Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way… If you browse at the medical alert systems that we’ve reviewed here on The Senior List, you’ll see a great many comments from folks that made mistakes purchasing a medical alert system for family or for friends. Either they bought a bad one, bought the wrong type, or got into the wrong agreement. We’re trying to help you avoid the pitfalls that others have fallen into by sharing the 5 mistakes to avoid when shopping for medical alert systems!
Mistake #1. You bought the wrong type medical alert system
Did you know there were different types of medical alert systems? There are traditional in-home medical alert systems, and their are cellular (mobile) medical alert systems. If that wasn’t hard enough… There are also 2 different types of in-home medical alert systems; The traditional pendant (1 button) type medical alert system AND the speakerphone (talk-thru) type medical alert system. Do your research so you know exactly what you’re looking for. Then choose the best of that breed. Our medical alert system buyers guide can educate you, and walk you through the process.
Mistake #2. You signed a long-term agreement
This is a big issue for consumers and there a lot of unhappy community members here on The Senior List that have signed multi-year agreements only to find out they have no out clause for any reason. You must read the Terms and Conditions document that all providers must supply you with. Don’t be lazy with this one, it’s very important. We recommend never signing for a term over a year. Even if you stick with our 1 year max rule-of-thumb, make sure you have an out clause and that you can cancel at any time. Any medical alert providers that we recommend will offer a cancellation provision (or we won’t recommend them).
Mistake #3. Your alert system doesn’t have adequate coverage
Different alert systems have different coverage areas (usually between 400-800 square foot radius from the base unit). Make sure the alert system you choose can cover the spaces your loved one is most active in. Sometimes you have to move the base unit around a bit to find just the right (central) location. Remember, for traditional in-home medical alert systems, the base unit will need to be plugged into your home phone wall jack.
Mistake #4. You waited too long to purchase
For a lot of folks, it takes a crisis to occur before they realize they need a PERS (personal emergency response system) device for their loved one. By this time, there’s been a fall, or an acute event and someone’s been hurt. Don’t put it off too long, if you’re considering the need for a medical alert system, it’s probably time to take action. It’s good piece of mind for $25 per month.
Mistake #5. The alert system you bought is too hard to set up
Some of these systems are tough to set up, and there is little or no support. We like providers that offer quality packaging, intuitive set-up instructions, and help or support when you need it. Keep in mind if the support isn’t adequate during set-up… Imagine how bad it might be down the road after you’ve been a customer a while!
These are just a few of the top mistakes to avoid when making a medical alert system purchase. If you do your research ahead of time (and read the fine print) you should end up a satisfied customer.
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