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Re: [IP] Medic Alert Scam


I did contact Medic Alert regarding this, and below is what they said.
Perhaps the employee and their supervisor were not as knowledgeable in their
company's policy as they should be.



In response to an e-mail you received this past weekend, MedicAlert
Foundation would like to clarify its Membership policy and what the initial
$35 enrollment and membership fee includes.   As a nonprofit membership
organization, MedicAlert. strives to keep its fees affordable to both
existing Members and new Members.  Members are never required to pay the $35
initial membership service fee twice.  If a Member wishes to order a new or
additional emblem or to replace a lost one, there is a minimal fee
associated to cover the cost of the product.  Emblem fees are minimal for
new Members, to help encourage them to join and begin their MedicAlert.

The service MedicAlert. provides is made possible by membership fees,
product reorders and donations.  Our yearly Advantage Service annual renewal
price is $20.  Advantage Service benefits include discounts on reordered
Other benefits include:
*    24-hr Emergency Response Service - someone who cares will answer the
phone to provide vital information to emergency responders in a medical
*    Unlimited updates to their MedicAlert. record
*    Family notification - MedicAlert. will call your personal contacts
*    Medication dosages
*    Product discounts when you want to order another emblem or have lost
the product

Also important to mention and clarify is how Sponsored Memberships are paid
for by MedicAlert..  We allocate a percentage of the donations we receive
each year to provide memberships for individuals who cannot afford even our
minimal fees.

MedicAlert. strives to provide the highest level of service for one of the
lowest prices in the industry.  Many people believe that the information
displayed on the bracelet is most important in an emergency, but, as
emergency responders have informed us over the years, equally, if not more
important, is the vital information held in each Member's record.  The
emblem serves primarily to prompt the call to the MedicAlert. 24-hr
Emergency Response Service.

We hope that the lifesaving service we provide -- the one emergency
responders rely upon -- is one that you and your family will turn to when


In a message dated 1/18/2002 4:57:25 PM Pacific Standard Time,
email @ redacted writes:

> I just wanted everyone to be aware of Medic Alert's policy.
> If you go to their website (http://www.medicalert.org) you will notice that
> they charge $35 for the Medic Alert service and they provide a stainless
> steel bracelet for free ("no cost"). You can purchase different bracelets
> including their new sports bracelets for an additional fee.
> My son is a member of Medic Alert and we opted to purchase the gold
> bracelet
> when we joined. The cost was $35 for the service and $40 for the bracelet.
> Today the bracelet broke and fell off his arm and we have been unable to
> locate it. I called Medic Alert to get a replacement and was told that I
> would have to pay the membership fee again. Our membership is current, and
> doesn't expire for awhile. Of course I argued that I shouldn't have to pay
> the annual membership fee since we have a membership and that I should only
> have to pay for the bracelet. The operator said that they could not do
> nor could they provide us with the free bracelet as a replacement (with us
> LOSING money) either.
> I asked to speak to a supervisor (Theresa Abraham), and explained to her
> that we needed a replacement since Tarek's bracelet broke. She restated
> what
> the operator did, that I would have to pay the membership again even though
> our membership was current. Essentially, if we wanted the "free" bracelet,
> we had to pay the $35 membership fee, if we wanted an "upgrade" we would
> have to pay the $35 membership fee and the cost of the bracelet. She said
> this would apply to anyone, you have to pay for a membership and a
> bracelet,
> you can't just buy additional bracelets.
> I eventually talked her down, refusing to pay the membership fee again. So
> I
> am getting the same bracelet for only the bracelet price. She did tell me
> that if I had to call in again, that they would not do this (discount??!!)
> again.
> I did tell her that I was going to pass on my experience to CWD and IP, and
> she said that was fine with her. But to also pass on that they provide
> their
> SERVICE and their BRACELETS for FREE to people that can't pay. Wow! Now,
> while I think that is a fine endeavor! I realize that THEY aren't providing
> this service, paying members are!! If we have to replace a bracelet, or we
> want a second/back-up bracelet, we have to pay for the membership fee
> multiple times!
> It's a scam of the worst order. Taking advantage of people who need to call
> attention to a medical condition in the case of an emergency.
> Want to tell them what you think? Their email addy is
> mailto:email @ redacted
> --
> Allison
> Mom to Tarek, age 9, IDDM, dx 11-16-1998
> Pumping DTron since 1-12-2001
> Now living in Denver, Colorado
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