PROS AND CONS OF A MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEM FROM WALMART
When you’re looking for a medical alert system, you want to make sure that you get one you can rely on. Fall detection, panic buttons, and reliability are required for an emergency response. No one wants to put all their trust in something, especially something you’re going to use for emergency alerts, and find out that it doesn’t work when you really need it. That’s why it’s important to look at the pros and cons of any system that you buy. When it comes to buying a system from Walmart, on top of the potential monthly fees, as a senior, you probably start to wonder about the benefits and risks, right? After all, it’s a retail store and not a medical supply company. But Walmart does provide you with quite a few options when it comes to systems.
The Pros of Going with Walmart
There are always going to be positive factors when it comes to purchasing a system at a retail store and we’ll try to focus on some of those so you can understand just why a lot of seniors are turning to these systems instead of ones they have to call and order or wait for installation on. In fact, not having to wait is one of the benefits we’ll discuss, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much. There are several different things that you should consider before you make a decision either way.
Easy to Find
For one thing, systems that are available at Walmart are, by nature, easy to find. You would be able to simply walk into the store and find the system that you want without having to spend a lot of additional time and effort on the search. You can get direction from an employee to the right section and there you are, looking at the options available without having to do anything else at all, which can definitely make it easier on someone who doesn’t want a lot of research.
Easy to Use
These systems are also quite simple to use, which is great for those who are getting a little older and don’t want something too complex. Because you don’t have a lot of extra bells and whistles you’re going to have a much simpler process for everything that you can do. The system will provide you with the necessary pieces, like a base unit and a pendant or wristband, and you simply push the button to connect to help. Since there’s nothing else the system can do (in most cases), there’s nothing to interfere with the use.
Easy to Replace
If something happens to the system and it stops working or something gets broken, you’ll have no problem getting replacement parts. You’ll be able to just go back to the store where you purchased the item in the first place and pick up a new one. Chances are there will be some kind of warranty on the item that you purchase so you may be able to turn in a warranty claim if it breaks within a set amount of time, but if not you don’t have to worry about going back and forth with the company to get a replacement; you just go back to the store and pick it up and it will work the same way as the old one with no linking required or added costs for new installation or the lost unit.
Variety of Options
You’re going to have a lot of different options to choose from with this process as well. That’s because Walmart has several options that you can take a look at all at once. You don’t need to worry about going to a lot of different places to see what’s available because you can just take a look on the shelf and decide which features are going to work best for you or which range (distance between the base unit and the pendant) you need. This can be important also because you can look at things like the size of the unit, the size of buttons and more to decide which one is going to be the easiest for you to use.
What’s really great is you can just take each box and compare what’s in it and its the features without having to make phone calls or go to different websites like you would if you were buying from a regular company. This can be great for some who like to look things over side by side instead of one at a time. You just have to make sure that you’re paying close attention to everything it says on the box because that box is going to be the only thing you have to tell you what you’re getting and what you’re not getting, instead of being able to pick up the cell phone and find out more.
Variety of Price Points
Because there are a variety of options there are also going to be a variety of price points that you can choose from for a personal medical alert service. If you can only afford a $20 unit you can find something that fits your budget. If you can afford any price unit you’ll find several that will make it easier for you to decide. With different price points you can get something that will work for you but also doesn’t cost you too much money to get the unit itself, which can be extremely important when you need to watch how you spend your money, like a lot of seniors tend to.
Get Started Now
When you order a system online you have to wait for it to arrive before you can start using it. That means even though you’ve decided that you need a medical alert system you’re not going to have it for at least a few days and up to a couple weeks. When you buy a system at Walmart you don’t have to worry about that because you pick up the system and get it all ready to go right in the same day. That’s great because you can go from wanting the system to having it in just a short amount of time. There’s no down time where you want the system but just don’t have it available to you and have to worry about an emergency while you wait.
Check it Out – Hands On
When you do research with most medical alert systems, you have to do it all online. That means you’re reading a bunch of information and you’re looking at other people’s reviews all online without getting to actually see the unit you’re buying. When you go to a Walmart or even any other retail store to purchase a unit you’re going to have the opportunity to pick up the box and look it all over. You can see the ports, the buttons and everything else that goes along with it and you’ll be able to see everything you want for yourself instead of second-hand or just from pictures, which can help you feel more comfortable with your decision.
Check it Out – Hands On
When you buy a unit from Walmart you own it. That means you don’t ever have to send it back to the company (unless it’s for a warranty claim) and you don’t have to worry about what if it breaks or what if you lose it. You don’t owe the company anything. It’s yours and when you’re done with it you can just put it away somewhere or sell it off. You don’t have to worry about sending it back when you decide to cancel your service. That’s definitely going to make it a lot more convenient for you, no matter what you decide to do with the unit while you own it.
No Fees/Added Costs
This isn’t true for all of the systems that you can find at Walmart, but there are plenty of options that you can get which include absolutely no fees once you purchase the unit. That’s because it doesn’t actually use agents or a call center at all. Instead, you set up the system with a list of numbers that you want it to call in case of an emergency. If you push the button on your pendant those people (family members, neighbors, friends, local doctor, etc.) get a call, similar to a speed dial button on your regular phone for peace of mind. Because there’s no agent or team at the other end, there are no monthly fees, no cancellation costs, and no setup charges.
The Cons of Going with Walmart
Of course, when you’re considering a system that’s sold at a retail establishment it’s important to look at all of the aspects. That means you want to look at just how big of a negative these things are to you personally before you decide to pick a system that’s available at Walmart or anywhere else over one you can order from a medical supply company.
No Dedicated Agents
One of the drawbacks that you’re going to get with this type of system is that you’re not going to have dedicated agents in most cases. You can purchase some of the more well-known systems which do have agents and teams on the other end through Walmart and other retail stores, but most of the systems do not have this option. That means you can get a system that will call your friends and family or one that will call direct to 911 (or both) but there is no intermediary in case you need assistance or you want someone to answer your questions.
No Professional Installation
With these systems you’re going to need to install them yourself. This can be a drawback for some people who want to have a little assistance. In most cases, however, the system you get from a retail store is going to be very simple to install and will not require a lot of steps. In other words, it’s a plug-and-play system, or one that you can just connect to the wall and you’re ready to go. You won’t have the option to get someone to install it for you, however, except for a friend or family member when you buy from a store.
No Upgrade Options
What you see is what you get. With a system you’ll find at a store you’re not going to have the upgrade options that you might want. You may be able to get additional pendants or wristbands to add on to the system, but you’re not going to have added features that you can upgrade to like fall detection (if it’s not already included) or landline vs. cell phone tower connection. What you see on the package is going to be all you can do with the system, which may not be the ideal option for everyone. Some people like the option of upgrading their system to better reflect their lifestyle, even as that lifestyle may start to change.
No Help in Choosing
While you may find a worker who is able to talk to you a little about the different options of medical alert systems and what each of the ones they have can provide you, most workers aren’t going to have the in-depth knowledge that you may need. That means you’ll likely have to do some more extensive research online before you decide to head into the store. You could end up with a little difficulty finding just the right one if you don’t, which definitely isn’t a benefit. When you buy from a medical supply company, on the other hand, they can usually talk to you about benefits and drawbacks to their system, but you’ll have to call each company individually to get that help, so this is going to only be a little different from buying other ways, but still not good.
Overall, it’s going to be up to you to decide whether the system you can get at Walmart is really the best one for you or if you’d rather go with something else. With some great features and a few drawbacks to consider as well, it’s important to consider what’s most important to you, rather than just the features available.
What’s great about Walmart options is you can just take each box in hand and compare product features without making a lot of phone calls or visiting different websites for information.