This company is not yet accredited. See reviews below to learn more or submit your own review.
Instacart is a grocery delivery service that allows customers to shop one app and get access to multiple stores. Users can submit a grocery order online or through the app and have groceries delivered straight to their door for a one-time or monthly fee.
Instacart has changed the way people go grocery shopping. It allows for customization and flexible scheduling options. The membership option helps reduce fees for regular users.
- Order from many stores on one order
- Direct contact with personal shopper
- Flexible delivery options
- Prices may be higher than in store
How does Instacart work?
Instacart hires background-checked and trained personal shoppers to handle your grocery shopping. All you have to do is put a list together, schedule your delivery, pay online and receive your order. Here’s how it works:
- Put your list together
- Creating a grocery list on Instacart is simple:
- Enter your ZIP code to find out which local grocery stores partner with Instacart.
- Browse the different grocery stores and pharmacies to find the items you need. You can browse by item name or department.
- Add items to your cart and review your final selections.
- Check out by entering your payment info and scheduling a drop-off window. If you are ordering from multiple stores, you need to designate a drop-off time for each location.
- You also have the option of sharing a cart with friends or family. This is a great way for families to add what they need to a single cart, but payments can’t be split up.
- If your shopper gets to the store and an item on your list is not available, they replace it with the product’s closest match, replace it with something different from a list of approved items or skip getting the item altogether. You can choose which option you prefer when creating your grocery list.
If the replacement item is a different price than your original item, you receive a refund or are charged for the difference in cost. The Instacart app lets you communicate with your shopper during the process so you can add things to your order and see replies and updates from the shopper.
- Schedule the drop-off
- Once you create your list and complete your order, it’s time to pay and schedule a delivery. You can schedule the delivery within a few hours or set a day and time that works with your schedule.
During checkout, you can include delivery instructions for the driver, including gate codes, apartment numbers, parking instructions or ways for the shopper to identify your home.
- Track the order and receive your groceries
- It’s easy to track your order status with the Instacart app. Tap the “Account” icon, click on “Your orders,” and then tap an order to view its status. You can see the progress of your order directly on the app and get real-time updates on what items the shopper has already picked up for you.
When the shopper leaves the store, you receive a notification about the estimated time of arrival and an option to click and follow the driver’s progress.
It’s worth looking into Instacart Express if you use the company’s service regularly. This monthly membership gives you access to exclusive benefits such as:
- No delivery fees on orders of $35 or more
- Reduced service fees
- No increased pricing fees during peak delivery hours
- The ability to shop at a variety of stores with free delivery on the entire order
While Instacart makes life a little easier for many consumers, this convenience comes with a cost. Instacart charges a few fees to every order, including:
- A 5% service fee on every non-Instacart Express order.
- A sliding scale fee for alcohol purchases that varies based on how much alcohol you buy. For example, there is a $2 fee for alcohol orders up to $35 and a $10 fee for alcohol orders of $110 or more. These fees are reduced for Express members.
- A default tip of 5% is added to every order but can be adjusted to your preference. Tips are always optional, and 100% of your tip goes to the shopper.
You may notice that your service fee changes between the time you make your order and the time your groceries are purchased. This is because the service fee is based on the total cost of the order and replacements can change that total slightly.
An Instacart Express annual membership costs $99. You can also purchase monthly memberships for $9.99 each month.
- Do you have to be home for Instacart delivery?
- No. Instacart just rolled out a “leave at my door” delivery option. When you choose this option at checkout, the shopper leaves your groceries at the door, takes a photo and uploads the photo to the app so you know your order has arrived.
- Does Instacart bring your groceries inside?
- No. For safety reasons, shoppers leave your groceries in a predetermined place outside of your home.
- Do you tip Instacart?
- Yes. Tipping for great service is customary, and 100% of the tip goes to the shopper.
- What stores can I order from on Instacart?
- Available stores vary based on where you live. Instacart partners with Publix, Costco, CVS, The Fresh Market, Aldi, Kroger and many other popular grocery retailers.
Is Instacart legit?
Instacart is a reputable business that provides a safe, convenient way to buy groceries without needing to visit stores. The service can be a game-changer for busy families — grocery shopping is a time-consuming errand, and having the ability to assign it to someone else frees up hours in your day. Instacart is a great option for those who dislike grocery shopping or want to spend their time doing something else. The fees are minimal, and regular Instacart members can upgrade to Instacart Express and reduce these fees even more.
A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.
- 2,737,259 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
I started using Instacart shortly after the pandemic started (about April 2020). I read the pricing policy as directed by them when I pointed out the glaring difference between their receipt and the paper receipt. Essentially what they're telling me is that an Instacart shopper can use a Plus Card from Kroger and get the discounts, but I can't. This I already knew from previous experience.
My question is, when they're ripping me off for, in this case, the $19.45 difference between the Instacart receipt and the paper receipt, who is pocketing that money? I mean, with all of the other fees and tips out of me - which apparently aren't ripping me off enough, where does THIS money go? Believe me, now that I KNOW they are ripping me off like this, in a time where deciding to eat or pay the rent is in question, it may be a cold day in hell before I use the service again. I am seriously distressed by this and I intend, wherever and whenever possible, to leave reviews regarding this and for the buyers to beware of what is really going on out there. This is reprehensible.
I don’t even want to give 1 star. I don’t even want to give 1 star. It took multiple emails to get a refund on two items. At first they would only offer a credit. They pocketed the tax which is based on a percentage spent, they did not reduce the tip (which is a percentage of the total so obviously that should have decreased) and their service fee which is always 5% of what I’ve spent on past orders. They tried to explain what the service fee was for which doesn’t matter when it’s computed on a percentage of the total purchased. They lied and said the tax was refunded so, I did the math for them and they still maintained it was refunded. I’ll be reporting that to the appropriate entity. They refused to refund a mere $5.14 and opted to lose a customer that has been loyal throughout the pandemic spending almost 600.00 (which is a drop in the bucket for them but a ton of money for me). I’ll move onto a different service.
Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.
I have used InstaCart a number of times since signing up two or three months ago. The experience has been a mixed bag, but good enough and convenient enough that I have stayed with it. Until now. PROS: Generally workable website; efficient and timely shoppers; unfailingly polite online customer service with mostly good follow-through (until now). When there has been an issue with the shopper's product selection, I have considered it a part of my own learning curve to explain more explicitly in my order what I do and do not want, regarding both products and prices. And the one time a shopper ignored my "do not substitute" instruction, InstaCart was more than fair in refunding me.
CONS: (1) Lots of mostly minor issues with the website experience, but the number and variety suggest a site still in beta test status and a company expecting unannounced and uncompensated beta test services from customers who encounter these issues. I was very surprised to learn later they have been in business at least a couple of years and don't yet have these things worked out. (2) Shortly after allowing my Express arrangement to lapse I received an offer for 2 months free Express when signing up for it with a MasterCard (had been using Visa). Went through the sign-up and received an on-line confirmation--but somehow the account did not get set up.
Have now been through more than a dozen on-line communications with "customer service" and am getting nothing but an ever-so-polite runaround, basically having general policies of various sorts quoted at me rather than any attempt to address the issue itself. From the types of responses and the unusual names of many of the reps, it appears the nightmare of off-shored customer service is not yet over. If anyone at InstaCart--other than another "customer service" rep--is reading this, what is needed to make this even partly right is for you to honor the MasterCard offer.
I shopped at Instacart once. I ordered 4 cases of essentia water. When the shopper got to Costco he said they did not have essentia and therefore I opted for Fiji. When I received the order I got 4 cases of essentia. The bill was 202.00. I immediately called Instacart and they said they refunded me 92.81. I went to my bank today and they never refunded me. I filed a case in small claims court.
I used them for the first time in early December 2020 for a $28 order. It worked out just fine, but I missed seeing people and getting out, so that was the only time. Then, on December 23, 2020 my card was charged $99 by instacart. No number to call, no way to contact them. I live on my Social Security and it is Christmas time! I admit, I was really angry. I called my credit union, they had to cancel my debit card and send me a new one and then refunded the $99 to me immediately while they go after Instacart. USAA is a first class Credit Union. Instacart had better get their act together.
I completed an order with Instacart online for items from Stop and Shop. After receiving the items, the receipt from the store indicated that the amount was $128. However, I was billed $152 from Instacart before the tip or fees. When I spoke with an Instacart associate, they indicated that their price is different from the retailer. This is deceptive and should be illegal. If the item is on sale in the store, I should get the sale price and not overpay by $24. I understand the fee and tip for the service but do not understand or appreciate the price differential.
A man was able to pose as a woman named “Barbara”. He was able to accept my delivery order, have access to my card, and he pretended to shop for my groceries. I say pretend because somehow, he shopped a large order in under 10 minutes, got all items no substitutions, and added $150 to my order under an item called “Prim”. He then checked out and delivery was pending. When I seen my $250 order was now over $400 I reached out to him and he switched my delivery to delivered.
I called Instacart, and at first they wanted to tell him to return the “prim” and bring me my groceries. I told them he doesn’t have them, he faked the whole thing, and he’s just straight up stealing $400. I also told them I would never be ok with this man coming to my home, and I wanted a full refund. They eventually cancelled my order and black listed him, but my refund won’t show up for 5-10 days. That’s all the money I had and now I’m broke with no groceries. Let me repeat: a man posed as a woman and pretended to shop, added $150 in items I didn’t request, and then when I asked him what the charge was for, he switched my order to “delivered” and made off with $400 of my money, which won’t be refunded for 5-10 days.
Member for 1 year, 100 % of my orders had correct order and correct replacement. Not charged for higher priced items by shopper. I prefer to say no replacement to avoid back and forth correspondence. Cons: Never get sales prices. Min. of 2$ EACH item more than price in store. $50 in store is 80 Instacart. I sometimes have to take the hit $. But the shoppers in Alsip IL area are GREAT. I don't want to give shoppers in my area a bad reputation. When I needed it they came through. Also I tip really well.
I ordered from a small local grocery store. The shopper said there was only one turkey breast left. He sent me picture of it. I got charged for 3 different breasts. None the prices were the same as the price on the breast I received. I had several items missing. Replacements were done with more expensive items when I asked for them to not be replaced at all. I was given a credit for those items. However the next time I placed an order the order went through using my credit and put over $130 of my money on hold at the bank. Then the order got cancelled within a few seconds.
When I tried to go back to my account it said my account had been deactivated. I called. They claimed my card had been used by another email account. But this is the same card I used the week before without a problem. When they finally reactivated my account my $63 in credit was gone. I emailed back and received no response. I called and they said I used some of it on the cancelled order so they could only give me $35. So I lost money, have money on freeze at the bank and had a shady shopper.
Sneaky & misleading "promotions" encountered today over Thanksgiving. Untrained CSRs - all in S Africa and the Philippines - there no option for N American CSRs, and you are likely to WAIT ON HOLD AN HOUR as I did today if you try to escalate even a simple question. Buggy & untested software - you MUST check their arithmetic...See their litigation history elsewhere on the net... AVOID trying to use any large promotions >$15. Forget about customer service, since there are NO native-english-speakers, and their accents are VERY difficult...The management is practically begging for more-professional competition!
Instacart Company Information
- Company Name:
You’re signed up
We’ll start sending you the news you need delivered straight to you. We value your privacy. Unsubscribe easily.