Instacart

Instacart

 2.6/5 (560 ratings)
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About Instacart

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.

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Pros

  • Order from many stores on one order
  • Direct contact with personal shopper
  • Flexible delivery options

Cons

  • Prices may be higher than in store

Bottom Line

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.

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:
  1. Enter your ZIP code to find out which local grocery stores partner with Instacart.
  2. Browse the different grocery stores and pharmacies to find the items you need. You can browse by item name or department.
  3. Add items to your cart and review your final selections.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
Replacements
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.

Instacart Express

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

Instacart prices

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.

Instacart FAQ

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.

Instacart Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 29, 2023

No matter how simple the question, it’s never answered. Either the staff doesn’t understands the question, or they go completely around it. Their systems internally are so broken, Regardless of the geographical location of the call center, they are one of the biggest Delivery Apps with employment across the map, so why is it so hard to have proper Chain of Commands.

I originally applied for Shopper in 2016 from one email, I did get denied… Fast forward 4-5 years later I Applied again with another Email, Now for the fun part, everytime I would try and log in to finish my onboarding it redirects me to a Deactivation Message and says to check my first main account emails for further information, this started In December 2021, I put a pause on onboarding because I started to work full time.

In August 2022 I started decided to resume my onboarding & the same message, still no emails, I then reach out to their ONLY shopper customer assistance in a Chat, since August to now I have spoke to 8 different Representatives based in Dubai, Each One of them told me they needed to forward my request to a “Higher Up” and to check my email within a few days, I HAVE RECEIVED NOT 1 EMAIL FROM THEM. At this point, now talking to my 8th person who “added in the chat” a person who stated was the “Higher Up” but yet still could not delete an account, nor merge anything together or start over, he went back to the Original excuse “Waitlisted” too many drivers in Vegas… SO I’m convinced this is a big Scam Company who takes people’s information to possibly use Identity Changes.

It is now 6 months with 8 Representatives who have not done ONE thing but make my headache worse, Even to Delete my Account so I can remake one they have to “send a request” to a “Higher Up”. DO BETTER INSTACART, the whole “WAITLIST” is a Lie, I asked to change my Zip code also to make it easier because they stated I was on a waitlist due to too many shoppers in LAS VEGAS area, but my Partner applied on January 1st and started Deliveries on January 16th, we live in the same household so how am I still on a “WAITLIST”

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Rated with 1 star
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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 25, 2023

These people took money from me for two memberships for 7 months off of my boyfriend's card and when I called and told them that they were charging me for two different membership fees all these nuts I got to run around and never could get a refund after 3 weeks of calling and talking and emailing and I tried everything and nobody would ever take care of it. If that's the way they have to get money then they don't need to be a company. Do not deal with these people.

5 people found this review helpful

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 24, 2023

    We ordered groceries online through a supermarket in Breckenridge, the order was to be delivered by Instacart between 4-6 pm. When there was no sign of the order by 6:30, we contacted the store who washed their hands of it, said we should have increased the tip. We got through to Instacart who said they could deliver by 9:30 pm. We no longer believed them. Although they cancelled the order and presumably will refund the order value, the whole experience cost us an additional $170, by the time we ordered takeaway for dinner, walked one mile to the grocery store, shopped ourselves, and caught an Uber home. Don't use Instacart!

    3 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 24, 2023

    Ordered $95 worth of groceries. Received $17 worth of groceries and was still charged the $95. Half the items I received were not even the items I ordered. After hours of disputing with customer service I was told I would receive a credit from Fry's the next time I physically shopped at fry's and was given a code to give at checkout. When I went to use it, Fry's employees had no clue what I was talking about and were not able to help me and I had to contact Instacart. Magically this order disappeared from my previous orders on my instacart account and they had no record of the order or the charge. This company needs to be shut down and investigated.

    4 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 23, 2023

    I couldn’t leave but we desperately needed bottled water. So I used Instacart and I just wanted one case of water. I log in and there is a minimum of $10 per purchase, I understand so I get two cases of water. The total of groceries was about $10, then after fees and tip it was about $20. The shopper has trouble finding my address and she texts me a couple of times through the app which I didn’t see until after. She called me very frustrated about how she can’t find it and I do my best to give her instructions and she found it after that. Then after she drops it off I open to app to make sure everything was okay and they charged me $32 and some change. When I open my receipt they charged me an extra $12.99 delivery fee that wasn’t on there before the order was dropped off. It was my first order and it said “free delivery for first time shoppers”. I spent $32 on a $10 worth of groceries. That’s nuts. And the shopper was impatient. 1/5, do not recommend.

    4 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 23, 2023

    Tried several times to have a good experience with Instacart but disappointed every time. Several times got credits because their delivery people couldn’t be bothered to enter a multiple apt building so my orders disappeared before I got a delivery notification instead of a call to meet them. Paid several delivery charges even though no deliveries. The absolute last straw was yesterday when I picked up my order and got charged a delivery fee. I contacted customer service through email because I was working and after four responses from them saying that it was a “temporary authorization hold charge” even after I sent a screenshot showing that it clearly said Delivery Fee & the amount which was different from the temporary authorization hold amount they still tried to gaslight me and tell me I wasn’t able to understand that term. Absolutely infuriating! After hours of back and forth I told them to delete my account and all of my data and said goodbye for good. Be very aware of any/all charges from this company. There are better services out there so I suggest dealing with anyone else.

    5 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 23, 2023

    Used Instacart for a grocery pickup. Contacted via phone, computer chat & email to let them know of 5 different items I was missing but still charged for. Said I would see a refund within 5 days....well after 5 days, no refund. Contacted them AGAIN and now it is too late for them to refund me. Will NEVER USE them AGAIN!!! Horrible communication and apparently they lie. Who likes to pay for groceries that they never received??

    5 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 23, 2023

    I received the complete wrong order when I ordered for Instacart. Baby food and vegan food. I do not have a child and I had ordered meat. Instead of providing me with a refund they are giving me a credit. Why would I want to use the service again when they could not even deliver a single item I requested the first time??? I called to get a refund and they tried to give me a runaround about it. I will be filing a claim with my credit card and the better business bureau. NOT WORTH IT AT ALL!

    4 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 22, 2023

    We used Instacart a few times but somehow our account is now LOCKED. We have an 800++ FICO. When trying to UNLOCK, Reset login requests fail, customer service assurances also don't help. Therefore, we simply deal with stores directly.

    2 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Jan. 22, 2023

    New got my groceries. Didn't have food in the house. I am blind as well. I was told delivered, never made it to my house. Will report to HEB corp office and BBB driver lied. Must have taken home instead of delivery to a blind person. Her name is Charlene. If in Aransas Pass TX and ordering from HEB hope you don't get her. Too lazy to call your number too.

    5 people found this review helpful
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    Instacart Company Information

    Company Name:
    Instacart
    Website:
    www.instacart.com