lifeline, which is of similar if not larger size, only have 28 complaints!

Of the 249 complaints against Lifeline, 157 were for problems with the product or service, 56 were for advertising or sales issues and 35 were for billing and collection issues. We just can't recommend a medical alert company who has so many more complaints against it than its competitors.

Conclusion

If you're looking to get a personal emergency response system, we don't recommend Life Alert. We believe the cost of Life Alert, a full $30 per month more than other leading medical alert companies, plus up front fees of up to $198 and an inflexible 3 year contract, are unfair. Moreover given that other companies are cheaper and offer more flexible contracts, it's unnecessary for you to pay more than you have to and get locked into a long term contract, when there are great alternatives offering the same service.

Despite its early success, we believe the customer complaints and negative reviews as seen on the Better Business Bureau website offer a cautionary tale to prospective customers.

The bottom line is, we believe you can find medical alerts that are as good or better, at far more reasonable prices and much more flexible contractual terms than Life Alert.

 

 

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Life Alert Cost Comparison and Review
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Life Alert Cost Comparison and Review
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The bottom line is, we believe you can find medical alerts that are as good or better, at far more reasonable prices and much more flexible contractual terms than Life Alert.
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  1. Thank you for information. My mother has a 3 year contract and has not used devices for three months and company will not let us cancel contract.


    • Hi Evelia,

      That is the primary reason why Life Alert received a poor rating by our review team. There are many alternative medical alert companies that have no contracts and free cancellation, making it is easy to stop services.

      That said, our understanding with Life Alert is that you can cancel under certain circumstances, although they make it exceptionally hard. If your mother has moved into a nursing facility, some of their contracts allow you to cancel, although you will have to show proof.

      If you'd like you can share you customer contract with us and we can help you review it to determine your options, if any. You can email it to us at info@seniorsafetyreviews.com

      Would love to help,

      Seniorsafetyreviews.com Staff


      • Is there more than one way to get out of the 3yr contract. That was not disclosed to my mother.
        They have you sign when they install never explaining it's a contract. This should be illegal. Definitely taking advantage of people.


        • Hi Teri,

          We'd love to see if we can help you. If you can scan and email us a copy of your contract to info@seniorsafetyreviews.com, we'll review it and see how we might be able to help, if at all. Also please let us know what state the account holder lives in. With regards to other Life Alert contracts we've reviewed, you have the ability to cancel if there's been a death to the account holder, or if she/he has moved into a nursing home. You will have to provide proof of either situation.

          As we mentioned in the review above, the 3 year contract is the reason we do not recommend Life Alert to our readers. There are plenty of other medical alert companies, with comparable or better service in our opinion, that allow you to cancel at any time, without any penalty.

          Look forward to hearing from you Teri,

          Seniorsafetyreviews.com Staff (Marc)


  2. Love this site - thank you for having it. I made the mistake of calling life alert bc that’s what the doctor mentioned for my dad and I didn’t google to see what other companies were out there offering the service. The sales person was rude and pushy. Will be blocking him when he calls back!


    • Thanks for the kind words Kane! Glad our review helped. They'll hopefully stop calling after 4-5 attempts. Just let it go to voicemail or tell them very curtly you've bought a system from a competitor, they're wasting their time and hang-up.

      Kindest,

      Seniorsafetyreviews.com Staff