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System Outage Sees Pets ‘Go Hungry’ as Petnet’s SmartFeeder Fails

Dominique Adams

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Petnet SmartFeeder

Customers said that their devices had stopped dispensing food or were not dispensing it on schedule.

Customers say their pets were left without food for a week when their Petnet SmartFeeders went offline during a system outage.

After a week-long outage, Petnet devices are now back online; however, customers are still waiting on answers from the company. Petnet is a smart feeder that allows its owners to schedule and control their pets’ feeding via a smartphone app.

The outage seems to have only affected the company’s second-generation feeders. The device, which is sold on Amazon UK for £222, has received a one or two star rating from nearly 60% of its 554 customer reviews.

Over the weekend, the startup’s customer service took to twitter to say that its SmartFeeders’ and app’s functionality were back online.

Petnet first announced it was investigating an outage on the 14th of February, but said the feeders were still able to dispense food on schedule even though they appeared offline.

Customers tweeted the company saying that their devices had also stopped dispensing food or were not dispensing it on schedule.

On the 19th of February, the company said it was “working closely with our third-party service provider in regards to the outage”. Shortly after on the 22nd of February, the firm announced that the SmartFeeders were back online.

During this period, device owners took to social media to vent their frustration over the lack of communication from the company.

When both TechCrunch and the BBC contacted the company’s support email and CEO Carlos Herrera, the messages bounced back. Messages sent to the @petetiosupport Twitter account were not replied to.

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Petnet experienced a similar outage last month. Since being founded in 2012, Petnet.io has raised $14.9 million (£11.5m), including a Series A led by Petco.

In a statement sent to TechCrunch over the weekend before Petnet said the outage was resolved, a Petco representative said: “Petco is a minor and passive investor in Petnet, but we do not have any involvement in the company’s operations nor insight into the system outage they are currently experiencing”.

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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