Earlier this month, Petnet informed customers it was investigating a system outage that affected its second-generation SmartFeeders.
Backed by Amazon, Petco and many others, Petnet is a start-up that has developed automatic feeders for cats and dogs, which can be controlled remotely via a mobile app.
Meals can be scheduled at specific times or released to pets whenever an owner decides, with the smart feeder choosing the right portion size for each unique animal, based on their activity, age and weight.
The system is advertised as a convenient solution for pet owners who are on holidays, work long hours or have an unpredictable schedule. However, earlier this month, Petnet suffered a week-long system outage, which left some pets unfed.
Taking to Twitter on 14 February, Petnet informed customers that it was investigating a system outage, which primarily affected the second generation of its SmartFeeders.
This issue caused feeders to appear offline, and while Petnet insisted that the feeders were still able to dispense food on schedule, some customers claimed that this was not the case.
According to TechCrunch, users complained that their pets were not being fed on schedule, or at all. One user said: “Any updates on the ‘offline’ issue? It took me a day to realise my cats weren’t getting fed. I’m not impressed. It’s been three days and no updates. This is not a cheap feeder.”
Others said that their cats were not being fed at the scheduled times, while one Twitter user suggested that the portion sizes had been affected by the outage.
There is a still a outage and there is no information. Now my cat is no longer being fed at the times have set up. What is going on!
— Mel C (@obnoxiouslaugh) February 16, 2020
My Gen 2 is still offline. The regular feeding schedule has not been followed and the device won’t do anything but use the manual feed button. Even then, it seems to not dispense as much food as it should…
— Jayson Cox (@coxj241) February 15, 2020
Where’s my food. It’s been days since I was able to eat w @petnetiosupport @AmazonHelp no customer Srvc available. Shame on amazon for funding this co on @amazonlaunchpad pic.twitter.com/su9g0bGVkg
— Eric Fishon (@eman1061) February 16, 2020
Btw, the machine is NOT dispensing feedings as scheduled. It’s being erratic. Have you guys just closed shop?
— Lpr (@StupidMegaphone) February 15, 2020
On 22 February, Petnet said: “SmartFeeders are returning online. There will be a system reset to help stabilise your SmartFeeder’s app functionality. We will promptly update you once this has been completed. Scheduled automatic feeds should still dispense on time.
“SmartFeeders and app functionality have been restored. If you see a red ring, please power cycle your SmartFeeder by turning it off and on from the power switch.”
TechCrunch could not contact Petnet for comment.
According to Crunchbase, Petnet has raised a total of $14.9m since it was founded in 2012.