GreatCall

GreatCall offers cellphones and services that are easy to use and can include medical support services.

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8.8
Grand Score
8
User Score
8.8
Grand Score
8
User Score
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As we all know, today's cellphones can be quite complex, allowing the user to talk, text, email, and surf the web, among other things. However, not everyone needs all that technology. Some people only need to call, text, or look something up on the web. In addition, it can become difficult as we age to use cellphones that have small screens. 

GreatCall has some great products, plans and options in between these extremes. The company offers smartphones that give you the option of surfing the web, talking, texting, and emailing on a device that has a large screen, simple menu, and voice typing. The company also offers a flip phone that has a bigger screen, simple menu and bigger buttons. 

Finally, wouldn't it be great if you could have all of these things, plus the ability to call for medical help, track your fitness, and enable fall detection? GreatCall offers the 5Star Urgent Response app, which integrates with your phone so you have everything right at your fingertips. If you want the benefit of a cellphone but want something that is easier to use, check out GreatCall.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 8/10
Warranty 8/10
Ease 10/10
Cancellation 9/10
Customer support 7/10
Equipment cost 7/10
International calls 6/10
Music 8/10
Video 8/10
Coverage 10/10
Cost
What is the monthly fee?
As low as $18/month for talk and text
Warranty
How easy is it to return?
You can return your device within the first 30 days
Ease
Is the product easy to use?
Extremely easy to use.
Cancellation
Can I cancel my plan?
You may cancel at any time, but you are responsible for all prior charges
Customer support
Ease of access
Call customer support 6 AM-7 PM PST Mon-Sat
Equipment cost
How much are the phones?
Phones range in price from $100-$150
International calls
Can I make international calls?
Yes, but additional rates will apply
Music
Can I get music with my plan?
Yes, if you have a compatible phone and a plan with data
Video
Can I stream videos?
Yes, if you have a compatible phone and a plan with data
Coverage
Is coverage nationwide?
GreatCall has nationwide service through the Verizon network
Age Score:
10
50-65 Years
10
65-75 Years
10
75-85 Years
10
85-Above

We all want to be productive adults well into our senior years. For younger seniors in good health, that’s usually not a problem. For older seniors who are experiencing hearing and vision issues, and perhaps stability issues, it can be challenging to constructively and safely use technology. GreatCall offers products and services that make using technology easy for all seniors. 

The phones are designed especially for seniors. They have large screens and simple menus that are easy to read. Furthermore, in addition to talk, text and data services, GreatCall offers health and safety services that are available through the phone. The services include 5Star Urgent Response, Urgent Care, MedCoach, Daily Health Tips and even Fall Detection.

Health Score:
10
Great Health
10
Good Health
10
Fair Health
8
Poor Health

As we age, we expect that our health will begin to fail. Some of these issues make using technology very difficult. Some of the conditions that are challenging for technology use are arthritis, falls, vision, dementia, and perhaps others. The phones offered by GreatCall have large buttons that are back-lit, so they are easy to see and easy to dial. The screen is brightly colored, and the menu is simple and easy to navigate. 

The Health and Safety Plans offered help seniors who are having trouble with falls, or even heart disease, feel more confident knowing they have access to immediate support from Urgent Response or Urgent Care.

Pros:

  • The company has combined the use of a cellphone with the medical support often needed by seniors. 
  • There are two phones to choose from, the Jitterbug Smart and the Jitterbug Flip. 
  • Excellent nationwide coverage using the Verizon network.
  • No annual contracts or cancellation fees.
  • Reasonable rates.
  • Free shipping.

Cons:

  • $35 non-refundable activation fee
  • No additional discounts for seniors.
  • Can take up to a week to replace a lost or stolen phone.
  • Some complaints of problematic customer service.

Bottom Line:

GreatCall is a relatively new company whose primary focus is providing medical support to seniors. It is precisely this focus, opposed to providing cellphones, that makes this a uniquely qualified company to offer the right combination of equipment and services for older adults. The equipment, with large screens and simple menus, has been specifically designed for seniors. The talk, text and data plans are reasonably priced. 

The company also offers health and safety plans that can be included in your monthly services, as well as two medical alert devices that provide instant access to the medical and safety services mentioned above. This is the perfect combination of technology and service that seniors will appreciate. The company has an excellent rating with the BBB, which means it works with unhappy customers to make things right. 

The services are not prepaid, but seem to be worth the annoyance of a monthly bill. It doesn’t hurt that John Walsh has been the company’s spokesperson since 2011. You would not go wrong to consider this company’s offerings if you are in the market for cellphone services.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the coverage area of service? 

The company offers 4G LTE coverage nationwide, with a few areas in the West that are not covered.

Does the company offer a payment plan on devices? 

No, GreatCall does not offer any payment plans for equipment.

What is the process for refilling my account?

Products and services through GreatCall are not prepaid. You will be billed monthly for services.

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: GreatCall offers a flip phone for calling and texting, and a smartphone that can be used for calling, texting and data usage. The phones include a camera. 

Package Details: The Jitterbug Smart is an easy-to-use smartphone. With a large screen and a simple menu, it can be used for calls, texting, voice typing, and internet. You can also add one of three levels of health and safety packages. The Jitterbug Flip is a simple flip phone with large screen, simple menu and large buttons with backlighting. 

Service plans are very flexible. There are five levels of minutes (200 to unlimited) for phone calls, and four levels of texts (300 to 2500) per month. If you purchase the smartphone, you can also purchase data at six levels (between 40 MB and 2.5 GB per month). 

Finally, GreatCall offers three levels of health and safety packages (basic, preferred and ultimate). Each package includes various health support apps that can provide immediate assistance in an emergency, daily reminders for medications, check-in calls, brain games and several other options. 

Other Services: GreatCall also offers two devices (Lively Mobile and Lively Wearable) that offer medical alert services.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: You are not required to sign a contract with GreatCall. However, you should be aware of the terms of the agreement you will be assuming when you sign up.  There is a $35 non-refundable activation fee. You may cancel your service at any time, but you must pay for any charges made up to that point. Minutes are valid for 60 days.

Warranty:  You may return your device within 30 days for a full refund, as long as you have used less than 30 minutes of talk time, created less than 50 texts, and used less than 50 MB of data. There is a $10 restocking fee.

Accreditations: GreatCall is accredited company with the Better Business Bureau and has received an A+ rating.

Company Details: GreatCall is a health technology company that offers health and safety products and services for older adults. In addition to mobile phones and cellular service, the company offers mobile apps and wearable safety devices. The company was founded in 2006 by Arlene Harris to assist adults in accessing technology as they age. The company provides cellular service as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) through the Verizon Wireless network. 

Contact:

GreatCall Customer Service
P.O. Box 4428
Carlsbad, CA 92018
Tel: 866-359-5606
Website: https://www.greatcall.com
Email: customerservice@greatcall.com

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

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