Technical Flaws Cause Recall of GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus

Until further notice, the GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus, one of the most popular mobile medical alert devices in the United States, is not bering sold. A subsidiary of Best Buy, GreatCall has recalled some of its units and stopped selling new units indefinitely. GreatCall did not elaborate on the reason, other than describing it as an "important safety recall."

We went to GreatCall's website and confirmed that as of June 7, 2019 the GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus is still not being sold, with the website letting customers know it's "coming soon", as can be seen here:

GreatCall Recall

GreatCall did not make the recall public, nor, as far as we can tell, was the FDA alerted to the recall, likely because the device does not fall under the FDA's jurisdiction. Instead they called and sent a letter to affected customers asking them to stop using the device and to return it free of charge to GreatCall. In return, GreatCall was going to issue a full refund, a free jitterbug phone and/or a $50 gift card at Best Buy.

Unfortunately, the news went from bad to worse as a class action law suite was launched on behalf of Scott Barnes against GreatCall on May 22nd, who claimed the fall detection device was not working properly. Even more worrisome, is that GreatCall claims the malfunction that caused the recall, is an unrelated technical issue to that identified in the class action, namely the poor performance of the fall detector.

Whatever the issue, there seem to be at least two serious technical flaws with the GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus. We can't imagine BestBuy doesn't have some type of buyers remorse!

For those who need to find an alternative, you can either check out our review of the best medical alert systems for 2019, or take a look at three of our top rated mobile medical alerts below:

 

1. Medical Guardian's Active Guardian

Although it comes in a little more expensive than the GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus, we like the Active Guardian because it offers a great all-in one device, with a help button, two-way speaker / microphone, GPS and fall detection. We have not heard of any issues with it and Medical Guardian has been selling it for several years. It's also less bulky than the Lively Mobile Plus, making it easier to wear.

Active Guardian

Cost of $45 per month, (extra $10 for fall detection) but equipment is free (unlike the Lively Mobile Plus) and it comes with a free lock box.

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Medical Guardian Review Here

2. Philips Lifeline GoSafe2

This is actually one of our favorite mobile medical alert systems. It's also an all-in one mobile medical alert with a help button, 2 way voice microphone / speaker, GPS and fall detection. However, Lifeline claims it has the most accurate fall detector in the industry and one of the most accurate GPS location detectors as well. Lifeline is owned by Philips, who is one of the largest manufacturers of sophisticated medical equipment in the world, so we give their claims quite a bit of credibility. The GoSafe2 is also the sleekest and lightest of the mobile medical alerts we've tested.

Lifeline GoSafe2

Cost of $44.95 (includes fall detection) and a one time $99 equipment fee charge.

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Philips Lifeline Review Here

3. Bay Alarm Medical On-The-Go Protection

Bay Alarm Medical has come out with a new 4G LTE mobile alert. It's also an all in one device, in that it comes with a help button, two-way voice speaker, and GPS. We like the system. It's light, good looking and not too bulky. It also has a long battery life of up to 72 hours (although it will be shorter if you get it with fall detection). If you get the package with fall detection, which is more expensive, it also comes with an in-home medical alert system, which could be helpful if you don't get good cell reception in your home.

On The Go Bay Alarm Medical

Cost is $29.95 per month ($49.95 with fall detection).

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Bay Alarm Medical Review Here


  1. It is far more than technical flaws, it is a defective device that never did work, the two companies knew that and still sold it to us Disabled, Elderly and injured.

    Since the Devices Software was defective from day one, they lied to the public and those of us who bought one, and when we needed help it failed. It is NOT water Proof, NO GPS, NO 911, NO fall detector, No Locator nothing. Both Best Buy and Great Call including John Walsh all knew it was and is a defective worthless device.

    It does not save lives but takes lives.