In our previous episode [soylentnews.org] Petnet's IoT "smart" pet feeders, were not feeding the pets while owners were away.
Now ArsTechnica reports:
After prolonged service outage, Petnet shuts down, citing coronavirus [arstechnica.com]
The COVID-19 crisis may just be the last nail in the coffin for the company.
Cloud-connected, "smart" automated pet-feeder system Petnet has had a rough spring. The service not only went offline in February, but all its customer service vanished, too, leaving users in the dark until the company apologized and pushed a patch more than a week later. The service briefly returned for some users but fell off again in March. Now, after weeks of silence, the company is blaming COVID-19 for driving it offline for good—even though its problems started weeks or months before the novel coronavirus became a significant concern.
Several Petnet customers began reaching out to Ars during the second and third weeks of April to report that, once again, not only were their feeders not working, but also they couldn't reach anyone at Petnet about it. Everyone's feeders didn't go offline at the same time but seemed to fail in slow sequence over the period between March 26 and April 13.
The company emailed its customers on March 26, blaming the novel coronavirus for outages and delays. The message, titled, "Petnet: Impact of COVID-19," read:
Dear Petnet Customers,
The purpose of this outreach is to let you know how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting Petnet operations and your SmartFeeder usage. We work with a wide range of vendors, from other start up companies to well known establishments, to help provide convenience through a series of connected services.
One of our third party vendors has notified us that due to COVID-19 their operations are experiencing an adverse effect. We will monitor this situation closely and provide you with any updates as they arise.
Our service center is experiencing higher than normal ticket volumes, so our response time may take longer than usual. Thank you for your patience and for your understanding during this challenging time.
The Petnet Team
Googling also found this [twitter.com] on Twitter:
System Update: We are still experiencing SmartFeeder connection downtime due to an ongoing service disruption that is currently being investigated. This service disruption can prohibit users from connecting / reconnect to wifi, as well as completing remote feeds from the app.
Don't worry doggie, the service center is experiencing higher than normal ticket volumes, so their response may take longer than usual. Thank you for your patience and for your understanding during this challenging time.