Alert1 Medical Alert System Review

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Key Takeaways

  • Alert1 offers in-home, mobile, and smartwatch medical alert systems, with bundle options available.
  • Monitoring center support is available in 190 languages.
  • The monthly subscription cost ranges from $19.95–$58.95, depending on the package and payment plan you choose.
  • Receive your eleventh month of service free when you pre-pay for the first 10 months. 
AgingInPlace.org Rating: 8.95/10

Alert1 Medical Alert System Overview

Alert1 Logo

Alert1 has been in the medical alert device business since 1988. The company offers in-home, mobile, and smartwatch medical alert systems. Alert1’s packages have a unique payment structure: You can prepay for your first 10 months of service and receive the eleventh month for free. 

While Alert1 offers fall detection, GPS tracking, numerous safety accessory add-ons, and a sleek medical alert smartwatch, there’s no online portal or app for caregivers. We think that adding such a feature could be an improvement to better coordinate caregiving and keep track of safety features. 

We do like that you submit a list of emergency contacts—your “Circle of Care”—when first ordering your Alert1 medical alert system. When you contact the monitoring center, an agent will also contact your loved ones listed in your Circle of Care. 

We had an excellent experience when calling an Alert1 sales representative for questions, but we wish the company had more contact options.

Alert1 is one of our best medical alert system picks, receiving an 8.95/10 overall rating from our team. 

top features:
  1. 190 languages available with multilingual monitoring center operators
  2. Smartwatch available with GPS monitoring, step tracker, and weather app
  3. Has an extensive list of safety accessories available as add-ons like a smoke detector, medical ID bracelet, surge guard, and more ranging from $9.95–$200

Pros and Cons of Alert1

Pros

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring center

  • Prorated refund if cancelled before payment period ends

  • Monitoring center agent stays on the line until help arrives

Cons

  • No caregiver app or user portal available

  • Warranty not included (device protection plan is an additional cost)

  • Must pay for shipping if returning

Alert1 Plans and Prices

For an additional $10 per month, you can add fall detection to all Alert1 plans except the On-the-Go Wrist Watch.

This is the base plan offered by Alert1. It’s a traditional at-home medical alert system that connects to the 24/7 monitoring center via a landline. The In-Home Classic system is a good option if you have poor cell service in your area.

The base station has a two-way speaker with a protection range of 600 feet when you wear the waterproof emergency button. The emergency button is safe to wear even if you have a pacemaker. 

If your power goes out, the base station has a 24-hour backup battery. This duration is shorter than some systems that offer a 32- or 36-hour battery life. 

Cost:

  • $19.95 per month (when pre-paying for 10 months)
  • $28.95 per month (when paying monthly)

This wireless system connects to the monitoring center using AT&T or Verizon cellular service. We confirmed with a sales representative that your system will connect to the service provider with the strongest signal in your area. We like that you aren’t limited to one provider. 

It is important to note that you don’t get any additional coverage with the cellular service option—your protection range is still 600 feet from the base station.

Cost:

  • $29.95 per month (when pre-paying for 10 months)
  • $38.95 per month (when paying monthly)

Like the In-Home Classic, this system connects to the monitoring center via landline, but it also includes fall detection. You have the option of adding GPS tracking for $10 per month as well.

Cost:

  • $29.95 per month (when pre-paying for 10 months)
  • $38.95 per month (when paying monthly)

The compact, lightweight mobile system connects to the monitoring center using Verizon cellular service. The 1.3-ounce device is “showerproof” and has a two-way speaker that enables you to communicate with a monitoring center agent. 

The mobile system also has GPS location services, and the battery lasts up to a week before it needs to be charged again. The sales representative told us it only takes three hours to fully charge, and the help button can still be pressed in case of an emergency even if the mobile system is in the process of charging. 

Cost:

  • $29.95 per month (when pre-paying for 10 months)
  • $38.95 per month (when paying monthly)

This is the same mobile system as listed above, but with fall detection included. The device will contact the emergency monitoring center if it senses a fall. Even if you’re unresponsive, the monitoring center agent can dispatch emergency services to your location using the mobile system’s GPS technology.

Cost:

  • $39.95 per month (when pre-paying for 10 months)
  • $48.95 per month (when paying monthly)

This bundle includes the at-home base station, help button, and mobile system. We like that both the in-home help button and mobile system include fall detection. 

Cost:

  • $49.95 per month (when pre-paying for 10 months)
  • $58.95 per month (when paying monthly)

Looking for a more discreet option? Alert1’s stylish medical alert wrist watch has an SOS button and a two-way speaker that connect to the monitoring center. You can program the bright, modern watch face to display analog or digital time. It also includes a step tracker and weather app. 


The watch is showerproof and has GPS location technology. Unlike Alert1’s other medical alert systems, you must pay a one-time equipment fee to purchase the watch. Regarding wear and tear, the watch has a one-year limited warranty that only covers manufacturer defects.  

Cost:

  • $29.95 per month (when pre-paying for 10 months)
  • $38.95 per month (when paying monthly) 
  • One-time equipment fee of $179
Elderly couple calculating

Alert1 Add-On Accessories and Safety Features

One thing that makes Alert1 different from many other personal emergency response systems is the many accessories you can add to your subscription. These accessories include:

  • Alarm bracelet or lanyard: An additional help button that connects you to the 24/7 monitoring center. It works wirelessly and doesn’t require a Wi-Fi or cellular connection ($19.95). 
  • Emergency Lockbox: You can store up to five keys in a shatter-proof lockbox that can be attached to your doorknob or railing. A monitoring agent will give emergency responders your four-digit code so they can enter your home safely and quickly if you’re unable to open the door ($39.95). 
  • Fall protection package: This package helps prevent potential falls. It includes two wall-mount buttons, two motion-sensor nightlights, a pack of 18 adhesive tub strips to make the surface less slippery, and a 12-piece set of corner guards to protect you from sharp edges in your home ($200). 
  • Kelsi protective case and belt adapter: You can protect your mobile system with this fabric carrying case that attaches to your belt ($9.95). 
  • Medical alert necklace: These stylish necklaces are designed to hold your medical alert help button, but they’re not compatible with fall detection buttons. Available styles include stained glass, onyx gemstone, and pearl ($19.95). 
  • Medical alert wristbands:  These soft silicone wristbands hold a standard help button and are available in three colors: grey, blue, and purple ($9.95). 
  • Medical ID bracelet: This stainless steel bracelet lets you display crucial medical information on your wrist. The bracelet is unisex and is available in a small or large size ($34.95). 
  • Medication reminder and organizer: This dispenser has a large display screen and an alarm notification to indicate dosage times. You can program four medication reminders per day, and the dispenser holds 28 doses ($149.95). 
  • PAX plus classic wristband: This is an additional silicone wristband with fall detection that’s compatible with In-Home or On-the-Go Fall Detection packages ($29.95). 
  • Monitored smoke detector: A smoke detector that is monitored by Alert1’s monitoring center, this device alerts agents–who will send assistance–even if you can’t call for help or aren’t home when it goes off. The device has a three-year battery life ($10 per month for each detector).
  • Surge guard: Just like a surge protector for other electronics, this fits over an electrical outlet and will keep your system safe in case of power outages and power surges ($19.95). 
  • Voice extender: The voice extender is intended for larger homes and expands the range of the at-home base station’s two-way speaker. A landline connection is required for its use ($99). 
  • Wall-mounted emergency button: This showerproof button can be placed on the wall in a high-risk or high-traffic area inside the home. It is simple to use and connects to the monitoring center with the push of a button ($39.95). 

In addition to the accessories listed above, the following health and safety features can be added to the Alert1 medical alert system:

Alert1 Customer Support

The primary way to get in touch with Alert1 is by calling the company. We called the phone number listed at the top of the company´s website to learn more about the products and ask a few questions. After listening to a quick recording of prompts, we pressed “1” and were immediately connected to a sales representative. 

The sales rep was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable about Alert1’s products. They answered our questions, made helpful suggestions, and provided information that we didn’t receive on the website.

For example, they explained that the In-Home + On-the-Go + Fall Detection bundle is great if you’re active but have poor cell service at home and need more reliable coverage. They also let us know that if your at-home cell service is stronger, then you may just need an On-the-Go package. 

The sales rep wasn’t pushy about us purchasing a package or even scheduling a consultation. They simply answered our questions and let us know at the end of the call that the team is always happy to help. 

While our phone call was a very pleasant experience, we still wish there were more contact options on the website, like a chatbot or contact form. These more modern options would be especially helpful if younger caregivers are shopping for a medical alert system for their loved ones.

Installation and Setup

Where to Plug-in

Setting up the Alert1 medical alert system is simple and doesn’t require professional installation. If you have the landline option, you just plug the base unit into an outlet and plug the phone cord into an available phone jack. 

The In-Home cellular system can be plugged into any standard outlet and isn’t limited to a phone jack. All you need to do to set up both the mobile system and wristwatch is plug them into the charging cradle. 

How Alert1 Compares to Other Medical Alert Systems

If Alert1 doesn’t seem to be the choice for you, here are some of the other best medical alert systems with fall detection to consider

Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian has multiple mobile system options and a smartwatch. It’s our top pick if you have a more active lifestyle.

Lowest monthly cost: $29.95

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical’s in-home, mobile, and smartwatch systems offer some of the best pricing options in the industry. The SOS Smartwatch’s $159 equipment fee is $20 less than Alert1’s wristwatch fee. The SOS Smartwatch also includes caregiver tracking.

Lowest monthly cost: $19.95

MobileHelp

MobileHelp is our top-ranked at-home system. It has three at-home options, including the Touch Classic touchscreen tablet that doubles as a base station. The smart tablet features medication reminders, caregiver tracking, and various brain games.

Lowest monthly cost: $19.95

LifeFone

LifeFone has both at-home and on-the-go systems, but its on-the-go devices are what stand out. The compact mobile systems each have impressive battery lives—16 days for the VIP model and 30 days for the VIPx model.

Lowest monthly cost: $29.95

Medical Alert

Medical Alert’s at-home systems work in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. This is a plus, as most medical alert systems only function in the U.S. While Medical Alert also offers support in 140 languages, Alert1 still has it beat with services available in 190 languages. 

Lowest monthly cost: $22.95

Warranty and Refund Policy

The Alert1 Warranty Advantage Plan is available for an additional cost. It offers free replacements and repairs for your system once per year, free shipping, and full coverage for damaged systems. You can pay annually ($99.96 once), two times a year ($49.98 each), or four times a year ($24.99 each).  

The Warranty Advantage Plan can’t be applied to the wrist watch since the watch has a one-year limited warranty that only covers defects due to faulty workmanship. 

The Alert1 site claims you can return your system at any time for a prorated refund, but we suggest double checking this policy with a sales representative since many customers via online reviews claim they weren’t given a prorated refund and that it was difficult to return the system.

What Customers Are Saying About Alert1 Medical Alert System

conceptual image of customer satisfaction

Alert1 isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and only has a 1.22 out of 5-star rating based on 27 customer reviews. Almost all the company’s BBB reviews have a one-star rating. We have listed a few of the actual BBB reviews below for your reference:

“My mother has used Alert1 for a number of years. My last annual payment for the service was in March of 2022. Recently, she went into a nursing home and, as they provide 24/7 care, they took her lanyard button. When I called to cancel the service, I was shocked to learn that Alert1 doesn’t provide a pro-rated refund. They even want $15 for a box with which to send back their equipment. This is utterly unethical.” – Allen E., BBB

“Equipment did not work and refused refund! Awful company that preys on elderly and families in a time of need! Go elsewhere, don’t waste time with this company.” – Guy M., BBB

Alert1 has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on ConsumerAffairs. Positive reviews generally–a few of which we have listed below–praised the customer service, quick response time, and the company’s overall reliability.

I am extremely happy with Alert services. My mom has mentioned several times how secure she feels knowing she has this system in her home. Every time my mom has used the alert button, you’ve responded almost immediately. Also, Alert1 calls me to let me know my mom has pressed the button and is in distress. Thank you. – Diane, ConsumerAffairs

My Dad recently fell again and pushed the button. You were quick to respond and my sister was there in minutes. I am in another state right now, and I received a voicemail stating what happened and that all was fine. We all feel much better since my Dad is wearing the Alert1. – Linda, ConsumerAffairs

Many negative reviews on ConsumerAffairs–one of which we have listed below for your reference–cited refund and cancelation issues.

If you no longer need your Alert1 button and have prepaid on an annual renewal plan, Alert1 will not pro-rate a refund for you on any time remaining on your yearly contract. So, you will be paying for a service you won’t be using. I find this very distressing. This is probably explained somewhere in the contract, but I can’t believe the lack of compassion for people who really need those funds. The actual service of the product and the people monitoring the system was great, but when it comes down to dollars and cents, this company has shown me what they truly care about. – Elliott, ConsumerAffairs

Bottom Line

Alert1 offers high-quality medical alert systems with a (potentially) generous refund policy. We like the at-home, mobile, and wristwatch options available, as well as the unique safety accessories that can be added to your order. 

Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review

Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value to the lives of our readers. We’ve collectively spent more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. 

The AgingInPlace.org team tested multiple medical alert devices, including Alert1, to better understand features and provide the most accurate feedback and recommendations for our readers. Alert1 is included in our medical alert system picks. 

To decide on our top picks, here’s what we did:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed medical alert system users
  • Tested various medical alert systems
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports

We grade each medical alert company against a 1-10 rating scale and score them according to the following categories:

  • Essential features
  • Product functionality
  • Special features
  • Customer service
  • Purchasing process

Features and criteria within each of these five categories are assigned point values. The more points a company receives for each criteria, the higher they score in the overall category. See our full explanation of our methodology for a complete breakdown of our medical alert system scoring system.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, you don’t need Wi-Fi or a smartphone to use Alert1. The at-home system connects to either a landline or cellular network. The mobile system and smartwatch connect to the monitoring center using cellular service.

Other Medical Alert Systems That We Have Reviewed

Our Comparisons Of Medical Alert Systems

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MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY

Jenny is an Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner in NYC with a passion for working with aging adults and their family members. Prior to her clinical training at Vanderbilt School of Nursing, she worked in business and medical research at Harvard Business School and Massachusetts General Hospital. As a Caregiving Coach at Givers, Jenny helps family members manage the financial, emotional, and educational stresses of caring for their loved ones who are aging in place.

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