A GreatCall emergency alert device might not call, so over 44,000 have been recalled

An emergency device that fails to notify in an emergency doesn’t have much use. That’s why GreatCall has issued a recall of 44,300 Lively Mobile Plus Emergency Alert Devices.

The exact problem, as plainly stated in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall notice: “The call button can fail when pushed by the consumer in an emergency.”

This hasn’t happened yet, so the recall is a precautionary move. A spokesperson for Best Buy, one of the retailers selling the devices, said only 9,000 actually were sold.

“Shortly after the Lively Mobile Plus launched in April, GreatCall identified a quality issue in a limited number of devices and decided to temporarily deactivate and stop selling them,” a Best Buy spokesperson said in an email. “We quickly notified customers and offered both a refund and an alternative product that could meet their needs.”

This covers model No. GCR4, which is printed on the back of the device along with date code 19.01 or 19.03 on the device’s bar code. They were sold at Walmart, Best Buy and via

GreatCall requests customers stop using the devices and contact the company for a refund. Though the notice says consumers can call 1-800-359-1791 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Eastern time, daily, no one answered that number Tuesday when the Miami Herald tried it. The company says customers also can email

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.