Owners of a device designed to release pet food say their pets were hungry during a week-long system outage.
Petnet allows owners to plan and control feeding via a smartphone app.
When the Techsnow contacted Petnet at its advertised email address, the email bounced back with a failed delivery notice.
One pet owner tweeted, “My cat has been starving for more than a week,” while others have complained of other physical problems.
“My three Gen2 feeders are constantly freezing and not distributing food,” wrote another.
Some expressed their relief that the feeders are now back online.
PETNET Petnet has two Twitter accounts. The manager has not tweeted since August 30, 2019, but the support account sent four tweets between February 14 and February 21 about the problems encountered.
In his first tweet, he said that a “system crash” was affecting second-generation devices and asked customers not to turn off their device even if it appeared to be offline.
System Update: We are investigating a system outage that may affect customers using the SmartFeeder (2nd Gen). Scheduled automatic feeds will still dispense on at the desired time although SmartFeeders will appear offline. Sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause.
— Petnet Support (@petnetiosupport) February 14, 2020
He said the automatic feeds “would still be distributed”.
Four days later, he tweeted again to say that he hoped to “publish more information” soon.
On February 21, he said the smartfeeders were “going back online” and that a “system reset” was underway.
Some customers tweeting on the support account complained that they did not receive a response.
“Things will turn”
From Crunchbase, the American company Petnet has received funding of 14.9 million dollars (11.5 million pounds sterling) since its creation in December 2012.
The device is sold for 222 pounds sterling on the Amazon market in the United Kingdom.
Almost 60% of the 554 customer reviews left on the American site gave the device one or two stars.
“As we move toward a more automated home, you have to recognize that somewhere along the line, things will turn upside down,” said Stuart Miles, founder of the Pocket-Lint tech site.
“Robots and automated systems have hiccups along the way, that’s something we have to get used to.”