Medical Guardian Classic Guardian is the most elementary option from the diverse array of medical alert systems that this company offers. The Classic Guardian is a landline-only, in-home system that comes with a choice of a wristband or neck help pendant.
For around a dollar per day, this relatively standard and solid solution will provide access to a 24/7 help center for homebound people. Everything about the Classic is, well, classic, so the choice for the name is fitting. But this also means that there aren’t many distinguishing features to outline in this Classic Medical Guardian review.
Perhaps the most noteworthy characteristic of this system is the fact that it shares the base unit with the LifeFone At Home. They also share the same flaws (shorter than specified pendant range), but LifeFone’s offer is better, and that’s why it scored higher on our list.
Medical Guardian Classic: Design & Major Features
This system uses a nearly identical white base unit as LifeFone At Home. We can only tell the difference if we check the company logo. Either way, we like the simple, minimalist design of the base unit. You must bear in mind that medical alert companies often don’t manufacture their equipment. Apart from the base unit, similarities quickly start to fade.
Though their waterproof help pendants have the same specified 1300-foot range, they are differently designed, and everything else about their services is different.
Ease of Use
A round, dark gray emergency call button with Braille lettering is located in the center of the top side of the base unit. It glows red, and the outer ring that surrounds it flashes blue when you call for help either by pressing it or the help button of your Medical Guardian bracelet/pendant.
A digital voice will also say “emergency alarm,” and it will start beeping until it connects to a help center. There’s a reset button above it that flashes orange during a call for help. Note that pressing the button will only silence the alarm.
In the upper left corner and below the help button, you’ll find a microphone and three LED indicators. When the unit is connected to a power source, the power indicator will be solid green. On the other hand, it blinks green when it’s running on its 32-hour backup battery.
The communications indicator is green when everything is OK. It also bblinks in a green light during use. We had no need for Medical Guardian troubleshooting during our Classic Medical Guardian review, but the button is red if communication is down, and it flashes red if the transmission is obstructed. Finally, the trouble indicator is red when the base unit is broken and blinks red when the battery is low.
Medical Guardian Fall Detection & Accessories
When it comes to additional features and accessories, this company offers about half of them. They have fall detection, multiperson monitoring, wall-mounted buttons, and lockboxes. On the other hand, they don’t have voice extension, a check-in service, fire and smoke control, or GPS for this system.
Fall detection comes with a different pendant that costs an extra $10 per month, which is moderately priced. You can also add up to four regular additional pendants for just $2 per month.
For their lockbox, you’ll also have to pay just $2 per month, and it’s the same for waterproof wall-mounted buttons. Furthermore, they have a particular voice-activated wall-mounted button that works the same way, but it’s a better solution if you fall in the shower and you can’t get up. However, it costs more—$5 per month. Other Medical Guardian accessories include another unique solution, the Alert911.
Limits and Benefits
We’ve already told you that this system has a substantial specified pendant range that works like a charm in the house. Outside, it’s another story. Sure, you can go out, but the range tops off at around the 150-foot mark. Moreover, you cannot talk through the help pendant, so either way, you have to be near the base unit to reach the help center if you don’t have a mobile system.
You don’t have to get a mobile system like the Active Guardian plus a medical alert system for the home; that would cost you a lot. For an additional $10 per month, the Alert911 is a compelling solution for people who rarely leave the house but still want to be protected when they do. It’s a small one-button speaker box which you never have to charge. It enables you to reach a 911 operator on any available cell network, anywhere in the US and Canada.
Communication with Agents
There’s a good reason it’s so hard to find many Medical Guardian alert complaints from users regarding their monitoring services. This company’s emergency response center is among the best in the industry.
Their courteous and professional help agents do their job well, and they can provide help in 200 languages. We have tested the system numerous times, and every time it successfully connected us to a live agent. The audio quality of the base unit is excellent and loud enough, while communication was always perfectly clear.
All in all, we have only praise for the monitoring services, as well as the Medical Guardian customer service agents. Response times were unimpressive though. Averaging around 45 seconds, they were nearly identical to Classic Guardian’s twin system, LifeFone At Home.
This is due to the equipment, because the Active Guardian’s response times were much faster—around 25 seconds. This means that the Classic Guardian takes approximately 20 seconds longer to dial the response center than the Active Guardian and the delay is not the help agents’ fault.
Medical Guardian Cost & Contracts
Fees and Contracts
The Classic Guardian monthly subscription is around $30 when billed monthly. The quarterly subscription has no added benefits, but the annual one does. Even though there are no mandatory long-term contracts, opting for the yearly subscription brings the monthly fee down to around $27.50. In essence, this grants you a fee month of service, as well as a free lockbox and free ground shipping. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay a delivery fee.
However, there are often exclusive and seasonal sales at Medical Guardian—watch out for promo codes and discounts to get free shipping and other benefits. The good thing is you don’t have to keep an eye out for discounted devices, as there is no equipment fee.
There are also no activation and cancellation fees. Therefore, you are free to try the system and enjoy a 30-day money back guarantee. There is no cellular Classic Guardian. Instead, you’d have to opt for a different system altogether, the Home Guardian, which costs around $35 per month.
Ordering & Setup
Ordering Your System
Ordering the Classic Guardian is a simple process, and you have multiple ways to do it. You can call the Medical Guardian phone number, 1-800-988-8105, to order by phone and receive help from an agent who will guide you through the various features. Or you can order it online on the Medical Guardian’s website. This will allow you to choose features yourself such as the payment plan, additional features, and accessories, as well as fill in your personal and emergency contact information.
Standard ground shipping takes seven to ten business days, but you can also select second day or overnight shipping. Of course, these options cost more money. When your order arrives, it will contain the Medical Guardian manual in addition to the equipment. Keep it because you’ll have to include it and everything else if you want to return the system. It contains information regarding the setup and use, both of which are extremely simple.
Setting Things Up
When you take the base unit out of the box, you’ll notice that it has a removable panel on the back. Behind it are a power jack, a rechargeable battery, and an on/off switch. There are also two phone jacks for connecting to the phone line and telephone. The Medical Guardian brochure contains detailed information about the equipment but also a number you call to activate the system after you’ve plugged in the cables.
To set up the device, plug the base unit into a power outlet and connect its phone line. Shortly after, the blue ring will illuminate, and the system’s digital voice will inform you that the setup is complete. To activate the system, call the number from the manual. The agent will verify your account and make sure everything is fully operational.