With regard to accuracy in orders and proactive communication I find it depends on the shopper. In one situation I placed multiple B1G1 order items from a store I shop frequently. The items were shown as B1G1 on the Instacart site for this shopping experience. However, I ordered only "one item" --- expecting the logic that most shoppers would make is to grab that other free item. However, only my one item was sent and my free item was "held back." When I contacted customer support via email they were wonderful but indicated that I "should have" requested two items instead of just the one. Satisfied with this reply, I chocked it up to "lesson learned" until I mentioned this experience to another Instacart user who said she has done this in the past ... order two items to make sure she gets her B1G1 and her shopper sent four items! So it seems to me there is no consistency with the shoppers.
Also on this most recent shop I requested the bread from the baker be pre sliced and did not receive the order as requested.
I think perhaps since the shoppers are contract workers, they are chosen without our input whatever, and they are also working to produce income .... the accuracy will struggle. When I place purchases on Etsy or Ebay ... if I have a bad experience it personally affects the person whereas here there is a tad more anonymity for the shopper and therefore perhaps some lack of responsibility. Maybe I shouldn't but I still tip really well because I understand the business side and try to assume the best of people. I suppose the tip and the rating within the Instacart system is a way to knock the shoppers but in my case I had one shopper and a DIFFERENT driver .... and only ONE place to give them a joint rating and tip.
I like the idea of the service and I find that the phone customer service reps try and come across as professional and good with customers.
But I was very disappointed to learn about the inconsistencies using the service.
I will likely only use in an emergency (like the person who needed it when she had the flu).