Bay Alarm Medical review

7 months ago 121

Our Verdict

With competitive pricing Bay Alarm's offering may be inviting, but we experienced significant problems connecting to its monitoring center, arguably the most important feature of a medical alert system.

For

Affordable systems Very loud speakerphone First in-car system on the market

Against

Multiple issues with the emergency call center Very sensitive fall detection sensor

In our Bay Alarm Medical review, we look closely at the three packages that most other medical alert services offer: in-home landline, in-home cellular, and on-the-go mobile device. They also offer a unique in-car system that calls for help if you’re in an accident. With aggressive marketing yet very affordable pricing, Bay Alarm Medical is an attractive option.

That said, we’ve had too many issues with the connection and sensitivity issues. The issues actually overshadow the benefits of Bay Alarm Medical's overall value. Twice we’ve had issues with medical alert devices not connecting to the emergency response center that the brand has partnered with. And twice we’ve had fall detection sensors call for help when nobody was around, resulting in an ambulance being sent out to us. Twice. That said, we recognize the issues might be isolated to our experience and not endemic to the service as a whole. Still, it is a concerning pattern that we can’t ignore.

Medical alert systems

As with so many medic alert companies, Bay Alarm Medical uses the MyTrex MXD system for both the in-home landline and in-home cellular system. This system provides a very loud speakerphone, which has its ups and downs. We’ve tested many of these MyTrex MXD systems and while the volume is always the loudest on the market, the quality of the audio often is inconsistent. We believe this has to do with the way medical alert systems reuse systems after they are returned following a customer’s cancellation. Eventually, the speaker is going to wear out and the communication with emergency responders is going to be horrible. We recommend testing the quality of the speaker and sending it back if you’re not satisfied with the quality. 

Bay Alarm Medical offers an in-car medical alert system, the first of it's kind. This system plugs into your AC adapter and calls for help if you're in an accident or if you're stranded, lost, or simply need help. 

During our first round of three-week testing, we received a device that was connected to an invalid number. When we’d press the help button, we got a “This number is no longer valid” message. The computerized voice then told us to call a number. However, the message always stopped before the number was completed. We reported this issue to Bay Alarm and they sent us another one. However, by the time we received the new medical alert system, it was too late to test comparatively with other systems, with concern to call response speeds. 

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical is the first medical alert service to offer an in-car medical alert system. (Image credit: Bay Alarm Medical)

During the second round of testing, we had connection issues with Bay Alarm Medical’s mobile medical alert system. Twice it failed to connect with an emergency response center, resulting in them calling our personal phone to make sure we were fine. And twice, it called for help when nobody was around, resulting in an ambulance being sent to our test lab on both occasions. Again, we’re not sure what the issue was. Bay Alarm Medical apologized and offered to replace the device, but the consistent issues certainly cause one to take pause. 

Emergency response center

The emergency response time during our first round of testing wasn’t impressive, averaging about 50 seconds, which was above average. That said, there was two incidents when the calls failed to connect after five minutes. These times were removed from the results because the device was deemed to have a fault. In both cases, the emergency response center called us on our private phone to confirm we were okay. This suggests that they received the call for help, but the device failed to connect with an operatoer, for reasons that were never provided. Still, by comparison, GreatCall was nearly four times faster at answering emergency calls, averaging 20 seconds per call. 

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical averaged about 50 seconds per call in our emergency response tests. (Image credit: Bay Alarm Medical)

One positive takeaway was the quality of the calls. When we were successfully able to connect, the calls were excellent. The operators were clearly well-trained, maintaining an interested, yet calm demeanor. They made sure to ask if we were okay multiple times and almost always required us to confirm our identity, a necessary security measure often skipped by call centers. 

Medical alert service

Bay Alarm Medical is one of the more aggressive services with regard to marketing and sales. If you provide any information, expect to receive emails, texts, and calls repeatedly. However, this is fairly standard in the industry. And with Bay Alarm Medical, you’re at least never obligated to make a purchase you can’t afford.  

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical provides a caretaker app with the mobile system. (Image credit: Bay Alarm Medical)

Bay Alarm Medical has partnered with Bella Charms to decorate pendants in a way that hides the pendant. By hiding the pendant behind a decorative piece of jewelry, you eliminate the stigma of wearing a medical alert device, which makes it more likely that your senior loved one wears the device.  

Cost Comparison

The most basic package, an in-home landline system, costs $19.95. By comparison, only RescueTouch offers a medical alert system at this price point, making these the two most affordable medical alert systems available. However, the RescueTouch has the upper hand by being a mobile medical alert system.

The cellular in-home system costs about $30 per month, which is about $5 less than services with the exact same MyTrex system. 

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical's basic landline system is the most affordable medical alert system available. (Image credit: Bay Alarm Medical)

The mobile system is where Bay Alarm Medical shines. It starts at just $24.95 per month, which is on par with GreatCall’s Lively Mobile. It increases to $30 and $40 per month if you want to add caregiver tracking and fall detection. Overall, it’s a great value. That said, the fall detection was exceptionally sensitive when we tested it, resulting in falls being detected when it was on a table. 

Final Verdict

With the landline system being $20 per month and the mobile system starting at $25 per month, Bay Alarm Medical is one of the most affordable options out there. We also like that they offer something different with the in-car medical alert system. 

But overall, we’ve had too many issues with Bay Alarm Medical to recommend it over other services. The connectivity issue with MyTrex and the mobile system both hinder the value created by the competitive pricing

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