One Call Alert features the standard three-tier option among medical alert systems: in-home landline, in-home cellular and mobile alert systems. In our review, we ordered the midrange in-home cellular package, which features the Mytrex MXD3G system, the most popular medical alert system on the market. We also ordered the fall-detection pendant, but it failed to work.
Cost Comparison: C
One Call Alert earned a C grade in our cost comparison. At the time of our review, the packages were priced close to average, though the midrange package was significantly more expensive than average. The in-home landline package was $29.95 per month, which was standard. The midrange in-home cellular package was $39.95 per month, which was about $4 more expensive than the market average. The premium mobile alert package was $45 per month, which was $2 over the market average.
As with most services, you can lower the monthly cost with annual or quarterly payments. On average, the savings provided by One Call Alert is about $5 per month, while the market average for similar bulk payments is $3.90 per month. While this savings makes for a competitive base package, it barely brings the midrange package to the market average and doesn't provide significant value with the premium package.
That said, it's important to note that prices fluctuate all the time. You should confirm and compare prices before you purchase a system.
The Results of Our Hands-On Testing
The Mytrex MXD3G is a good in-home cellular system, which is why most medical alert services use it (six of the 16 devices in our lab were the same Mytrex units). The device consistently received high marks in our review for speakerphone quality, receiving an A- for quality. We still preferred the clarity of the MobileHelp CBS2-01, which is also a popular system (five of the 16 devices). The Mytrex has the loudest speakerphone, and the quality is usually very good, though it does tend to distort at high volumes.
We tested the wireless pendant in a private 1,200-square-foot apartment, and could not find a scenario that caused interference with the signal. We even dunked the pendant under water and it worked without a hitch. Unfortunately, the range isn't great. After venturing into the hallways with the pendant, we didn't make it far – only 72 feet down one hall and 67 feet down the other for an average of 70 feet. While this is plenty of space to cover most houses, it doesn't provide much room to roam in the yard.
One Call Alert uses the same fall-detection pendant as five other services – and none of these worked for us, not even once. When you consider that this add-on costs $10 per month in addition to your system costs, it's clearly not worth it. The pendant doesn't come with a model number or manufacturer details, so we weren't able to determine why none of these pendants worked. And none of the companies that use this pendant were able to give us a satisfactory answer.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment with One Call Alert was the poor call-response time, which averaged 98.85 seconds. This was good for 17th place in our review of 20 services. For comparison, the average response time in our tests was 69.58 seconds, and GreatCall had the fastest response time with 20.67 seconds. In addition, the monitoring center's call quality was average, receiving a C grade in our evaluation.
We like that One Call Alert uses the Mytrex MXD3G unit, because it has a good speakerphone. But beyond that, the service doesn't do enough to stand out. The prices are generally average, or more expensive than average, the fall-detection pendant didn't work, and the call-response time was among the slowest. To put it plainly, One Call Alert isn't the best option available.