The InstaCart Shopping shopping service, while on the surface seems Ultra-Convenient, the reality is that the service sucks, and this is based on not just one or two orders, but on multiple orders over the course of about a year. The reality is, you are much better off with the stores that will allow you to place an order online, and then they will deliver, such as Walmart’s new move into the area, and Amazon’s limited exposure into that arena as well.
An InstaCart membership runs $9.99 per month, but they have an annual option as well. The idea, is that if you are a member, then you get “free” delivery. You still have to have a minimum $35.00 order for that order to qualify as free delivery, but there are other fees such as technology fees, then there are the employee benefit fees etc. We’re not going to go too deeply into those fees here, since this is a service that I DO NOT RECOMMEND. Depending on how much water/Soda/Juices you want, you may also get hit with a heavy order fee. So, since the law was passed in California regarding these types of services, the company does not pay for the employee benefits, you do, but then they want you to put out for a tip to the driver/shopper too.
Don’t get me wrong – these workers need and deserve those benefits, but the cost of such is passed on to you, the shopper, and should be paid by the company – these companies are making hundreds of millions of dollars every year for essentially providing an app. I get it. OK. BUT…. With Walmart, you get a similar deal as long as the order is minimum $35.00 and Amazon as well.
ANYWAY – I digress. I was dealing with the fees and such, but what I started really having a problem with, is the orders not being right. Shoppers substituting items when they were specifically told not to in the app. For instance, we drink Pepsi Products in our house. The store did not have the Pepsi products we ordered. The option was, that if they did not have the Pepsi, to delete the item from the list. When I got my order that day, it was loaded with Coke products. For my part, I put the order in at work on my break, so the stuff would be there when I got home. I apparently screwed up because a shopper couldn’t follow simple instructions.
I then began to follow the shopper as he/she did the shopping on the app (kind of craps on the reason to use the service to begin with, Huh?). I’ve had shoppers still try to substitute items on me though. For instance, I had ordered a 4 pound roast beef that would have been somewhere are twenty bucks – they didn’t have that, so I don’t know what other cut the guy tried to substitute for what I had originally wanted, but the replacement was going to be $59.00 +++ I about tripped on my chin when I immediately messaged him to put that back.
The largest problem I have been having most recently though, is missing items. about every 4 out of 6 orders, I can guarantee you something is going to be missing. The last time, it had to have been an entire bag missing as it was 5 items. Anyway, I will work on improving this review – this is a last minute category addition to my website and I am still working on a layout formula that works well. OVERALL, however, there are a few very good and savvy shoppers out there, but in the Riverside California area, it seems there are more bad shoppers than good and I simply cannot recommend continued use of Instacart without warning that it is not a matter of IF you will have a problem, but WHEN you will have a problem, and after that, how often you will have a problem.
John was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and has traveled extensively across the United States and abroad. He presently lives in California with his wife Marlene and their two dogs. His degree is in business management and communications. He has been writing web-based content for nearly 20 years for a number of different clients including such brands as GMC, loan.com, Cars Direct, Angie’s List, Family Handyman and many others.