Acadian On Call is like most medical alert services in our review — it offers packages structured around either an in-home landline system, an in-home cellular system or a mobile alert system — all priced right around the market average.
For our review, we tested the Medical Alert Plus+. This is the company's midrange package that includes the popular MobileHelp CBS2-01 cellular home medical alert system, which had the highest speakerphone rating in our tests.
Cost Comparison: C+
Overall, Acadian On Call received a C+ in our cost comparison, which means that the month-to-month prices and savings from bulk payments were pretty average. The base package was $29.95 per month, which was just a few nickels better than the $30.17-per-month average. The midrange package was $34.95 per month, which was slightly better than the $36 average. The premium package was $41.95, which was about $1.50 above average. If you pay more up front (annual or quarterly payments), you can save an average of $5 per month. But again, most services also provide similar savings with bulk payments ($3.90 on average).
Now, it’s worth noting that prices fluctuate all the time. So, it’s possible for the overall package costs to change. But at the time of this review, the cost of the packages offered by Acadian On Call was average — not too expensive, but not so affordable that the company separated itself from other medical alert services.
Results of Our Hands-On Testing
Acadian On Call uses both the Mytrex MXD system and the MobileHelp CBS2-01. The former is used in the in-home landline package, while the latter is used as the in-home cellular system. Both devices are the most popular in-home systems of their type on the market. For example, of the 16 in-home cellular units we tested, six services used the Mytrex MXD3G (the cellular version) unit and five used the MobileHelp CBS2-01.
In our tests, the MobileHelp CBS2-01 had the highest-rated speakerphone. While it was not as loud as the Mytrex device, the audio was sharper and easier to understand at all volume levels. Another advantage of the MobileHelp CBS2-01 is the display, which shows the time, date and temperature. In other words, in addition to its function as a medical alert system, this package has practical uses. No other system in our tests can say that.
The wireless pendant was 100 percent reliable in our real-world tests. We tried everything we could to interfere with the signal in an average two-bed, 1,200-square-foot apartment, but the pendant was perfect, even when we pressed it while holding it under water in the bathroom. That’s the good news.
The bad news is the range. The MobileHelp system has a specified range of 600 feet. However, when we stepped outside of the apartment, the pendant only reached 118 feet down the hall to our right and just 54 feet down the hall to our left. With an average of 86 feet, the range was below average, though it was still capable of covering most apartments and homes with no problem. Your yard is a different matter.
The fall-detection pendant tested somewhere between excellent and way too sensitive. We loved that it recognized 100 percent of the simulated falls. However, it also activated on 100 percent of the drops from 12 inches and 75 percent of the drops from 6 inches. This sensitivity means you will have false alerts. Of course, all you have to do is tell the operator that the fall-detection pendant went off accidentally. If you’re willing to put up with false alerts, then it’s an excellent fall-detection pendant.
The call center response time was okay, but not great. On average, our calls were answered in 52.57 seconds. This put Acadian On Call as the sixth-fastest medical alert system in our tests. And while it's faster than the 69-second overall average for all medical alert systems we tested, it still doesn’t come close to the fastest response time of 20.67 seconds (GreatCall).
We gave the call quality a C+ grade in our evaluation. Overall, the operators were professional and communicated effectively, but on a few calls, the operators sounded a little too scripted and robotic. In addition, the operators always assumed we were the person whose name was on the account, which presents a potential security issue.
We like that Acadian On Call uses the MobileHelp device, which has the best speakerphone and a helpful display, but the range is disappointing and the fall detection tends to be oversensitive. As a safety net, Acadian On Call does the job and doesn't cost a lot, but there are better options at better prices.