By Mike Thayer
I've used Instacart for grocery shopping twice now.
The first time was a very bad experience which I did earlier this month, with the person who was doing the shopping for me either not very experienced or just didn't care about making proper substitutions for items I had ordered. That guy, Jesse was his name, just texted 'Item not available' while he was shopping, dropping things off my list. And that's the downside to using Instacart, once the shopping starts, you can't alter your order. I get that, but in this case, the dude shopping on my behalf was CLUELESS! I'm convinced that if he couldn't find it he said to himself, "Screw it", and didn't ask a Dillon's employee where to find something and he made no effort to substitute. I got 75% of what was on my list ordering 12 items and receiving 9, which had nothing extravagant on it, ground beef (received one pound out of two pounds ordered), two packages of pepperoni, Parmesan cheese, Kroger store brand pizza sauce (dropped by the shopper), Kroger lunch meats (ham dropped by the shopper) and a few other items. I paid nearly $50 for two bags of groceries, but received just 75% of what was on my original list. Part of that nearly $50 included $9.95 for the service and delivery to my home + a tip. I came away from that experience regretting the use of Instacart. Jesse the shopper sucked.
But hoping that original experience was an anomaly, I tried Instacart again on 3/23. I ordered 12 items and yes, received 12 items, with the only alteration to my order being a 5 pound bag of potatoes, switching brands for about the same price based on availability. I was alerted via text and I was OK with that. My shopper's name was Jennifer and she obviously knew what she was doing, she filled everything on my list. There were 12 items in my order totaling $35.58, plus the $9.95 delivery fee, plus the suggested $2.28 tip for a total of $47.81.
My second experience with Instacart was WAY better than the first, so the use of the service, good or bad does depend entirely on who is doing the shopping for you.
Regarding my first Instacart shopping experience, I did complain, but Instacart didn't respond. Dillon's did though, giving me a $20 credit on my next in store/pickup/or delivery order. Thank you Dillon's for caring about your customers. Instacart, you kind of get the finger here...
So after using Instacart twice now, I can only conclude it would be hit and miss, totally dependent on who is shopping on your behalf, their experience, their familiarity of the store and whether they really care about truly fulfilling your order or not. With that said and moving forward, I'm only going to use Instacart again if the weather is REALLY bad or for some unforeseen reason I just can't make it to the grocery store. Using Instacart is NOT worth the $9.95 + tip in my opinion and is NOT worthy of repeat use. I'm giving Instacart 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. In placing my order just after 2pm, I received my order at 3:45pm.