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instacart is not cheap. they regularly mark-up prices. i have received boars head turkey slices with the store deli label on it for $9 and instacart charged me $13.49. thinking it was a mistake, their customer service confirmed it was business as usual. spice mark-ups are often even more.
Given that I've had negative interactions with two employees of theirs now in the space of a week, I felt I needed to speak up. The most recent was yesterday afternoon at the Whole Foods in Potrero Hill. While grabbing bananas from the produce section, I ran into a woman blocking a narrow isle with her cart and talking on her phone. When I said "Excuse me" she glanced at me out of the corner of her eye, then proceeded to look away and ignore me as if she hadn't heard. A few minutes later I went to check out in the express lane with my bananas, and box from the salad bar and encountered the same woman again. She tried to push past me with about 20 different items in her cart, which I put a stop to, but rolled her eyes and ignored me when I pointed out the sign that said "8 Items or less". When she got to the next cashier, who politely scanned her goods despite the overloaded cart, I clearly overheard her tell them she was with Instacart.
While the Google Shopping employees I've encountered have always been upbeat and polite, Instacart's employees are as ignorant of proper etiquette when interacting with other shoppers, as Uber drivers are of the rules of the road!
The reason for the "incompetent" service is that Instacart exploits it's workforce and as a former member of said workforce, I can tell you in all honesty that many of us have lost respect for this company. It's focus is on the bottom line for THEM and there is little to no culture of respect for either the workers or the customers. They are the epitome of our current narcissistic culture which puts personal and monetary gain above quality and human values.
Yes if you can afford it, it's convenient but know that there is little integrity in this organization.
So, I had my first Instacart experience here in Atlanta recently and I'm a bit ticked off.
Now, I know that they have got to make money off more than the delivery fee, so I expect that there is a margin built into the prices I see online. But when I agree to pay $6.99 for a pound of ground beef, and the beef comes marked with a "special price" of $4.99, I send Customer Service a note asking if they are really pocketing the difference, or are going to credit me.
Their rep comes back and says that they can't offer credits for sale prices, so they just made at least a 40% markup on that item. At the end of the day, I know I'm paying for convenience. But that seems a little rich. How many items, without a price marked on them, did I also just get jacked on?
Also, I'm guessing that Instacart pockets the loyalty rewards and discounts from my local Kroger, and that they are somehow getting some of the back-end from the store as well.
Will I use them again? Sparingly, and only in a pinch. Can I wait for Amazon to enter my market? Nope - the sooner the better.
What seems to have started as a great service has become a nightmare. There shoppers here in Chicago have become increasingly lazy and, well, incompetent. They replace items with anything they think might be close (despite requests for specific replacements); ask for a pound of ham or cheese or anything from the deli and you will probably get some other weight--sometimes 2 pounds; sometimes a quarter of a pound.
When you complain about the service they make false promises of a "free delivery on your next order." SAVE THAT E-MAIL, because when you place your next order they will not only charge you the delivery fee, but then deny they ever told you you were entitled to a free order.
I want to give Instacart a good review, because when it works it's a great service.
However, I wouldn't recommend giving them your business. I tried to place an order, there was an error with Instacart's site, and I got message telling me my payment had failed.
The charge still posted to my bank account. Never got groceries, never got as far as confirmation screen. Just gave Instacart $176.56 for nothing.
This was three days ago. There is no listed phone number to contact any kind of support for Instacart (go ahead, look for it), only an email address.
In three days, I have only gotten platitudes and put-offs from the customer service reps who answer that email address who seem unwilling or unable to understand the problem and assurances that "they understand my frustrations."
In the meantime, not only do I not have my groceries, I am also missing the money entirely until they get around to canceling the charge, so I can't use it to buy groceries elsewhere.
Great idea completely ruined by poorly tested software.
Careful using Instacart: it seems like their products are the same price as in the store and then you just pay them for shipping, but it's not always true. I wanted to buy something at Trader Joe's, and I noticed the price seemed a bit high so I decided to call the local store. The local store was 20%+ less. I was planning on buy 10 items, so that would have been an extra $15 I would have had to pay on top of their shipping cost. Instacart is a good idea but I think they should be clearer about their pricing.
Instacart gives you awesome and cheap grocery delivery from major supermarkets. I don't have a car so picking up heavy things like olive oil and bags of potatoes can be a real pain. But with Instacart, if you spend over $35 it's only $3.99 for delivery in under two hours during regular store business hours. And you can get it even faster for more money (I've never done this though). I don't think it's available in every city yet, but if it's available in your city, I'd definitely give it a try.
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