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ADT Medical Alert Review8 minute read

8 minute read

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Updated for December, 2018

Most of us know ADT for their home security systems. But while they’ve been in the business of monitoring homes for over a century, they’ve only recently branched out into health monitoring and senior safety.

Despite their newcomer status, ADT offers a solid base of features and lower than average pricing on its three systems—the basic, plus, and on-the-go–with fall detection available for an additional fee on the higher-tier options. While their poor customer service reviews may discourage some seniors from signing up, existing ADT customers who would like to stay in the same company family may appreciate this inexpensive option.

Pros
  • No long-term contracts
  • Free warranty
  • No activation fee
  • Temperature monitoring for the in-home systems
Cons
  • Poor customer service reviews
  • Fall protection feature may not work consistently

At a Glance

A checklist of standard features.

Package At-Home Landline At-Home Cellular At-Home & On-the-Go GPS At-Home & On-the-Go Voice-in-Necklace
Monthly Charge $29.95 $34.95 $39.95 $46.95
Activation Fee
Fall Detection Available
Requires Base
Range 1300 sq. ft. 1300 sq. ft. Unlimited Unlimited
GPS Location

ADT Medical Alert Review

ADT is a household name thanks to the company’s long history. It was originally founded in 1874 as “American District Telegraph,” but has evolved over the last century into a company primarily specializing in home monitoring systems. In 2004 they launched their very first home medical alert system and have continued to expand their offerings since.

Today they offer three different systems, each with a base and a corresponding wearable signaling device, catering to seniors’ different levels of need. The most basic system only covers a small range of space—seniors wearing the pendant can move up to 300 feet from the base—and is intended for seniors who spend most of their time at home and don’t need fall protection. The next level up eliminates the need for a landline and extends service to a 600 ft. range, including out of doors.

If you’re looking for an option that will help you stay active, however, you may want to consider their On-the-Go system, which uses cell phone networks to provide service when you’re out and about. Customers who press their emergency button will be directed to one of the ADT call centers, which are all based in America and owned by the company.

Every package comes with free access to standard-level MobileHelp Connect apps, but it should be noted that some of the nicest features of MobileHelp Connect, such as medication reminders and location services require additional charges on a monthly basis.

Product Features Basic Plus On the Go
Monthly Fee $29.99 $35.99 $39.99
Waterproof
Fall Protection Available
Requires Landline
Free Warranty Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
GPS location
Temperature Monitoring

Signaling Devices

ADT offers two different styles of signaling devices: a pendant that can be worn like a necklace and a wristband. Both feature one large, easy-to-press emergency button and nothing else. When a senior presses the button, a call center will be alerted to the situation and a representative will reach out to the user. The customer and the call center representative are able to communicate through the intercom on the system’s base. From there, the call center professional will assess the situation and dispatch the necessary help.

It’s worth noting that none of the ADT systems allow the user to communicate to their call center rep through the actual signaling device—not even with the On-the-Go system. This means that the senior will need to be able to access the base device even if they’re in distress. If the call center professional can’t contact the user, they will send help automatically.

Base Station

The signaling device and base station work in conjunction to alert a call center professional if a user is in distress. If you purchase an ADT health monitoring system, your base will depend on the plan you opt for. The base for the Basic plan is the most dated-looking of the three, but still performs the essential functions: it works as an intercom if you need to communicate with the call center and also monitors home temperature to make sure it stays in a safe range.

The Plus model base does the same things, although it’s updated design is more attractive than the Basic model. One drawback of ADT’s On-the-Go option, its most expensive plan, is that users must carry the base with them in addition to wearing the pendant. While the base is small enough to be slipped into a purse or a large pocket, it must stay within 100 feet of the signaling device since it doesn’t allow two-way communication with a call center itself. Because ADT doesn’t offer free home installation, seniors should also factor this step into their consideration process.

MobileHelp offers unlimited button presses, so that the user never incurs an extra charge no matter how often the contact the call center.

ADT offers fairly standard features on its products, like waterproof signaling devices, free warranties, and fall protection on its higher-priced models. However, some customers have reported issues with the fall monitoring sensor: either that it’s too sensitive and alerts the call center when a senior’s simply moving around their house, or that it doesn’t catch actualfalls.

For a senior or caregiver who’s concerned about fall risks, it may be worth giving this feature a test run before relying on it. Seniors looking to buy extra signaling devices to use for back up will be able to do so when purchasing their plan. ADT also sells car chargers for their devices.

Package Basic Plus On-the-Go
Waterproof
Multilingual Support
Senior-sensitive Call Center
Range 300 ft. 600 ft. 100 ft.

The ADT website specifies that “senior-sensitive” call center workers will respond to all alerts. It also states that all call centers are owned by the company and located in the U.S., as we noted earlier. Beyond that, however, the company doesn’t offer detailed information about how these professionals are trained and whether they’re different than the representatives who respond to general home security alerts.

In addition, some customers have complained about the customer service they’ve received from ADT call centers. While customer service and emergency response are presumably different departments of the call center, sub-par customer service reports may not give users much confidence about the help they’ll receive during an emergency.

Costs Rating
Package At-Home Landline At-Home Cellular At-Home & On-the-Go GPS At-Home & On-the-Go Voice-in-Necklace
Monthly Charge $29.95 $34.95 $39.95 $46.95
Prepaid Quarterly $83.85 $98.85 $119.85 $134.85
Prepaid Annual $274.45 $340.45 $406.45 $472.45
Fall Detection $5/month $5/month $10/month $5/month
Activity Assurance $6/month $6/month N/A N/A
Location Service N/A $6/month $6/month $6/month
Daily Check-in Call $19/month $19/month $19/month $19/month
Medication Reminders N/A $6/month $6/month $6/month

ADT offers some of the most competitive prices on the market. Their monthly fees are lower than most other options, and they don’t require a long-term contract. Plus, customers who order from their website rather than on the phone can save $2 a month on their plans. However, while their plans are cheaper at first glance, customers may find themselves paying extra for certain features. For example, ADT does charge an extra $10 for their fall protection service on an ongoing basis. In addition, the company does not offer free home installation, which means that seniors who need help setting up their system will have to pay out of pocket.

Lastly, ADT also doesn’t offer free in-home trials for customers who want to try before they buy. Customers who bundle their ADT home security monitoring with their medical alert system may be able to get a discount, but exactly it’s not clear what that discount is from the website.

 ADT medical alert reviews are mixed. Many customers appreciate their reasonable pricing and straightforward equipment. However, others have expressed frustration about not getting the quality customer service they expected. Many users describe the agents they spoke to when choosing a plan as “high-pressure” and pushy.

Another issue, which we touched on in the “extras” section, is that the fall detector didn’t work as intended for quite a few customers. They complained that it went off with only slight movements and became an annoyance. Others, however, reported that it didn’t send an alert for real falls.

For those looking for an affordable medical alert system with a trusted name, ADT is a viable option. It offers low monthly rates while providing many of the same features as their more expensive competitors. Users may also enjoy the commitment-free plans and their online discount. However, customers may want to consider the company’s relatively recent arrival in the home health market, as well as some of the drawbacks of their inexpensive equipment, when making their decision. But if you’re an existing ADT customer who’s happy with your home security service and hoping to save money, it may be worth a second look.