Rescue Alert follows the same recipe as most medical alert companies, offering three options: an in-home landline system, an in-home cellular system and a mobile system. You can add a fall-detection pendant to the in-home packages for an additional $10 per month. Both the in-home landline and in-home cellular options use the Mytrex MXD system; the only difference is that the cellular option connects to an AT&T cellular network. This is the package that we tested, including the fall-detection pendant, which failed to work in our tests.
Cost Comparison: D+
In our cost comparison, Rescue Alert received a D+ because every package that the company offers was among the most expensive in our review. The MXD package, which was the basic in-home landline system, was $32.95 a month, nearly $3 over the market average. The cellular MXD3G unit was $42.95 a month, $7 over the market average. The mobile system was $44.95 a month, $2 over the market average.
As with most companies, you can lower the monthly costs by making bigger up-front payments. With Rescue Alert, you have annual or quarterly payment options that save you an average of $5 per month. However, since most companies offer similar savings on bulk payments while starting at lower month-to-month prices, Rescue Alert is still playing catchup.
Of course, it's important to note that prices fluctuate all the time. You should always confirm and compare prices before you purchase a system.
The Results of Our Hands-On Testing
The best thing we can say about Rescue Alert is that the company employs the Mytrex MXD3G system (used by six services in our review). This system has an excellent speakerphone that was easily the loudest in our tests, earning an A- grade for speakerphone quality. We still preferred the speakerphone on the MobileHelp CBS2-01 system (used by five services), but the Mytrex unit is a close second.
The biggest downside to the Mytrex MXD3G, however, is the wireless range of the pendant, which averaged only 70 feet. It doesn't have nearly the reach of most medical alert systems. For comparison, the average range in our tests was 89 feet, and the longest range was 149 feet (Philips Lifeline).
Another notable downside is the fall-detection pendant, which failed to work in any of our tests. However, this wasn't a failure unique to Rescue Alert. Five services in our review used the same pendant, and none of these pendants worked. Not even once. At $10 per month in addition to the medical alert system, this protection simply isn't worth it.
On a more positive note, the monitoring center's average call response time was 56.91 seconds, which made Rescue Alert the 10th fastest out of 20 services we reviewed. While this is the very definition of middling, the response time was still 13 seconds faster than the 69.5 second overall average, and that's worth noting. Rescue Alert is, however, much slower than the fastest call response time, which was 20.67 seconds (GreatCall). Every second matters in an emergency.
In addition, the call quality was average, receiving a C grade. While professional and courteous, the operators often sounded disinterested and robotic. We also had several calls where there were strange beeps and noises on the operator's end of the call.
Rescue Alert is an average medical alert service with higher prices than most. While we like that the company uses the Mytrex MXD, because of the excellent speakerphone, it doesn't do enough to separate itself from the rest.