Compare store receipt to Instacart charge
By Alaska TZ
I loved Instacart so much when I first tried it that I signed up for the annual delivery subscription to eliminate all delivery fees. Great $99 investment. I just pay a little extra to tip the driver through the app and I never have to visit the grocery store again… YEA!, However I did notice after a few months that the Store receipt was regularly 25$ - 30$ more than the Instacart total after correcting for adjustments and substitutions in the order. I called and spoke to customer service twice and confirmed that Instacart does not honor store prices and in fact sets their own to maximize profit. The original store receipt will always be included with your grocery delivery so make sure to check the total amount paid to the store and compare it with your final Instacart charge after substitutions and adjustments are made. For me the difference is about $200 per month, but we eat a lot of expensive organic produce. So just know that you’re paying $99 for the annual membership, but also for the inflated grocery prices. In my case since I pay my house cleaner $20 per hour it’s cheaper to have them do my shopping and the additional benefit to that is they can also enter my loyalty number at checkout so I can get my discounted fuel points directly from the store since in Alaska the Instacart drivers get the store points for the purchase.
I’ll still use it a pinch, but know it costs more than the annual fee and driver tips.
I’ve used this app over 10 times and the last time i refused to use it again. The service has always been great, loved all the shoppers. The last time they showed me the prices of the individual items and i was okay with it, they also showed me the delivery charge, the tax, the tip, and the service charge. Everything added up and i was fine with it. Everything i put in my cart was picked up by the shopper, there were no replacements or refunds or item changes. When the order was done the item prices magically went up so my purchase was $10+ over what i was expecting. Its never done that before and i didnt order anything special. I tried to email them and asked them why the prices mysteriously went up and they said it was service charge and i tried to tell them the service charge was already added in when i agreed on the prices. Email after email was the same reply, it was a service charge. They already add some service charges into the price if the item, thats why they’re higher online than in store then they add another service charge at the end. Which again i was fine with paying but then they charged me extra when they shouldn’t have and all i was getting was robot responses saying it was a service charge. I understand there might be some higher prices in the store but that doesn’t make every item price go up $1-$2 after you agreed to pay the price they told you.
This is such a great concept. I love that it gives you all the nearby supermarkets that work with Instacart so it’s easy to compare prices. I will not give it 5 starts due to 2 things. 1. Once you’ve placed your order, you have a few minutes to add any items you forgot, as long as you do it before the person begins shopping, the problem is, there is some kind of glitch with the app because 8/10 times it will not let me add anything; I’ve only successfully been able to do it maybe once, but most times, it just wont give me the option, even if the person hasn’t started shopping. 2. There is an extra $20 that is added to your overall total in case there needs to be a replacement for a more expensive item or in case you add something else in general, if none of your items were substituted or if you didnt add any items, your bank account will reflect the actual total that was given to you at checkout. My only pet peeve about this is, they tell you about the extra $20 in super tiny letters at the very bottom of the page, it just looks like general policy writing so imagine the surprise when you sign into your bank account and see an extra $20 dollars than the one you saw at checkout. I didnt catch this at all at first so be aware, whatever your balance is, add $20; but dont let this scare you, you will most likely not need those $20 so it will be back in your bank within a few days
Great service, one time issue only
By Bridgett 14
I love ordering from my phone. The cost of delivery and tip is worth me not having to leave house and put miles on my vehicle or deal with aggravation of crowded stores. The closest Publix is about 15 min away so I’m already committing to at least a 30 minute drive. I only had an issue one time - I ordered things for dinner (it was about 5ish). I should have ordered earlier but I didn’t know better. It was about 2 hours in and no one started working on my order. I called IC to see what their policy was and what the recourse was if my groceries didn’t come. The lady said “then it will just come tomorrow”. Which of course was unacceptable since it was dinner and I work for a living and wouldn’t be home. I ended up going myself and, as I was in Publix, someone started working on my order. My fault, I had forgotten to cancel it. I told them right away obviously through the messenger system. But, I’ll just always remember that ordering sooner is better. I wish there would have been a way for someone to say “no one is available for 2 hours, fend for yourself!” Keep in mind I live in a small city, mostly rural. I’m surprised we even have this service here. I love ordering groceries on lazy days!!! I also save some money from not going in the store and getting things I don’t need. Thanks IC!
Terrible customer service. First experience FAIL!
I had a TERRIBLE time dealing with instacart. My very first order said within 5 hours and my person picked it up within two, I was very pleased! But then he started swapping after I said not to or even when I requested specific things he didn’t even listen! Once check out was complete at around 2ish I DIDNT HEAR FROM MY PERSON FOR AN HOUR! I had icecream and milk. Once I messaged him about 50 minutes later, no response. Just finally got the notification for that he was on the way. So my driver had my milk and icecream out for over an hour! Of course it was completely melted. My milk was warm and I had some wrong items! The driver didn’t listen to put at the bottom step so all my eggs cracked! I’ve tried reaching out to customer service for over 3 weeks now. I sent them screenshots of mine and the persons conversation. Explained everything I could. NO RESPONSE! It’s now almost been a month and I have no response. No refund. Nothing. I email them about once every 5-7 days but still nothing besides an automated email saying they’re busy! I tried instacart because I was sick and have no transportation. I am so scared to even try it again. After this I don’t want to waste my money in melted, wrong, and cracked items!
If for some reason, you are unable to do your own shopping, this is an acceptable alternative. But the experience varies so much based on which shopper is randomly assigned. When an item is sold out, sone people have no common sense as to how to replace it. I’m a vegetarian, and Tokfurky Italian Vegan Sausages are often out of stock, and more than one shopper has tried to replace it with pork. And shoppers have sometimes shown up as much as an hour earlier than your scheduled time! What if someone is not home, or showering, etc? Being too early is just as bad as being too late. And when there is a 1 hour delivery window, it shouldn’t be an issue at all.
Also, you basically have to be available to approve/reject changes and live chat with shoppers in order to get what you want. So this options doesn’t work if you are actually busy and not, say, homesick. The general UX is bad too. When something is out of stock, you’re only allowed to choose from 2 possible replacements that often don’t make sense.
I basically use this when I am home sick, or in the middle of a project but still can check my phone often. If you can’t be right next to your phone during every order, avoid this app. I’m just using it until something better comes along. I like that I can shop at my local store, where I know the general stock and pricing. That’s the only thing that makes this better than Peapod or Fresh Direct.
Don’t do it.
I have ordered from this app three times because I cannot seem to learn from my mistakes. The first time I wasn’t so mad because there is a pandemic going on (I get it) and they cancelled my order 5 minutes before it was supposed to be delivered. The second time, I was a little more understanding because again, there is a pandemic going on, but I received the wrong order entirely! The lady left before I was able to get to the groceries to let her know. Then I couldn’t get ahold of anyone, the phone lines are disconnected and no one answered the chat, so I just had to hope she would get my comment on the rating. She then returned and yet again, gave me the wrong order, again. This time I was able to correct her. So I had to pull my phone out and prove to her what I ordered (surprisingly it was all in her car). The last time, and I mean the last finally time, I had my order being shopped for, then the shopper quit during the shop and I sat waiting all night to see if they were going to finish shopping, they didn’t. Then the next morning the new shopper only gave me half of my groceries and claimed I didn’t order the $80 worth of groceries I was charged for. Again, I couldn’t get ahold of anyone for a while, and with long anticipation was offered a credit to my account.............We’ll have to see if they refund my card because a credit to my account is not acceptable in this case. I highly suggest to stay clear of this service. Don’t use it.
Great app but BAD SHOPPERS
The app itself runs well. And in theory the idea is a great one. But unfortunately almost every single one of my shopping experiences through Instacart has been a bad one. Maybe it's just something about my area, but frankly the shoppers are awful. They are constantly purchasing the wrong items, running extremely late and making mistakes. And perhaps some may not appreciate this, but another issue is shoppers who are smokers- my groceries arrive drenched in the smell of cigarette smoke and even sometimes leaves a subtle cigarette flavor on certain items. No judgement whatsoever, truly, it is just very unpleasant to someone who does not smoke. I have only had one or two shoppers that really did a good job. **I wish Instacart would invent some way to favorite or request specific individual shoppers.** Especially because even when a shopper does a bad job, I feel pressured to still tip and rate them well because they may be the same person who accepts my order the next time and could, I dunno, spit in my salad or whatever. After thinking about it, is it really even safe? All these strangers coming to our homes? I dunno, I think more vetting needs to take place and some kind of choices need to be given to the consumer as far as WHO they want shipping for their produce and what not. Instacart is good, but it could be great with some tweaks and improvements. Until then, I do not intend to renew my membership.
Not sure how they’re operating business
Downloaded instacart so I could have my groceries delivered and after my first order was placed and I got the alerts the money had been drafted from my account I got an email that my account had been deactivated, orders cancelled, and money would be refunded due to “fraudulent activity”. I called customer service to figure out what was going on and the first woman couldn’t give me any answers other than it had been deactivated and I’d have to wait, spoke with a supervisor who continues to say about the same thing and eventually was able to inform me it looked like it had something to do with the delivery address. However he could not “access my account” to do anything about it.
My billing address and delivery address are different as I just moved states 6 days ago and still hold residence in a different state than I now currently live in. Even with this information he informed me he could not do anything. I asked for my instacart account to be canceled and now will have to use Shipt or my local grocery delivery as well as not having a delivery option for certain stores.
I understand the security issue, but the fact nobody could do anything about it? What happens if someone is on vacation, someone else’s house, has multiple residences? They can’t order food except to their billing address? I have multiple addresses I’d of been having deliveries go to throughout the year and it completely blows my mind nobody could do anything.
Great App, Needs Some Work
I loved this APP when I first downloaded it. It was easy to use and navigate and the service it offers is amazing to someone who works full time with a long commute to and from work. Sometimes you get home from work and you just don’t want to have to deal with hassle of shopping. Especially for an introvert.
However this APP’s functions and customer service has seriously declined in the last couple of months. Adding items to your order? Sorry, gotta catch it before the shopper starts shopping! Want to cancel your order? Ha! There’s no option to. Even with the available instructions that illusive ‘cancel’ button simply doesn’t exist. So what’s the next step? Calling customer service. Which gets you nowhere - just an endless wait with no response.
If the developers of this APP could fix these highly frustrating issues (and customer service was a little more on point) I’d give this service 5 stars. Because, otherwise, it’s a seriously awesome service! The shoppers are always great - kind, polite, and work with you to make sure you get what you need as quickly as they can. However, with the markups this service charges in order to keep the operation afloat I expect better Customer Service response times and an APP that doesn’t hide some seriously important functions from you, the user.