Connect America Medical Alert Review

Connect America Review Summary

Rating: ★★★½☆ 


Connect America Medical Alert SystemThe Connect America medical alert company is a leading provider of senior home medical alert systems in the US today. Many customers trust Connect America’s quality of products and services. On the plus side, users can subscribe to their service without the hassle of signing long term contracts. The only limitation is an initial 3-month commitment period without a money back guarantee for this initial period. Similar to LifeStation, they also have an option that allow users to connect to monitoring help without any phone lines.

The company has a high A+ BBB rating. That said, there seems to be some customer complaints regarding billing issues. However, the company appears willing to resolve them.

Pros

No Long Term Contracts – Customers are free to cancel at anytime with 30 days notice. There are no additional sign up or installation fees.

No Land Line Option – For users without land lines, they company offers a handheld mobile device option that will connect them to the monitoring center through a cell phone network.

Cons

90 Days Initial Commitment – Customers are obligated to stay for the first 90 days of service when they start.

Connect America Medical Alert Detailed Review

Background

The Connect America Medical Alarm company was founded in 1977. Located in Broomall, PA, it is currently one of the major companies in the home medical alert industry. Connect America medical alert equipment is manufactured by Linear LLC, a reputable company that provides engineering, development and manufacture of products in security and health and wellness.

Connect America markets it’s products through various websites, brand names and alliance partners. Website readers can usually tell if the website they are visiting is providing Connect America products by messages on the site. As an example, the CVS medical alert system is provided by Connect America. Other sites selling Connect America include Medicalalert.com and Medicalalarmsystems.com.

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How It Works

The regular Connect America system works by connecting any senior user in distress to a central monitoring center professional who will assist them. The user issues an alert by pressing on the emergency alert button which is worn usually as a neck pendant or bracelet.

Cost

The Connect America medical alert system costs $29.95 a month. They offer quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payment options. There are no set-up or activation fees.

For customers who prepay annually, they can enjoy a free month of service. Their pricing plan is acceptably competitive, although one can find other systems with better value pricing. Readers can see how they compare with other best rated companies on the Compare Medical Alert Systems chart.

Contracts

The system can be subscribed on a month-to-month basis without any contracts. That said, there is an initial 3 months of service that customers need to commit to. There are no refunds for the first 3 months of service usage. However, if they do need to cancel in the future, they can do so with 30 days notice. Prepaid fees for months of service no longer needed will be refunded to them.

Equipment Overview

Connect America Base Unit

At the center of the Connect America senior medical alert system is a base unit that will connect the user to their 24/7 monitoring center. The unit meets UL Listed requirements, a recognized industry certification standard. The unit has a microphone that facilitates clear communications between the user and monitoring center representative assisting him or her. The company recommends that users make weekly test calls to the monitoring center to ensure that the system is functioning normally.

Connect America Emergency Button

A must-have accessory that comes with the system is a waterproof emergency button pendant. This is the button that the elderly user would press to establish an alert call. The button can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, or clipped to the belt. The waterproof nature of this button means that it can be worn in the shower or bath, where people are most susceptible to slipping and falling.

The emergency button pendant has a battery life that will last a long time, up to 5 years and beyond. At the end of the battery life, Connect America will replace users’ buttons for new ones.

If a spouse needs a second button, there is an additional cost for it (normally $35). However, the company runs periodic specials that will send out a second button free with a new purchase. Be sure to inquire about it if you need a second button. There are no additional charges for the monthly monitoring cost.

Phone Line Options

For the Connect America system to work, it needs a phone connection. The system works with traditional land telephone lines as well as most voice over internet (VOIP) phone lines like Vonage. The major exception is Magic Jack.

For users who do not have a phone line, they also have a mobile handheld device that connects through AT&T’s wireless phone service.

Installation

Users can set-up the system through a straightforward self-installation process. Instructions are provided on their website.

Range

The system has a wireless range between the button and the base unit of up to 600 ft when measured in an open field with no obstacles. This is a good working range that meets most user requirements. It also compares well with other top rated systems.

Keep in mind that one cannot assume the realistic working range will be less than the 600 ft radius, when you consider environmental interference from physical objects like furniture, cupboards or walls. While the system offers a good wireless range compared to the best life alert systems available, users should also test it from various points across their home.

Monitoring Center

Connect America customers can access help through a UL listed monitoring center in case of emergencies. The monitoring center representatives are also Security Industry Association (SIA) certified. The fact that the monitoring center as well as the representatives manning it pass professional certifications is a plus.

Backup Battery

Should there ever be instances of power outages, the senior users can expect a backup battery to continue to power the base console device on. This backup battery is good for up to another 32 to 72 hours. Once power comes back up, the backup battery will begin charging up again.

Complaints

Connect America has a high Better Business Bureau rating of A+ as of January 2015. That said, they also have a number of complaints. According to their BBB record, they have around 208 complaints in the last 3 years.

As a comparison, this number is quite a bit higher than complaints against the two largest medical alert system companies Life Alert and Philips Lifeline have registered. In comparison with Connect America’s 208 complaints, Philips Lifeline showed 36 complaints within the same 3 year period. Life Alert had 142 complaints (compared to 208) in a similar time frame.

It appears from reading customer reviews on the BBB as well as comments around the web that most of the unhappiness were related to billing issues, rather than the quality of the service. On a positive note, Connect America appears willing to resolve the complaints lodged.

Overall, Connect America could still be a viable choice. At the same time, there are quite a number alternatives in the market today, and some companies try harder than others. We recommend that readers compare them with other top-rated companies on the Medical Alert Systems Reviews section.

Related Services: Mobile Alert 911 Option

Connect America also runs a Mobile Connect America Alert 911 that is a small handheld device that can be carried anywhere. It connects through a cell phone signal. There is a red emergency button on the unit that be pressed to connect with to 911 anytime. This extra service costs around $35 monthly, inclusive of airtime charges.

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While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this review, the information is supplied without warranties of any kind. We advise all readers to do careful due diligence before purchasing. Take time to visit the company’s website or speak with their representatives.

 

 

 

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8 Responses to “Connect America Medical Alert Review”

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  1. Matthew Nelson says:

    My grandmother passed away a few months ago. She had medical alert. A neighbor told me that Medical Alert contacted them to collect on a past due bill. So, I called Medical Alert and was able to locate my grandmother’s account. I informed them she was deceased a few months ago and as the executor of her will and estate, I’m attempting to close all her accounts. Well, they said I would have to pay the balance that was due since her passing because the services are not free. If I don’t pay the balance, then they said they would send it to collections and they would come after me and my credit. They are trying to continue to take advantage of my grandmother, after her death. This behavior, along with the high prices of the service, is immoral and disgusting.

  2. Debra says:

    Good luck if your loved one passes away and you are grieving and dealing with numerous utilities and businesses, because this one has service almost as bad as a cable company. First they wouldn’t send the return label to my home address, so it had to be sent to my mother’s address and forwarded to me, which meant a couple of months delay as I was traveling. Then they claimed they hadn’t received the unit back. Then they promised me a refund of $89.85 on October 19th “within 30 days.” I psychically knew it would not arrive, so marked in my calendar to phone then on November 19th. They said they were “behind” on sending out checks and would send it. So today I received one for $59.90, naturally made out to my deceased mother. The first person I talked to was rude and hung up on me when I said I was upset and grieving and tired of correcting corporate mistakes. The next person (and of course one is in voice mail jail and on hold for 15 to 20 minutes a call because the hapless consumer’s time is worthless) said he had no idea why the rep would have told me the refund was $89.85 and that I’m only going to get $59.90 because “two months were free”. So I give up. The corporation wins. Beware of this company as they are difficult to deal with, poorly trained, and/or dishonest. And oh yes, could someone please train people not to give you a cheerful “have a nice day” at the end of the conversation (unless they hang up on you first) after you’ve told them that you are recently bereaved, as if they’ve forgotten the reason for your call in the 20 minutes it’s taken to try to sort things out?

    • Matthew Nelson says:

      I’ve had a similar experience. They gave me a lot of condolences for my grandmother’s passing but promptly followed that up with they would send the account to collections for the subscription fees for the months after her passing.

  3. Patti R says:

    I purchased the Medical Alert System for my parents in May 2015. I paid up front for one year contract, which was the first mistake. In September 2015 we moved them to assisted living. I returned the machine and requested a refund. I have e-mailed the company 3 times, and called and have talked to two different people to get the status of my refund. I was first told they never received the machine back thank goodness I had the UPS tracking number, and lo and behold they found where I had returned it. At that time I was told it would two weeks before my account would be credited. After the two weeks I called back again to be told that all refunds are delayed and may take up to 2 additional weeks to post. Now they did not have a problem charging my charge account the day of the purchase, but it is going to take over a month to get a refund. I called yet again and asked to speak with someone in the finance office and was told you cannot speak with them. I asked for a supervisor to contact me and have yet to hear from them. Very disappointing, I would not recommend this company to anyone.

  4. Brenda says:

    good luck when you cancel your contract and request a refund

  5. lurline j says:

    Am a satisfied user of Connect America but have a commenty to pass on: s there sme way you could supply the attractive new pearlized white pendant with a white rather than black larynard which comes with the pendant. if so how can I attach it in place of the very unattractive black one?

    I tried replacing the cord but couldn’t getl it on properly

    Lurline

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