Dear Particle team,
First of all, you have a pretty cool product and make a great impression as a company.
Your documentation is overall pretty good and makes it very easy for beginners to start.
To sum it up, we were very excited to start with your products and had a great user experience in the beginning.
However, the last two months were very frustrating for us since we ran into major Wi-Fi issues with the photon.
We spend an unpleasant amount of time and money dealing with a problem that shouldn’t occur and was delaying our progress significantly.
To make it short nearly all the photons we bought have some kind of major Wi-Fi problem, mostly regarding significant drops in range and the complete absence of reliability.
Some of them couldn’t connect to an iPad or notebook for setup.
Some of them had very bad Wi-Fi range out of the box (5m -7m line of sight) and the most frustrating ones showed these kind of drops only after one or two weeks operating.
These problems make it almost impossible for us to properly develop a product.
We must check every day if another photon failed or not, fix something and we have additional problems with our cloud and data handling, where everything is done via device ID and is a lot of unnecessary work, if you to have to replace failed photons over and over.
And the worst of all, we can’t test our product with users with these kinds of problems.
Regarding any details about the problem or how we tried to fix it, we already sent you several mails. For the external readers: We bought external antennas, they helped for a short amount of time, but the problem happened all over again after one week working. We investigated power supply problems. To check this, we tested the Sparkfun Power Shield and the Particle Power Shield. Didn’t change much. We checked the hardware for damages, tested it without any enclosure and with different Wi-Fi networks in different locations. To make it short we followed all the advice Rick (great support from him!!!) gave us but sadly nothing solved the problem.
Until then we were just frustrated, but confident, that we could solve the problem together with you. We understood it might take some time to find a solution and we thought this was just a minor software/firmware problem occurring with us. Again, customer support was (Rick) great.
Unfortunately, the support couldn’t help us and said problems are bigger and beyond their scope. This was also our impression, since over 10+ photons from several loads we bought meanwhile showed these problems.
This was a big bummer and destroyed a lot of confidence in your product and its reliability.
But most disappointing was the lack of response from Particle.
We are customers with an immense problem with a core function of your product where to cite your General Manger your “platform usually shines” and we should “reach out to [your] Customer Support team” if we have any problems with it. https://community.particle.io/t/the-most-frustrating-dev-board-ever/30183/3 @will
However, from the point, when it was clear that the problem was bigger, none of your engineers showed interested in this problem or contacted us or anyone else from Particle replied to us, although we offered you to send some of the problematic photons for further investigation by your engineers and told you that we need a solution urgently.
Hopefully, this public statement gets your attention, in order to help us with this problem.
We would very much appreciate an answer and support from your engineers to solve this so we can continue our product development and use your otherwise great platform.