Rescue Alert, a Utah-based provider of medical alert systems, opened its first headquarters back in 1986. Richard Bangerter and his team developed the first communication system capable of using existing telephone lines back in 1981. It was five years later that they answered the market’s needs by going public.
Since the beginning, the company has continuously worked on bringing innovative solutions to better serve their customers. Although they started small, with only one product to offer, nowadays the firm distributes three emergency alert devices. Moreover, they also manufacture additional products like pendants and lockboxes.
We analyzed several Rescue Alert reviews and tested the systems in person. For the sake of this review, we will take an in-depth look at the company as well as the line of products they offer. Now, let’s move forward to outlining their systems’ specific features.
*Please note that when you’re searching for the company or want to place an order, you’ll need to make sure you are on Rescue Alert’s official website—Rescue Alert of California is not the same company.
In-Home Medical Alert Systems
The company offers two in-home solutions for people who are homebound or just prefer staying at home. Depending on your needs, budget, and preferences, you can choose from the MXD or MXD3G models.
These systems are conceptually similar. Their equipment is fully designed in the US, and the sets consist of a base unit and a wearable pendant.
However, MXD is a basic landline option, whereas the MXD3G uses cellular technology. As the name itself suggests, both models feature the unique Mytrex MXD system.
The base unit is white and rather simply designed. It can be placed on a flat surface or mounted on a wall. Rescue Alert MXD comes with a blue Help button on the front side.
The unit’s microphone and speaker are also placed on the front and they provide clear, two-way voice communication. A potential drawback is the hard-to-reach Reset button. We don’t know why it’s tucked away on the back of the device, and we don’t find this placement favorable. What’s more, the similarly sized Test/Learn button is right next to it, making things even more confusing.
MXD3G is designed in the same manner, only the Help button is grey. Although we found this design to be a bit unusual while conducting our Rescue Alert system reviews due to the Reset button’s placement, the Bay Alarm Medical In-Home Medical system looks identical to these systems.
Pressing the button within 15 seconds after reaching for help will cancel the call, which is again a bit odd. Other popular systems also come with reset buttons, but their buttons will stop the beeping, not cancel the call altogether.
The help pendant can be worn either as a wristband or on a lanyard as a neck pendant.
After going through several Rescue Alert consumer reviews, we noticed that users were impressed by the pendant range. What’s surprising, though, is the company claims their pendants offer coverage up to 600 feet, which is pretty unimpressive. But our tests confirmed what customers were hinting at—the pendant performs much better than originally stated!
The computer inside the base unit is another feature that makes these devices stand out from the crowd. When reviewing other systems, we didn’t encounter a device that can perform self- diagnostics. However, MXD Rescue Alert medical alert systems can monitor their own battery, the battery of the panic button, and the status of the telephone line. Moreover, these devices test themselves and send reports to the company’s response center. The MXD is easily configured to monitor other medication dispensers in your home, an accessory they don’t have to offer.
As you can conclude, the in-home models don’t differ much, both in design and performance. It is important to mention that MXD3G is the first cellular medical alert in the industry to provide a 3G network. MXD, on the other hand, is not enhanced with 3G properties.
For a detailed overview of the in-home solution, check out our Rescue Alert Medical Alert review.
On-the-Go Rescue Alert Medical Alert
There is a certain feeling of freedom associated with mobile medical alerts. Luckily, the company’s mobile solution manages to deliver the feeling. The mobile device uses the AT&T network. In addition, it updates the user’s location via GPS every 15 minutes.
It weighs only 10 ounces. The system can easily be worn in a pocket or purse or as a neck pendant. However, if you are not a fan of lanyards, a carrying case with a belt clip is also an option.
As an added bonus, you will get a lockbox for free. A charging cradle, USB charger, and of course, 24/7 monitoring are all included in the GPS package.
If you choose to bundle the GPS device with an MXD unit, the monthly fee for the unit is $15. When it comes to Rescue Alert, BBB (Better Business Bureau) rated all their products A+, including the GPS system. Hence, the quality of their equipment and services is fully verified.
Extra Upgrades & Accessories
Almost every medical alert system provider comes up with additional products that increase the reliability, safety, and functionality of the systems. Alert1 is the absolute winner in the category of upgrades and accessories—the brand offers every single one available. ADT on the other hand, offers only a fall-detection pendant and multiperson monitoring.
Additional upgrades are not the company’s strongest suit. As a matter of fact, Rescue Alert only has three extra accessories. For $10 a month, MyActive Alert is a fall-detection pendant compatible with the in-home models. It automatically calls for help in case of a fall, even if you can’t press the button. The pendant has a coverage of 600 to 1000 feet and is 100% waterproof. However, we were unimpressed with this fall-detection device’s performance since it failed to register some very serious falls in our tests.
You can also upgrade your safety with wall buttons. They’re easily mounted anywhere in the home, but it’s highly recommended you place them in the bathroom or along the stairwell. Once again, these buttons are compatible with MXD and MXD3G. Additional wall buttons will cost you $5 per month each.
Unfortunately, there’s neither a voice extender nor fire detectors. Furthermore, not one Rescue Alert distributor offers an automatic medication dispenser, although their MXD devices are easily configured to monitor such devices.
Finally, you can store a spare key in the Slimline lockbox. In case of an emergency, your family, caregivers, or emergency responders can help you without needing to break down the door. The unique combination to the lockbox is stored in the company’s database. Adding a lockbox to your order is an additional $39. Don’t forget, if you decide to get the mobile solution, you’ll get a lockbox for free.
Rescue Alert Prices
Our Rescue Alert review wouldn’t be complete without an overview of the pricing for this company’s solutions. Almost every medical alert system provider offers their customers different payment plans such as monthly rental or quarterly, semi-annual, or annual rental.
However, there are exceptions, like in the case of Philips Lifeline, which works with monthly subscriptions exclusively. Having only the option to pay on a monthly basis is not something everyone considers a pro. The monthly fees tend to be higher compared to an annual rental, for instance.
Therefore, this company puts forward three different payment options: monthly, quarterly, or annual rental. There are no long-term contracts involved and no activation fee. Moreover, the 30-day money-back guarantee allows customers to try the device without cancellation fees.
We compared Rescue Alert vs. Life Alert and discovered that the former has some unique selling points—you get to buy the equipment.
The monthly rental for MXD is around $33; MXD3G comes with a monthly fee of around $43, while the mobile solution is around $45 a month. Quarterly, MXD costs around $30, and the MXD3G and GPS system come at the same price of around $40. The annual rental for the MXD3G and Rescue Alert GPS is again the same—around $38, whereas MXD will cost you less than $28.
You can also pay $200 for your MXD and bring the price of the monthly subscription to less than $16. Moreover, buying the equipment for $849 will grant you the exclusive right of lifetime monitoring. MXD3G’s monthly monitoring will cost less than $26 if you purchase the equipment for $299.
Call Center Review
The Rescue Alert South Jordan, UT, call center is metaphorically speaking the heart and soul of the company. With that thought in mind, this firm puts intense efforts into the training of a caring, professional staff. The live agents are there to help 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, the whole year round.
This company also employs Language Line Services, which enables its attendants to quickly connect to translating services. Because of this, the agents can offer help in more than 150 languages.
The response time in several Rescue Alert reviews varied from 30 to 40 seconds, and our tests confirmed it. This is nowhere near GreatCall’s astonishing 15 seconds for Lively Mobile, but to be fair, none of their competitors can match this response time. However, taking into consideration that there is a 20-second dialing procedure, we can say that the live agents pick up relatively fast. Once they do, you can rest assured you are in the hands of a highly capable individual. Every single one of their agents is required to complete rigorous training, similar to what 911 agents have to go through.
We made a few calls to the Rescue Alert customer service too. The agents we spoke to were invested in sorting out any issues or questions we presented them with, but we did not appreciate the wait time. After the long 10-minute wait for the first call, we hung up and called them again. The second time around they picked up in 4 minutes, but we were put on hold for an additional 2 minutes.
Pros & Cons
There are a number of reasons why this company is among our top 5 medical alert system providers. Starting at an abundance of payment options, through an extremely powerful and lasting backup battery, to the long pendant range (more than specified), we were overall impressed by this firm.
There were a few Rescue Alert complaints regarding the lack of additional features, even though users overall seem to be satisfied with the services offered by this provider. In addition, there is some room for improvement in terms of the design—the tucked-away Reset button is cause for confusion.
After thoroughly testing the device in person, this company is a great choice as an emergency medical alert provider. Each one of its three medical alert systems is a solid, reliable, safe system that encourages senior independence. And the other Rescue Alert reviews out there seem to agree. As a final note, we’d like to add that the company is getting a lot of credit for making one of the best and most common in-home systems.