Life Alert Vs. ADT

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Older adulthood can be a wonderful time of life, but you may worry about what might happen if you fall or have a medical emergency in your home as you get older.

How can you protect yourself?

medical alert system can give you peace of mind as you continue living in your home. These systems give you instant access to help and emergency services with the simple push of a button. Some even include fall detection, which can trigger an emergency call without your having to manually press a button.

If you’ve already done some research on the top brands available on the market today, you may be wondering about ADT versus Life Alert, which are two well-known medical alert system providers.

Read on to learn more about these two brands and how they differ.

Updated onMay. 19, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re keen to compare pricing between brands before buying a medical alert system, you may want to skip Life Alert, which doesn’t provide up-front pricing information.
  • Offerings from Life Alert lack details in terms of product features compared to ADT, which is clear about the features available with each of its systems.
  • ADT doesn’t require long-term contracts, and it’s easy to cancel the service if you no longer need it. Life Alert requires you to sign a contract and is opaque about its cancellation policies.

A medical alert system can give you peace of mind as you continue living in your home.

ADT vs. Life Alert Comparison

Here’s a quick comparison of the two medical alert system brands.

Costs and Features
Up-Front Equipment Fee
ADTNone
Life AlertNone
Monthly Cost
ADTStarts at $29.95
Life AlertMust call to find out
Activation Fee
ADTNo
Life AlertMust call to find out
Contract
ADTNo
Life AlertYes
Add-On Services
ADTYes
Life AlertNot according to the website
Connection
ADTCellular or landline
Life AlertCellular or landline
Wall Mount Buttons
ADTYes
Life AlertYes
Water Resistance
ADTYes
Life AlertYes
Fall Detection
ADT36 hours for the on-the-go system
Life AlertClaims battery lasts for 10 years
GPS Locator
ADTYes
Life AlertYes
Call Center Hours
ADTYes, optional
Life AlertNo
Two-Way Communication
ADTYes
Life AlertYes
Battery Life
ADT24/7
Life Alert24/7

Life Alert Overview

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Life Alert, a company known for its commercials, is one of the first companies to offer at-home medical alert systems. While the brand has longevity behind it—which means you don’t need to worry about losing out on monitoring services because the company goes out of business—there are a few notable downsides to Life Alert systems, including its lack of pricing transparency and strict cancellation policies. For example, it’s challenging to locate cost information on the brand’s website. Instead, you need to call the company directly to find out pricing information, which is inconvenient.

Pros
  • Life Alert has staff at TMA Five Diamond–certified monitoring centers who are ready to answer customer emergency calls.

  • It is one of the oldest medical alert system companies in the business.

  • There are no installation, equipment, or activation fees.

Cons
  • You need to sign a contract when you sign up for a Life Alert plan.

  • Three-year contracts with strict cancellation policies

  • Lack of transparency around pricing

  • No free trial or early cancellation period

  • Mixed reviews from customers

Different Plans And Systems From Life Alert

  • Life Alert At-Home System: This system is available in landline or cellular connection options and includes a waterproof pendant or wristband. The range between the base unit and wearable is up to 800 feet. 
  • Life Alert Mobile System: A large, easy-to-push button lets you connect with Life Alert’s monitoring center. It also includes GPS locator technology.
  • Life Alert Help Button: This device is designed specifically for the shower or bathroom. It’s waterproof and connects you directly with Life Alert’s monitoring center.

ADT Overview

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ADT is well-known for its security systems, but did you know the brand is also in the medical alert business? 

ADT’s Health branch is dedicated to personal medical alert systems. While you might be interested in an ADT medical alert system because you already have an ADT security system, it is important to note that there’s no need to purchase a security system in order to buy a medical alert system from the company. 

ADT offers three medical alert system plans. The most basic plan starts at $29.95 per month, with the option of paying monthly, quarterly, or yearly. The quarterly and yearly plans come with a free lockbox. 

If you buy an additional pendant or wristband, you can purchase added monitoring for $5 per month, which is especially ideal for two people living in the same household.

Pros
  • Easy cancellations

  • No contracts

  • Reputable company that is well-known for its security systems

  • No equipment or installation fees

  • Each system comes with a protection plan

  • Pricing on par with competitors

  • Unique home temperature monitoring

  • Monitoring for two people available

Cons
  • Short device range of 300 feet for the basic in-home system

  • No optional fall detection

  • Mixed reviews from customers

Different Plans And Systems From ADT

  • On-The-Go: Ideal for people with active lifestyles because it offers monitoring services whether you’re at home or out and about. It includes GPS locator technology.
  • Medical Alert Plus: Offers in-home protection with up to 600 feet of range between the base station and pendant. It also provides home temperature monitoring and optional fall detection for $10 per month. You can choose between a wristband or pendant help button. Optional waterproof wall mount buttons can also be added for a small fee.
  • Medical Alert Basic: The basic system includes an in-home base unit with a 300-foot range between the base station and the wearable button. A landline is required for this system.

Similarities and Differences Between Life Alert and ADT

While no system is perfect, choosing one with the right features for your unique needs can make a huge difference.

Main Similarities

  • Both companies have long track records 
  • Both get mixed reviews from customers
  • Both companies offer 24/7 monitoring services 
  • Both offer wearable help buttons 

Main Differences

  • You need to sign a contract when signing up with Life Alert, while you have no contract requirements with ADT.
  • Life Alert has a strict cancellation policy, unlike ADT.
  • ADT offers optional fall detection, while Life Alert does not.
  • Life Alert offers no pricing information online, while ADT includes clear pricing information on its website.
  • Both companies get mixed reviews from customers.

What Customers Are Saying about Both Brands

Senior man with laptop

While Life Alert has an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, 155 complaints have been lodged against the company within the past three years. Many people note having issues canceling the service even after loved ones pass away or no longer require it. For example, one customer explained that they ran into roadblocks when trying to cancel the service after a loved one was moved to a nursing facility. Life Alert required a letter from the facility to cancel the contract. Other customers note how difficult it is to break the three-year contract. One person’s complaint stated that they became unemployed and could no longer afford the service but were forced to continue paying because of the strict contract stipulations.

ADT also has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. However, it’s important to note that the BBB page is for the overall security company and not necessarily for the health branch, so most of the complaints are related to ADT’s security systems. Over 6,000 complaints have been lodged in the past three years, among which the company has responded to and closed over 2,000 in the past year.

Choosing a medical alert system can be a difficult and overwhelming process. There are so many choices, and you might wonder what features are right for your or your loved one’s needs.

While no system is perfect, choosing one with the right features for your unique needs can make a huge difference. 

In our expert opinion, ADT is the better choice over Life Alert due to its better customer reviews, optional fall detection, and transparent pricing–all of which make it the clear winner between the two. 

Furthermore, Life Alert’s strict cancellation policy, difficult to find pricing, and scant product feature info make it difficult for us to recommend the brand.

FAQs

You can choose between a bracelet or pendant for your wearable help button.

*Pricing is accurate as of April 8, 2022.

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