Continuing the discussion from HowTo: Install Kegbot Server on Digital Ocean:
(This reply is a bit rushed, so apologies in advance if I’m inarticulate.)
First and foremost, if you wish to return any store purchases, please contact [email protected] asap. I have never rejected a return, regardless of the official store policy. There has been a grand total of 1 to date – a number I’m particularly proud of.
Second, I’m sorry for the poor experience. You are coming up against an issue which I haven’t fully solved for: How to market and support Kegbot’s “off the shelf” hardware while still preserving the project’s open source, DIY nature.
Historically, Kegbotters have managed to work through rough edges by way of community support (here), and have even improved the project in the process. This is by no means to say you should accept a crappy experience, but merely that Kegbot users have, on the whole, seemed to favor a bit of hackability over a finished product.
When we starting selling and building hardware, it was primarily to accelerate builds and let folks focus on customizing the software. Everything about the project is opensource for this reason: just like homebrewing, it’s meant for the tinkerer.
Not everyone has the time, interest, or even ability to futz with things, which I fully recognize. What is offered today in terms of hardware is the result of trying to make something “just work” out of the box with a recommended config. And this is where, I think, things are falling short for you: something isn’t working, now what.
On this topic specifically, unfortunately, we sold out of kits before I could follow up.
If Kegbot was doing $3-10M/yr, you could bet we would have a dedicated customer support person (among many other things!) The reality is that it’s a low margin, low volume, niche hardware business. I’d be particularly interested in perspective running such a business. Every signal (and everyone) tells me its a bad business, but despite that it’s been rewarding to run, just to see others join this unique community and get their builds off the ground.
The radio silence of late is a result of competing “day job” priorities and loss of an important business partner; things have been in maintenance mode while I rethink what to do with the project as a whole. I’ll be posting more about this very soon, and I’m very open to suggestions, but in the meantime (and to avoid even the remote possibility of any more bad experiences), the store is closed for new orders.