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We know what you’re thinking, but no, Instacart isn't an app filled with aesthetic grocery pictures. It’s even better. Instacart hires someone to shop for your groceries and deliver them to you, no matter where you are, just like that. On it's website, there is an Instacart locator in which you put in the zip code for your delivery. This locator will tell you if Instacart delivers in your area. There is also a list of cities and states showing where Instacart delivers. You can use the app or site to order groceries delivered to your door. Or you can work as a shopper for Instacart, becoming the delivery person yourself.
Bang for Your Buck Score:2/3
Instacart offers a free two-week trial so you can test out the services, and a yearlong subscription costs $149. The subscription means you get free delivery when your order is over $35. Otherwise, it’s $5.99.
A customer service representative at Instacart, Jeral, stated: “At the moment, prorated refund is currently not available. Please note that once you have used your subscription, Instacart is unable to refund your membership for the current period. Until the end of the subscription period, your membership will stay active. If in case this happens, feel free to continue enjoying your unlimited free delivery benefits until the end of the subscription.”
There is a service fee added to each order. However, you have the option to change this service fee and tip your delivery person directly while checking out. Or you can tip the person at the door–or not at all. After speaking to a very helpful customer service representative, we were informed that there is a service fee on every order, unless you’re an Express member–this isn’t a tip. This also doesn’t go to your delivery driver. If you would like to add a tip for your driver, they’ll receive the full amount you select. You can enter a tip when you place an order, tip your shopper in cash, or update your tip through your emailed receipt up to three days after delivery.
It’s also important to note that certain grocery stores will mark up items, making your grocery purchase a little more expensive than if you did it yourself, even before you tip. But if you take into account the amount you save on gas, impulse buying, and even time, it may be worth it.
Ease of Use Score:2/3
Instacart is extremely easy to use both on the website and on the app. You choose a store, add the items you want to your cart, and check out.
This app was designed to make your life easier, and it does just that with a simple layout that allows you to browse food categories and stores, and even find coupons for the best deals. You can also give special instructions to your shopper if you’re particular about certain items, like how you want your fruits and vegetables.
The customer service representative also provided some insight in special instructions. If there’s a specific type, brand, or other detail you’d like to share about an item in an order, you can leave a note for your shopper. Some examples of notes you can leave: organic only, no produce bag needed, or food allergies.
Instacart is the primary delivery service used by Whole Foods, CVS Pharmacy, Fairway Market, and some other major stores. With over 150,000 reviews on the Apple App Store and a score of 4.8 out of 5, Instacart is an extremely popular site with a solid reputation.
Instacart is not rated by the Better Business Bureau.
Some of the shoppers complained of “slow days,” when they didn’t receive any jobs, but this seems to be a common problem for anyone working for a side hustle app like Instacart, especially in a less populated area. According to information on Glassdoor, in-store shoppers can earn up to $14 per hour while hourly drivers can earn $11 or so an hour.
One concern that many customers have is that their shopper might mess up their order. However, with the instant chat feature, your shopper can communicate with you while doing your shopping. If an item needs to be substituted, the shopper will give you options so you can choose. If an item is incorrect, Instacart will credit your account for that item. And if an item is missing, you won’t be charged for it.
Customer Service Score:2/3
The site and app both have separate “Contact Us” and “Help Center” pages. The “Help Center” page says that they respond within two working hours and when we sent a request, Instacart did indeed respond within two working hours.
Instacart also has a dedicated phone number and an email address to help answer any queries. Plus, the company is extremely active on Twitter, where representatives respond to customers.
With a plethora of new grocery delivery services out there, Instacart has proved it’s one of the most reliable and one of the most reasonably priced players in the game. With a fast communication feature that keeps you in control of your shopper, you can get your groceries delivered to you as you want them without leaving your home.