WEST FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Retired electrician Frank Pasariello fell and couldn’t get up, but his medical alert device was no help when he pushed the button, so the elderly West Falls resident sent the equipment back. Four months later, he is still waiting for his refund.
Pasariello actually dropped one of the more reputable companies that supply medical alert devices when he thought he could get a better deal with AlertUSA Emergency Response Systems, which is based in New York City.
The former Bethlehem Steel electrician has survived two strokes, two heart attacks, and quadruple bypass surgery, but when his motorized wheelchair accidentally rolled down into a ditch, Pasariello said his AlertUSA failed him.
“I pushed that button, it had limited range, it was useless. So all I could do was scream for help, and I think I screamed for about 10 minutes or so.”
Frank concluded the cheaper deal was not a deal at all, and got another emergency pendant, “911 Help Now”, that he put to the test when he fell out of bed, and it came through. So Pasariello sent the pendant and transmitter back to AlertUSA, back in August, and asked for a refund of his $100 deposit.
They initially told Frank he would get his check in 8 weeks, but that was about 16 weeks ago, “That’s right, that was August and now it is December, and still no $100.”
So Frank’s daughter Lynn Gaugh called AlertUSA to find out when the deposit would be returned. Lynn said a man in customer service told her, the person who cuts the checks had a death in their family, “He got kind of snarky with me, and I said to him, ‘then I can expect the check next week?’ He said yes. Never happened.”
AlertUSA customer service told News 4 they would finally cut the check and mail it Friday, and confirmed it with Gaugh before abruptly hanging up the phone, “Once the check is cut, he will give us a call and let us know what the check number is.”
Pasariello had been an AlertUSA customer for 5 years before Gaugh started researching the company, and learned the company’s businesses practices have earned it an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau in New York City.