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MobileHelp Review8 minute read
8 minute read|
Updated for December, 2018
MobileHelp didn’t rise to the top in any single category. But with 10 years of experience and a customer base numbering in the tens of thousands, MobileHelp does have a solid track record of effective, quality service. In addition, the company offers a full menu of medical alert packages, including landline, cellular, and mobile options. Finally, MobileHelp stands out for its MobileHelp Connect suite of online services, providing automated medication reminder and activity tracking functions that can prolong a senior’s independence and boost relatives’ confidence that they’re maintaining a high quality of life. For all these reasons, MobileHelp should be on your list as you consider your medical alert system options.
- Mobile Vitals service provides remote health monitoring
- Two people can use system for same price
- No contract required and free activation
- No cancellation or equipment fee
- Website not reader-friendly
- Sales Reps can be assertive
- Limited to AT&T coverage area only
At a Glance
A checklist of standard features.
|Long Term Contract|
|Cellular Base Station|
|Mobile GPS Device|
As you shop for medical alert systems, the same types of systems show up again and again—if you get one, you’re equipped with a wearable device—usually a pendant, a wristband, or, sometimes a pager-type item—that either sends a signal to a base station that then alerts a call center, or signals the call center directly. Once alerted, the call center will then attempt to establish contact with the user and find out the reason for the call; if they can’t contact the user, they will then get in touch either with a relative or friend or with local emergency providers. This is the basic set-up of a medical alert system, but there are many variables, including the quality and cost of the equipment and services. What’s more, many companies offer additional equipment and, with the spread of the internet and mobile technology, many companies have begun to offer innovative online services as well. MobileHelp stands out in all of these areas: in addition to their basic landline and cellular medical alert systems, they offer a large selection of additional equipment designed to boost seniors’ independence and quality of life. Beyond that, they offer a rich suite of online services that can help reassure seniors and their families that they’re healthy and happy living alone.
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.
|Cellular Base Station|
|Mobile GPS Device|
|Fall Detection Available (add'l fee)|
MobileHelp offers its medical alert systems in three basic packages: Classic, Solo, and Duo.
The Classic package includes a cellular-only base station with large, prominent alert and reset buttons and a choice of two wearable signalling devices, which can be some combination of a black and a white wristband and a pendant. Fall detection costs extra, however, with a $10 additional charge (a standard rate in the industry) to get the use of a pendant-only automatic fall detection system. This is a solid basic system, though for those who don’t feel confident in their cell reception, not having a landline option could be a big drawback.
The Solo package is similar to the Classic, with the same wearable devices (including the option to pay extra for the fall detection pendant). These devices, however, contact the call center through a smaller (pager-sized) rechargeable base station that can travel anywhere and provide the call center (and responders) with the user’s location via GPS tracking.
The Duo package combines the Solo and Classic packages, offering the Classic’s home-based base station (with its 30 hours of backup power) and the Solo’s mobile base station (which only keeps a 24 hour charge) for people who want a more reliable base station for the home but want to be able to travel.
Every package comes with free access to standard-level MobileHelp Connect apps (about which more later), but it should be noted that some of the nicest features of MobileHelp Connect, such as medication reminders and location services require additional charges (usually $5) on a monthly basis.
MobileHelp offers unlimited button presses, so that the user never incurs an extra charge no matter how often the contact the call center.
In terms of extra services, MobileHelp stands out for a full-featured suite of internet utilities that can help users remain independent for longer with a better quality of life. To begin with, this suite, called MobileHelp Connect, provides medication reminders to help seniors keep current on their prescriptions, but MobileHelp Connect goes beyond this to offer some innovative monitoring functions, including updates on vital stats through networked blood pressure monitors and pulse oximeters. It also provides daily, weekly, and monthly activity tracking that registered users—including friends, relatives, and caregivers—can use to keep tabs on a senior’s health from a remote location. Finally, for mobile alert users, MobileHelp Connect can track location, a useful feature for users with Alzheimer’s and dementia who might be at risk of wandering from home. There are additional monthly charges for these extra services—and significant one-time charges for some of the extra equipment, including the health monitoring devices (though it should be noted that key lockboxes are provided free with online orders)—and these charges can add up. Still, these are useful tools, and will give many users and their loved ones an extra measure of reassurance.
|Accessories/Upgrades||Additional Fee||One Time Fee||Monthly Fee|
|Wall or Car Charger||$19.95|
|Connect Premium (geotracking)||$5.00|
|Fall Button Pendant||$10.00|
|Blood Pressure Monitor||$57.00|
Call Center and Services
Interestingly, MobileHelp doesn’t operate its own emergency call center, but rather works with Rapid Response, a company that works with a number of medical alert and home security companies nationwide. While it’s sometimes best for a company to offer the services of a proprietary, in-house call center, Rapid Response does offer a multilingual center staffed with highly trained technicians (the most highly trained in the industry, they claim), and stands out for having won the Station of the Year Award from CSAA, one of the certifying bodies for emergency call centers. This is certainly in line with, and in many cases better than, the call center services offered by MobileHelp’s competitors in the Medical Alert field. As an added bonus, MobileHelp offers unlimited button presses, so that the user never incurs an extra charge no matter how often the contact the call center.
|Monthly Fee (Paid Quarterly)||$28.85||$32.04||$36.62|
|Monthly Fee (Paid Semi-Annually)||$24.95||$27.45||$31.12|
|Monthly Fee (Paid Annually)||$24.95||$27.45||$30.79|
|Free Monitoring for Spouse|
In addition, MobileHelp offers a lot of flexibility to its customers by not requiring long term contracts, not charging cancellation fees, free monitoring for spouses, and no activation fees—all of which allow people to look for the best system for their particular needs.
What Customers Say
For most people, their first experience with a company’s customer service comes when they visit the company’s website in the course of shopping for a medical alert system. The question there is whether the company gives visitors enough information to make an informed decision before they get in touch with a company’s salespeople. MobileHelp scored points in this respect: they provide potential customers plenty of information about pricing and the configuration of their systems. Once people become customers, their satisfaction with the company continues, with users reporting overall happiness with the functioning of the equipment and describing the call center staff as friendly, effective, and efficient. There were a few complaints about battery life—and the base station batteries do last a relatively short time compared to its competitors—and about the cellular coverage available from AT&T. Beyond these issues, however, MobileHelp’s users seemed happy with the company.