Like most Alert 1 reviews, our review will cover the good, the bad, and the in-betweens of this company. Additionally, we will explore the different medical alert systems the company offers, outlining the pros and the cons.
Alert 1, the Williamsport, PA-based company was established in 1988, and it has been conquering the market for three decades now. Back in the day, while still operating under the name AlertOne, they managed to move up in the world by primarily focusing on their local region. Founder Paul Graafsma made his customers the focal point of the business, which played a big part in the company’s evolution. Today, the firm is owned and managed by ResponseLink, after its 2008 acquisition, and serves members in all 50 states.
Let’s dig into the details!
The Complete Lineup of Alert 1 Products
There are two in-home Alert1 medical alert systems and three mobile medical alert packages. Like other home-based systems we’ve reviewed so far, the in-home sets come with the same equipment. They consist of a base unit and a wireless help button of your choice—either a necklace or a wristband.
On the other hand, the mobile solutions, as expected, don’t require a base unit. The wireless pendants ensure a stable connection between you and a live agent, nationwide. Having made the distinction among the in-home and on-the-go lines, let’s proceed to dissect every device until we get to the core of how they function.
Alert1 In-Home Medical Alert Systems
The in-home solutions are very similar to one another. Aside from the fact that one offers landline connectivity while the other uses cellular technology, there’s not much to tell them apart, at least from the outside.
However, the main difference between the Home and Home Fall Detection models is that the latter features—as you are probably guessing—fall detection automation.
Both of these models come with a white monitoring console. In the middle of the unit, there’s a large oval-shaped Emergency button.
To the right of the button, there is a smaller, green Reset button, along with two LED indicators for testing and power. The speaker is on the top, and the microphone is off to the left. Alert1 medical alert devices enable two-way hands-free communication through the sensitive microphone. Another LED indicator is placed on the left—the alarm light, which flashes when you call for help.
The necklace may be a better choice because it comes with a larger Help button than the wristband’s smaller, green Help button. Both of these wearable pendants are 100% waterproof, meaning you can wear them in the shower too. On a negative note, the Home model has a 600-foot pendant range, and the Home Fall Detection pendant only offers 400-foot coverage. Needless to say, it is one of the shortest ranges we’ve encountered so far, similar to Mobile Guardian’s 350-foot range.
What could also use some improvement is the battery life. There are a few Alert 1 complaints regarding the rather short 24-hour backup battery. Even though the company claims this is more than sufficient during blackouts, the reality is customers could use a longer battery life—especially for the cellular option.
The installation is pretty straightforward. Since the devices come preprogrammed, all you have to do is plug the unit base into a phone jack and a wall outlet. Pairing the wearable pendant adds another step to the process, but it doesn’t take more than a couple of seconds. Our Alert1 Home Medical Alert review can give you more information about these systems.
Alert 1 Mobile Medical Alert Systems
The mobile plans don’t require any kind of hub, and the wearable pendant has your back wherever you go. Thanks to the built-in locating technology, these mobile devices can enable help being sent to your exact location.
If you want to give these mobile alerts a try, you can choose from three different variations: Kelsi, Kelsi Pro, and PAX Plus.
Kelsi On-the-Go Medical Alert Systems
These Alert1 medical mobile solutions connect you to a live agent wherever you are, whenever you need help.
They provide clear, two-way hands-free communication, 24/7.
Their glossy black design is really simple, featuring a rubber Help button, a built-in speaker and microphone, and four LED indicators.
They come with a lanyard, charger, and a user guide. However, you won’t use the charger much since the battery can last for five days on a single charge.
The pendants for both Kelsi and Kelsi Pro are completely water resistant and also compatible with pacemakers. But the first Kelsi edition doesn’t offer the unique Alert 1 fall detection technology its second iteration does. Moreover, while Kelsi Pro is enhanced with GPS-locating technology, it’s important to note that the basic Kelsi option lacks this feature.
PAX Plus (On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection)
Moving on to the latest product from this company, PAX Plus is what we like to call “the best of both worlds.” After thoroughly testing this device, we came to realize that this is the safest option offered by this brand.
It is a mobile medical alert system that comes with a built-in fall detection feature, as well as GPS technology. Long story short, it provides users with comfort, independence, and access to help anyone throughout the US.
There were a few Alert1 medical alert reviews that pointed out the difference in the pendant size. Namely, when you are on the go, you have to wear a somewhat large mobile pendant.
But when you’re at home, you can put the mobile pendant to charge and switch to a smaller home pendant. The home pendant communicates via the charging cradle, which in our opinion seems to function as a unit base.
The device is 100% waterproof and highly shatter resistant. However, we were not impressed by the battery life of this Alert1 medical alert system. With only a 24-hour battery life on standby mode, users can’t exactly go about their day without worrying if it’s going to last until they get back home.
Additional Features & Accessories
This brand is probably the only provider of health gadgets that offers all the features you could ask for. Voice extender, emergency lock box, and wall-mounted buttons—you name it—they probably have it available.
Alert 1 even offers a medication dispenser that will cost you around $150. The setup is as simple as setting up a digital clock. It comes with a large LED display and allows users to program up to four medication reminders per day. On top of that, you can add an additional pill tray and simply switch trays when it’s time to refill. This device is tamper-proof and includes a 48-hour rechargeable battery backup.
Wall-mounted emergency buttons ($39.95) add a bonus layer of protection. In case you aren’t wearing your portable pendant, having such buttons can significantly increase your chances of getting help on time. These buttons are completely wireless and waterproof, meaning you can place them in an area where a fall is most likely to occur: the bathroom.
When we compared Alert 1 vs LifeAlert, we discovered that the former offers additional premium products like a voice extender ($99) and a lock box ($39.95). As discussed in our Life Alert review, the latter fails to deliver such properties. Additionally, Life Alert is still more expensive, even though it lacks some of these essential features.
Even better, none of these accessories require monthly fees. Instead, you are required to pay a one-time sum when you buy them. If you want to learn more about these products, as well as check out other health gadgets such as smoke detectors, protective cases, or bracelets, visit the Alert1’s official website.
How Much Does Alert 1 Cost?
The solutions offered by this company are some of the most budget-friendly options available on the market. As a matter of fact, Bay Alarm Medical is the only in-home medical alert that can match Alert1’s competitive prices.
It’s important to mention that the company favors longer commitments with their customers, although no long-term contracts are required. They don’t offer one-month subscriptions, but their quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payment plans are affordable.
The basic Home system won’t cost you more than $26 on a quarterly basis, while the cost for the semi-annual and annual plans are even lower. The upgraded Home Fall Detection is around $31 annually, and don’t expect the quarterly plan to cost more than $37, equaling the price of the basic Kelsi model.
Every Alert 1 medical device that’s meant for users who appreciate staying active is upgraded with additional features such as Wi-Fi or GPS. With that thought in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the prices are higher too.
That being said, the annual fee for Kelsi Pro is around $42, while PAX Plus comes with a yearly fee of around $53. Quarterly, these devices cost about $48 and $59. Bear in mind that the semi-annual pricing is somewhere between the annual and quarterly options, which is still inexpensive and super affordable.
Alert 1 Call Center Review
The response time of a certain company should be among the top three things you consider before buying a medical alert system. When you are in distress, the last thing you need is more stress.
Many Alert1 reviews highlight the fact that this company has two senior monitoring centers. The centers are TMA Five Diamond Certified and UL-listed. Moreover, they are US-based but offer support in 190 languages. Even though it all seems perfect on paper, they failed to impress us in terms of response time.
At 40 seconds, this is less than an average score. The response time may differ, though, as we had a chance to witness. After placing four calls to the call centers, the operators picked up the phone after 37 seconds twice. In the latter two attempts, we connected to an agent after 43 and 45 seconds. This score is unmatchable with GreatCall’s 15-second response time, but is still better than LifeFone’s 45-second average time.
On the bright side, if you need any help with your device, placing your order, or even updating your account, don’t hesitate to call Alert 1 customer service. The company invests in training capable and results-driven personnel who won’t let you down. We gave them a call (or two), and we appreciated their effort to resolve our issues while still maintaining both a friendly and professional relationship.
Pros & Cons of Choosing Alert 1
Taking all of the above into consideration, it’s fair to conclude that this company offers top-notch medical alert systems at low price points. After reviewing a number of companies of its kind, we grasped the fact that none of them offer as many additional features as this company does.
Moreover, the customer satisfaction rate speaks for itself (97% positive reviews from customers). This is partly due to the abundance of options customers can choose from when opting for an emergency alert device.
If you are unsatisfied with your Alert 1, cancellation is always an option. You can also get a money-back guarantee after 30 days, but you won’t be able to retrieve any funds you prepaid after that period. More precisely, if you opt for a quarterly payment plan, you can get the first 30 days back, but not the three months that follow.
The rather short pendant coverage of the in-home devices also made it to our list of cons. In addition, we’d love to see an improved response time.