Discover, short stories, Uncategorized

Fired From Instacart….How Sway?

Like Craig.

I got fired on my day off for “stealing” groceries.

But first.

If you aren’t aware, Instacart is a grocery deliver service app that guarantees same-day delivery. As a customer, you can simply download the app, register as a customer and literally begin online grocery shopping just like you’d do with any other online purchases. The stores that Instacart is partnered with are provided for you. You can chat with your personal shopper and request substitutes and refunds if your items are not available. Once your groceries are purchased, your shopper delivers the items to your doorstep. The process is similar to become a shopper. You simply download the app, register and wait for your lanyard and Instacart Visa card to arrive in the mail before you can begin shopping. Once the shopping is done, simply deliver to the customer.

At the peak of COVID-19, I lost both my full time and part-time jobs. I became an Instacart shopper to keep myself afloat while applying for full time jobs. Combine the fear and frustrations of COVID-19, being over/under qualified for jobs and not being willing to accept minimum wage positions, I had a nice little cocktail of not being able to find another job. *I tried applying for unemployment and it was a nightmare.

I’ve been a shopper since March 2020. I started in Killeen until recently here in Austin. I’ve seen many a highs and lows as a shopper. The best and worst of customers, grocery store employees and customer service agents.

I survived the hump when customers were tip-baiting (offering big $$$ only to reduce the tips to $0 after their items were delivered). I survived the huge data breach (which Instacart initially denied) that reduced deliveries significantly. More recently, I have been surviving “bots” or hackers snatching the higher paying deliveries from honest shoppers. The Instacart platform has been a wild, Wild West shit-show for a long time but nothing compares to the email that I received yesterday about my account being deactivated.

So then I said

And then they said

My response was

And this is all that they provided

But that wasn’t enough for me.

All communication ceased from that point.

To date, I’ve only received ONE phone call about an order not being delivered and of course I had Instacart to contact the customer to verify the delivery and they did.

Any other emails I’ve received about an order not being delivered were met with me contacting customer service as well. Each time I had to defend myself. And each time I asked the customer service team to verify the deliveries with the pictures that shoppers are required to provide during delivery. I was told that they didn’t have access to this information on numerous occasions. How ironic.

Below are a few screenshots of real time conversations with customer support agents, because well, Instacart doesn’t allow you to actually speak with someone unless you’re being accused of stealing their groceries.

In the age of social media, I decided to head to Instagram to see if there was a way to get more assistance. I DM’d the officially account and went to the comment section of their posts.

Lo and behold.

I’m not the only one that this has happened to.

Their posts are FLOODED with complaints from shoppers like myself about issues ranging from account deactivations (as a result of false non-deliveries), tip-baiting, rude customers, poor customer support agent experiences and shoppers not being paid and/or reimbursed properly.

Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself.

My biggest question after this ordeal is exactly HOW is Instacart holding their customers accountable for rudeness, tip-baiting and false accusations? To me, it seems as if the only people being held accountable for anything is their shoppers who are risking their livelihoods to provide a service for a company that doesn’t support them. I also wonder if this issue is persistent across all independently contracted delivery service apps.

All I know is that what happened to me is a true shame. Unfortuately I’m sure that this won’t be the last time that it happens to a shopper. If you’ve had this experience or any other horror experiences with independently contracted delivery service apps, please feel free to reach out. We deserve answers.


8 thoughts on “Fired From Instacart….How Sway?

  1. Canissus Burwell says:

    This is pretty dope😉 I feel as if I could benefit from it, especially since I have two little ones. 8 and 10 years of age is a good time to start showing a healthier lifestyle. Girllllllaaaaa you are a great writer. I look forward to more of your work.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amber says:

    I’m really sorry this happened to you. My sister just started shopping for IC for extra money & I don’t think she’s done enough research about this. She thinks it’s going to be easy extra income, but I have seen lots of these articles and more than a few disheartening threads on Reddit & Instagram. I shop using IC regularly because my son is high risk & I appreciate the people out there, risking their own health so I don’t have to expose him. That’s worth a generous tip to me every single time. We frequently get repeat shoppers because they know I leave notes about alternative products and where to find unusual ingredients within my selected store. I want it to be as easy as possible for my shopper to be efficient and effective & earn a reasonable wage for their time. It’s despicable how many people intentionally scam this service & good people just trying to survive.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I also got fired 4 gigs after sending a photo of myself to verify my identity.. instacart asked for more info to assure it was me using the account. So I sent another picture in asking what other infor do they need with also sending my driver’s license in….which they have on file… But did not accept any that info…just went ahead an deactivated my account… Continually having 5 stars from. Customers an being with them since March 2020 an working very hard during the covid-19 epidemic… Thanks for listening
    Just not right

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sweet P says:

    Omg this Just happened to me yesterday same exact messages only difference is when I submitted my proof they responded with if I try and reach out to them with anymore questions about the order ms they may not reply. Which I thought was very strange item was great at my job as a shopper had excellent customer service good ratings and reviews and I feel so used my feelings are so hurt that they literally threw me away like trash over a lie that I stole groceries when I never stole anything. I try to keep getting information from them regarding the suspicious missing orders and they shut me down with we no longer will reply to you our decision is final.


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