Home > Retail Experiences, Shopping > Instacart Review

Instacart Review

April 1st, 2020

Joe and I have never used Instacart before, but decided to try it out since between my current health issues and his asthma we’re considered “at risk” (I realize we all are to varying degrees) with this whole Coronavirus debacle (or Covid-19 if you prefer).

The order was placed last week to be delivered this past Tuesday. I like how you can keep adding items to the order until it is fulfilled. Ours kept growing each day as we thought of other things we wanted/needed. We figured we might as well maximize the opportunity to stock up so we don’t have to shop as often.

One thing I didn’t realize until Monday night was that everything defaults to “replace with best match” in case something is out of stock, so I spent time going through each individual item, marking most of them as do not replace.

Over the weekend I read that Instacart workers were going to strike on Monday so we weren’t even sure if our order was going to be completed or not. However, around noon yesterday I got a notification that our order was being shopped (at Aldi, the store we chose since it carries the majority of items we needed).

I was strangely thrilled “watching” the shopper pick out our groceries live on the Instacart website. This qualifies as entertainment these days, I guess.

There were a couple of hiccups, as noted below:

1) The shopper put every canned item (plus some other stuff) in a single bag which made it very heavy. At least one can is dented. Everything was organized and grouped by type, however. Plus she made sure the bread and candy were on top and not crushed.

2) We ordered one cucumber and one zucchini. We got one cucumber and a bag of mini cucumbers. No zucchini. I’ve actually mistaken the two before when not paying attention, so it’s an understandable mistake. I just have no idea what I’m going to do with more cucumber than we need, though.

3) We ordered Aldi’s version of Cinnamon Life but it was out of stock. I marked regular Life as a suitable replacement, but the shopper suggested some type of cereal with berries in it. We didn’t want that, so I tried to just cancel the item altogether but the website wasn’t letting me. I messaged her and asked her to just skip it. She then sent me a picture of the cereal aisle stating she got what I wanted. I couldn’t make the photo on the website any larger to verify, but I took her word for it and said ok. What she actually gave us was Aldi’s version of Rice Chex. Not sure how she confused the items, but we can make due. Also, I learned the Instacart app will let you enlarge photos; now I know for next time (since looking at the photo closer I can tell the shelf didn’t have the cereal she said it did).

4) She wanted to replace a bag of frozen green beans with peas. I hate peas so I requested a refund instead, and since she was in store at the time, she just didn’t buy them. This illustrates my point about not liking the best match option. Had I not caught that I would be stuck with gross peas. I guess I just assumed she’d pick a different green bean, not a whole different vegetable.

5) The delivery window on the order said 2-3 pm but she dropped off our groceries just after 1 pm. Again, no big deal, just noting the difference.

6) I put in the delivery instructions to text me when dropping off the food (to maintain social distancing), but she knocked on the door twice. Turns out she was just doing it to let us know the food was there, but it made me think she was waiting to speak to us, so I ended up opening the door just as she was leaving. We just waved to one another so no big deal.

I pointed out some of the mistakes made (the dented can, no zucchini, and cereal replacement issue) on the website in order to help the shopper with future orders, but still gave her a high rating and tip as I wasn’t looking to punish her. I didn’t request any refunds and labeled my notes as merely helpful feedback. Hopefully she understands my intent when she reads the comments. I also thanked her for her service.

Overall we’re still pretty satisfied given the circumstances. We’d obviously prefer to do our own shopping to maintain control and save money since after Instacart’s markup, delivery fee, service fees, and tip, we paid $30 more than we would have otherwise. Right now it’s worth $30 to minimize our risk of getting sick, though. In normal circumstances, however, I wouldn’t bother with Instacart. It has it’s place, but for able-bodied frugal people such as ourselves, it’s normally not worth the markup.

Categories: Retail Experiences, Shopping Tags:
Comments are closed.