GreatCall Review

Overview

GreatCall’s products make it easy for older adults to stay connected to family, friends, caregivers, and emergency support. It offers a suite of easy-to-use mobile products, like the “Jitterbug” phone and “Lively Mobile” urgent response device and wearable, as well as medical apps to help users stay their safest and feel secure at all times knowing that help is a contact away.

The company is known as a leader in the field, and has recently acquired HealthSense, a home-monitoring HealthTech company, positioning it at the cutting edge of the industry. Based on customer reviews it has been praised for its ability to deliver easy-to-use innovative products, and its US-based customer service has won several awards, including, "Best Overall Company of the Year” by the Stevie American Business Awards.

Best For

  • Caregivers or family members who want to receive real-time updates on their patients

  • Elderly people who desire freedom but aren’t confident enough to leave the house alone

  • Anyone looking for a monitoring device, from in-home monitoring to fitness tracking

Visit GreatCall

Pros

  • Wide range of products to choose from

  • No annual contracts or cancellation fees

  • Award-winning US-based customer service team

  • Modern and sleek looking products

  • Free shipping for all online orders  

Cons

  • The basic health and safety packages don’t offer much in the way of benefits

  • Pricing is on upper end of industry standards

Monitoring Services

Unlike most medical alert services, GreatCall doesn’t enable users to call its care center, in order for them to send a representative. Rather, its products and monitoring services help elderly adults live a normal life, just with extra confidence that help is there, if needed. Every one of GreatCall’s products comes with services and apps already installed, turning the device into a mobile health and safety tool. The most popular services are 5Star response, urgent care, and GreatCall link.

If you’re in an unsafe environment or need any assistance, you can press the 5Star button and be immediately connected to a live 5Star agent. All agents are specially trained to assess the particular situation, and send help if needed using the GPS location from your device. They are also IAED certified, trained in CPR, and other emergency procedures especially applicable to older adults. 5Star agents can also dispatch emergency personnel, who will be informed of your medical condition, and notify and update pre-designated family members on your status. The urgent care service is an app that connects you with live and certified doctors and nurses 24/7. The service can be used to ask health-related questions, or to get clarification regarding a particular medication you were instructed to take. GreatCall link, another of its more popular services offered, allows caregivers or family members to connect to the phone or device of their patients or elderly family members. They are able to check if the device is on and charged, as well as see a list of their daily activities, to make sure that family or patients are on a normal routine. Lastly, if a fall is detected when wearing one of the wearable devices, or an emergency call was made on a GreatCall phone, GreatCall link will be enable family and caregivers to see the context of the call and the outcome. It also sends a location, so that help can get there quicker.

Product Features

GreatCall offers an array of products, each targeting specific needs, and required levels of care. Its 4 cellular-powered products include: the Jitterbug Flip and Jitterbug Smart phones, as well as the Lively Mobile and Lively Wearable devices.

The phones keep users in touch with family, health and safety experts, and friends. Jitterbug Flip, the more basic of the 2 phone options available, is offered as an easy-to-use phone designed with simplicity in mind. It offers larger than usual buttons, a brighter screen, a simple menu, a camera (note: without flash), and powerful speakers for clarity when speaking on the phone. The Jitterbug Flip offers voice dial, which allows you to dial by saying the number out loud, but doesn’t have internet access. Jitterbug Smart, the more advanced of the phones, is a smartphone with a larger screen, and more clear speakers; making it easy for elderly users to see what they’re typing and hear who they’re speaking to. It also has mobile internet access, a camera (this one has a flash), a simple navigation menu, long-lasting battery, and voice typing, which allows users to write emails or text messages by voice. Both of the phones, Flip and Smart, come with the 5Star urgent response app, and urgent care and GreatCall link can be added.

FeatureJitterbug FlipJitterbug Smart
Simple MenuYesYes
Long-lasting batteryNoYes
Voice TypingNoYes
Mobile internet accessNoYes
CameraYesYes
Camera FlashNoYes
5-star appYesYes
Powerful speakerYesYes

*Updated September 2017

Lively Mobile can be clipped onto a pocket or worn around the neck or wrist. When needed, users can press the button on the device, and a 5Star agent will immediately be contacted. The device is also waterproof, making it safe in the shower or outdoors; has GPS location technology; and has fall-detection, which automatically calls for help when a fall is detected.

GreatCall also offers the Lively wearable, which is a watch-like device that helps users stay active, while also giving them the safety of urgent response. It works with the Lively Wearable app on a smartphone to keep track of fitness levels, daily fitness challenges, and milestones.

Installation Process

GreatCall’s products are relatively easy and quick to set up.  

After receiving a Jitterbug phone or a Lively device, you’ll need to first register the product. This can be done by calling the customer support number or online through the website. Once on the activation site, you’ll be requested to select the device you’re looking to activate, and will be walked through the process from there. The process with take you through setting up your plan and the billing information, then you can activate the actual device, and complete your personal profile. Completing your personal information is very important and should not be skipped, as the information provided is what will inform the 5Star agents and medical responders about past or current conditions, medical records, and allergies.

After registering the product, you’ll also want to set up 5Star so that if called, agents will be able to provide proper assistance and personalize the care — the more information you give, the better they can help. Information to provide can include medications, health conditions, and even where you keep your spare key.

Contract and Fees

ProductProduct CostBasic planPreferred planUltimate plan
Jitterbug Flip$74.99$19.99/month$24.99/month$34.99/month
Jitterbug Smart$112.49$19.99/month$24.99/month$34.99/month
Lively Mobile$37.49$19.99/month$24.99/month$34.99/month
Lively Wearable$37.49$14.99/monthN/AN/A

*Updated September 2017

There is a 30-day trial period on all products and long-term contracts are not offered; rather, plans are on a month-to-month basis. Unlike most medical alert companies, the payment is for the actual product, not just its rental, so after payment is completed, the device is yours to keep. If you want to cancel your plan, you are entitled to receive a prorated refund from the day you call to cancel, and if you are unsatisfied with your device, you can ask for a refund; if the return is made within 30-days from the date of purchase. All of its devices come with a 1-year warranty, and there is an option of a monthly protection plan, if desired.

Prices vary upon product and the plan selected. Jitterbug Flip costs $74.99, and then a monthly cost depending on the plan selected. A health and safety package, which offers services such as urgent care and 5star, plus a talk and text plan, can be purchased, or if you only need talk and text you can purchase minutes alone. The basic health and safety plan costs $19.99 per month, the “prefered” plan costs $24.99 per month, and the “ultimate” plan costs $34.99 per month. The differences between the plans are the included features.

Jitterbug Smart, which costs $112.49, offers a similar pricing structure to the Flip. You have to decide whether you want the health and safety plan plus the talk, text, and data plan, or just the talk, text and data plan — plans costs are the same as the Flip. Choosing the talk and text plan along with the health and safety plan is better value for money, as discounted prices are offered. Additionally, GreatCall gives you a free car charger with the purchase of either one of its phones.

Lively Mobile costs $37.49 for the device itself, and follows the same pricing structure as the phones do; the only difference being that because it’s not a phone, a talk, text, and data plan isn’t offered. Again, you have the option to choose from the basic, prefered, and ultimate plans, depending on your needs. The Lively Wearable, which costs a once-off $37.49, works on a monthly service charge of $14.99.

GreatCall products can be purchased online or in stores. You can use the website to select the product you want and enter your zipcode to find the store nearest to you. All online orders receive free ground shipping to anywhere in the US.

Extra accessories

 

Customer Service

GreatCall offers many options to help existing and potential customers find their answers, such as its “learning center,” which offers in-depth user guides, how-to videos and tutorials for each product, as well as customer support. We found this to be very comprehensive. User guides and how-to’s can be found on the company website and offer answers to frequently asked technical questions. There are also live interactive courses to learn how to best use its products.

GreatCall also provides a customer support team. Support can be reached by calling its support number, or completing an online form.

Bottom Line

Making sure your elderly loved one is safe at all times is at the top of all family members’ and caregivers’ minds. GreatCall’s products allow older adults to live the life they want, while also giving their family members and caregivers peace-of-mind.

GreatCall’s products are made to fit specific individual's’ needs, are known for being easy-to-use and of high quality, and have multiple positive reviews to back them up. They are also easy to set up, so from the time a product arrives, it can be up and running quickly. The company offers great customer support, active social media accounts, and a clear and to-the-point website.

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About GreatCall

Founded in 2006 and based in San Diego, CA, GreatCall is a leading health technology company. With the aim of helping the elderly stay safe, healthy, and connected at all times, it offers easy-to-use products leveraging technological innovations.

GreatCall is led by a team with background in the health and wellness industry. The company offers excellent customer service, has partnerships with leading healthcare and technology companies, and recently acquired HealthSense, a large home-monitoring company. It has also been recognized and awarded by multiple organizations such as the Stevie awards and Today’s Caregiver magazine.

Contact

Phone: 1-866-359-5606

Email: CustomerService@GreatCall.com

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