5 Star Urgent Response is one of the most popular medical alert systems in the market today. Its provider, Great Call, Inc., has been helping seniors maintain an independent lifestyle, while offering peace of mind to their loved ones and caregivers through innovative products and mobile apps.
Great Call, Inc. was founded as a wireless telecommunications company in 2006. The San Diego, California, based organization initially offered Jitterbug cell phones to seniors. It acquired a mobile personal emergency response company called MobiWatch in 2009 and introduced the 5Star Urgent Response alert device in 2011.
The company has gained great reputation and significant market share within a short period of time. Most experts credit their innovative line of products for their success.
When a senior presses the help button, the internal wireless component automatically calls the monitoring center. A 5Star Urgent Response agent will establish two-way communication with the senior and understand the emergency before contacting relevant authorities. Users will receive help within minutes. This quick response can help save lives in case of an emergency.
The monitoring agent will use the GPS in the device to determine your location, especially if you are unable to comprehend or speak at that time. The GPS component does not impact your safety or privacy. Only authorized users will have access to the information relayed by it. The monitoring agent may also contact your family members. Occasionally, he may simply stay online and help you resolve the issue.
The monitoring center works 24 hours a days, 7 days a week. All the agents are based in the United States and are trained in CPR and emergency response protocols. They also possess the National Academics of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) certification. All agents have been instructed to stay online and be with the customer until the issue has been completely resolved and the senior has received the help he requires.
- LiveNurse Service – When you call your Great Call 5 Star agents, they can also connect you to a registered nurse, depending on the severity of your condition. The nurses are available round the clock. Many seniors get professional advice for their health-related questions and concerns during non-working hours and days. The nurses can communicate in both English and Spanish.
- Jitterbug Cell Phone – Jitterbug cell phones have been created to overcome the complications associated with modern mobile phones. Many seniors are overwhelmed by high-end phones and smart phones available in the market today. Great Call has combined all the essential features within a cell phone and created a user-friendly version for the seniors. Jitterbug is easy to use with backlit key board and big numbers. Its battery also lasts for a long time.
- GreatCall Link Smartphone App – The GreatCall Link Smartphone offers peace of mind to loved ones and caregivers. Authorized users can log into the app and keep track of emergencies and health parameters of the senior. They can also check the battery level of the pendant and receive notifications about emergency phone calls.
5Star Urgent Response system is slightly different from its competitors. You get a lightweight emergency help device that is attractive and stylish. It is about 3 inches long, 1.6 inches wide, and 0.6 inches deep. Seniors can wear it as a necklace or attach it to their wristband. They can also clip the SOS button to their key chains, handbags and purses. You can also buy accessories for 5 Star Urgent Response pendant. You will, however, get clips, key chain and a pouch for free. The long cord attached to the pouch allows the user to wear it around the neck. The pouch will also keep the pendant safe and dry.
Remember that unlike other versions in the market, 5 Star Urgent Response pendant is not waterproof. You cannot wear it in the shower. Even high humidity in the atmosphere may damage the device. This is a major drawback as many seniors are prone to falls and emergencies in the bathroom. The alert button will work at your home. You can also use it outside while shopping, walking and other recreational activities.
Unlike other medical alert devices, 5 Star Urgent Response does not come with a base station. Hence, its use is not limited to your home. It does not require a phone line for installation. Each pendant or mobile device comes with a built-in wireless cellular connection. You do not require addition phone or cell phone subscription. The system also does not have a range limitation of 600 or 1,000 feet. It will work almost anywhere.
5 Star Urgent Response pendant has a powerful and sensitive speaker and microphone as well. It also has a built-in GPS that allows the monitoring agent to identify your location. You will receive help even if you are unable to speak.
In spite of the help button, cellular device, speaker, microphone and the GPS, the pendant weighs only 1.8 oz. and can be worn with ease and style.
One major issue with the 5Star Urgent Response system is the battery life of the pendant. Contrary to other medical alert systems that offer devices with battery life of three to five years, Great Call, Inc. wants you to charge the battery every day, although it has a backup life of about three days. You will receive a free battery charger with your order. Many consumers do not consider this a hassle. However, you should take this into account before making the final purchase. The equipment does not require any installation. The activation fees is $35. You can, however, activate online and save $10.
Customer Service and Support
Great Call is known for its high quality products and exceptional customer service. You can contact their service representative 24/7. You can also find answers to some common questions on their well-designed and user-friendly website. Great Call representatives will also respond to your emails within 24 hours. We think the phone is the best way to reach them.
5Star Urgent Response and other Great Call products definitely offer value for the buck. The company also offers a 30-day return policy. Users, however, have to pay a $10 restocking fee.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has awarded an A+ rating to Great Call, Inc. It received 150 complaints in the last 3 years. Majority of the clients have issues with the Jitterbug phones, not the 5 Star Response product. This speaks volumes about the credibility and the value of the product.
Pricing, Contract and Value
The 5 Star Urgent Response system costs $49.99. You will be required to pay an additional $35 to activate the service. The company encourages consumers to activate online and offers a $10 discount for that. Apart from $75 for the device and activation, you also pay a monthly service fee of $14.99. This is the lowest monthly fee in the medical alert system industry.
Many consumers consider ordering a second pendant as well. The second device can act as a backup, if you forget to charge the first one. You will, however, pay the initial amount of $75 for the second device along with an additional monthly service fee of $8.99.
There is no cancellation fee. You are not bound by any contracts either.
5Star Urgent Response Reviews Summary
•5Star Urgent Response is the only medical alert system that does not come with a base station. Hence, it has unlimited range. Seniors can use it anywhere and get help with the press of a button.
•All devices come with an in-built GPS that helps the monitoring agent to determine your exact location. You will receive help even if you are unable to speak.
•At $14.99 per month, Great Call offers one of the lowest monthly payment plans in the medical alert system industry.
•You can add other services to the plan including LiveNurse, Jitterbug cell phone, and functional smart phone apps. The apps help your loved ones to stay connected with your emergency needs.
•The equipment does not require any installation and is available for use right away.
•The pendant is not waterproof. Seniors will not be able to wear it in the shower. Hence, they may not receive help for bathroom falls and health issues that may crop up during bath time.
•Unlike other devices in the market, you need to charge the battery every day.
•You need to pay a $75 equipment purchase and activation fee in the beginning which is a little high.
•You also pay a $10 restocking fee for cancellation.
5 Star Urgent Response is a unique product. It is a completely mobile medical alert device that does not have a base unit. The pendant has everything from GPS to wireless cellular connection. It is lightweight and stylish but requires regular battery recharging and is not waterproof.
You should analyze the pros and cons before making the final purchase. There are other choices in the market. Each one comes with unique features and drawbacks. You should consider your personal requirements while choosing a medical alert system.