GreatCall

Updated for September, 2020

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Our Review

GreatCall offers four devices with emergency medical alert service options, including the Jitterbug Smart2, Jitterbug Flip, Lively Mobile Plus, and Lively Wearable2. Each of these devices is UL certified and utilizes the nationwide Verizon cellular network, and they also all come with 5Star Urgent Response services, even with the Basic package option. The beauty of having a range of devices is that it allows GreatCall to offer something for seniors no matter what their comfort level with modern technology.

All four devices get you in touch with GreatCall’s 5Star Urgent Response service: they employ certified operators in their call center. GreatCall states that they've worked closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that their operators will work effectively with local emergency responders to direct help to their clients. GreatCall’s literature points clients in emergencies to contact 911, if possible, so it's not clear how 5Star Urgent Response is an improvement over the certified call centers used by other medical alert systems.

All of GreatCall’s devices are portable and use the reliable Verizon cellular network. Customers have to purchase products outright, but for those with a mobile phone already, there is a smartphone app available. The basic package does not include fire detection, a burglar alarm, carbon monoxide detection, or help with keeping track of medication, and GreatCall doesn't offer a discount for customers’ spouses at any price point.

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Jitterbug Smart2

The Jitterbug Smart2 is a smartphone with mobile internet access, a long-lasting battery, and a touch screen. It does have a large screen, simplified menus and icons designed for those with visual impairments, and voice typing for people with motor control problems. This device is intended to serve as an easy-to-learn smartphone that allows seniors to keep in touch with their family and call for help in the event of an emergency.

It is available on all three of the health and safety packages offered by GreatCall, or you can pick and choose which services you like, allowing you to turn your Jitterbug Smart2 into a personal safety device. GreatCall also offers options that will enable you to just pay for voice minutes, texts, and data for the smartphone. You can always upgrade to a health and safety package when you need to.

Features:

  • Simple, list-based menu
  • Voice Typing
  • Large 5.5” easy to see screen
  • Front-facing speaker for clearer conversations
  • Video chat
  • Long-lasting battery
  • 5Star Urgent Response button
  • Mobile internet access and directions
  • 13MP camera with LED Flash

Jitterbug Flip

If you're not quite ready for a smartphone, the Jitterbug Flip is probably the option for you. The Jitterbug Flip is a flip phone featuring an easy-to-read display with simple Yes/No options and a powerful speaker for hands-free conversations. The Jitterbug Flip also has a 2.0-megapixel camera, which doubles as a magnifier and uses the flash to enhance the magnification by shining some extra light. This feature, along with the easy-to-read display and the larger dial pad on the phone, helps those who have visual impairments.

The Jitterbug Flip is a very standard flip cell phone with GreatCall services and designed with simplicity and safety in mind. The loud, powerful speaker helps users with hearing impairments to hear the family, friends, or emergency services more clearly, even while using the speakerphone option.

The Jitterbug Flip also comes with Brain Games installed on the device. You also have the option between a red or a graphite phone when ordering your Jitterbug Flip.

Features:

  • Bigger buttons
  • Brighter screen
  • Powerful speaker
  • Simple menu
  • Voice dial
  • 2.0-megapixel camera
  • 5Star button
  • Magnifier with flashlight

Lively Mobile Plus

If you are looking for a straightforward and streamlined medical alert device, GreatCall’s Lively Mobile Plus fits the bill. This small mobile device includes only what's essential for protection —a push-button that to summon help. A speakerphone allows the wearer to communicate with GreatCall’s 5Star Service and local emergency responders. This device can be placed in a purse, clipped to clothing, a belt, or even worn around your neck. It comes with an accessory clip, a lanyard, and a charging dock. It’s also waterproof and can come with optional fall detection technology. This device gives you 24/7 access to nurses and board-certified doctors and peace of mind to your family if they use the GreatCall Link application. Daily charging is recommended, as Lively Mobile Plus does not have the same battery life of the other devices GreatCall offers.

Features:

  • Get help anytime, anywhere, 24/7
  • Highly trained Certified Agents
  • Fastest call response time
  • Most reliable coverage
  • Enhanced GPS
  • Fall Detection
  • Waterproof
  • Clip Accessory
  • Magnetic Lanyard

Lively Wearable2

The smallest of GreatCall’s devices is the Lively Wearable2. It's also stripped down to a simple push-button design, and like the Lively Mobile Plus, it can be worn as a pendant or on the wrist. The Lively Wearable2 must be paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth to communicate with GreatCall’s 5Star Urgent Response services. It's a reasonably stylish device in a gray/silver color, and it includes fall detection technology and fitness tracking. At the same time, it's waterproof and does not require frequent charging.

Features:

  • Get help anywhere, 24/7
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Fall Detection available
  • Water-resistant
  • Up to 4 months of battery life
  • Step tracker
  • Daily health tips
  • Wear with wristband or lanyard

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GreatCall Cost

All GreatCall devices have a flat price upfront when purchasing, but you can choose to add different packages to enhance your device's uses. The GreatCall Lively Wearable2 requires a monthly service plan as it is not a standalone product. All of their products are reasonably priced compared to other companies, especially when considering the Jitterbug Smart2 smartphone. GreatCall also has no long-term contracts, so you aren't tied down for any amount of time to their products and services.

Additional Fees

With each device from GreatCall, you can purchase a monthly Health and Safety package that works for you. They offer three plans with different levels of service available. The most basic is the Basic package that is $24.99 a month. The Basic package only includes the 5Star Response. The next level is the Preferred package that costs $29.99 a month. This package comes with 5Star Response as well as Urgent Care and GreatCall Link. The final package is the Ultimate package that includes 5Star Star Response, Urgent Care, GreatCall Link plus the addition of Fall Detection, and costs $39.99 a month.

If you are purchasing the Jitterbug Smart2 or the Jitterbug Flip, they both have an activation fee and their monthly service plan. If you aren't looking for a Health and Safety service plan, they both offer a talk and text purchase option where you can pay for your monthly minutes, text, and data.

Jitterbug Smart2 Jitterbug Flip Lively Mobile Plus Lively Wearable2
Cost $149.99 $99.99 $49.99 $49.99
Extra Fees $24.99, $29.99, or $39.99 a month $24.99, $29.99, or $39.99 a month $24.99, $29.99, or $39.99 a month $24.99, $29.99, or $39.99 a month
24/7 Help Yes Yes Yes Yes
5Star Response Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fall Detection Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes

Savings Opportunities

GreatCall offers saving when you bundle your talk and text plans with their Health and Safety packages. Unlimited texts are free with the purchase of a Preferred or Ultimate Health and Safety package. If you have an AARP membership, you can also save money with a Preferred or Ultimate package. Call GreatCall today to find out more.

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Monitoring and Customer Support

It's important to note that customer service and monitoring are critical when choosing a medical alert company to use. To help you narrow down which medical alert service is right for you, we have read the reviews and researched how GreatCall serves its technical support to get straight to the facts.

Monitoring and Technical Support

Monitoring is one of GreatCall's strengths. Not only do they offer 24/7 but urgent responses with their 5Star service. They also have a free application called GreatCall Link that family members and friends can use to stay updated on your health and safety. Permission from the GreatCall service user is required to allow your friends and family to see your information and receive alerts about devices running low on battery, your daily activities, and your location. GreatCall Link is included with Preferred and Ultimate packages.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews of a company are also valuable when selecting a medical alert company. It helps the customers see where the company is lacking and in what areas they excel. Customers that use GreatCall products and services compliment GreatCall on the ease of use of their products and the affordability of their services.

There is a lot of flexibility in GreatCalls services where you can change at any time and add services when you feel like you need them. Many of the customers also compliment GreatCall on their devices being less restrictive than the competitors. Customers also praised the customer service representatives for being professional and helpful when customers called in. They are quick to answer a call and are very polite.

I have just purchased and activated the GreatCall service. This includes research in selecting GreatCall, purchasing via phone call, and working with customer service to set up the account and activate the phone service. Personnel was courteous and competent. The instruction material is thorough and understandable. The smartphone is a quality product. Things were done right on the first effort. Pricing is excellent.

Jan (TrustPilot.com)

This has made a huge difference in dad's communication efforts. Large buttons and limited options keep him from calling random wrong numbers. Easy to use and easy to set up. VERY cost-effective too since we no longer have to pay for services he has no interest in. I highly recommend this phone for seniors who just don’t want all the bells and whistles we are now forced to buy on normal cell service.

OlDad (greatcall.com)

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Company Background

GreatCall was started in 2006 by Arlene Harris to help aging adults by providing them accessible technology and services. Located in Carlsbad, California, GreatCall focuses on connecting the active aging community with their health and healthcare providers. GreatCall stands out against its competitors with its affordable devices and service plans that are made specifically for the aging population.

The Bottom Line

GreatCall is an excellent option for seniors looking for an affordable way to stay connected to their families and friends with easy-to-use technology. GreatCall devices are made specifically for active, aging adults. Their pricing is straightforward, and the service plans are customizable. GreatCalls' 5Star Urgent Response call center is readily available on all devices, so you're never far from help if an emergency occurs.

Disclaimer:
The information featured on this page is based on our best estimates of pricing, package details, contract stipulations, and service available at the time of writing. This is not a guarantee. All information is subject to change. Pricing will vary based on various factors, including, but not limited to the customer’s location. For the most accurate information, please ask your customer service representative. Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase.

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