Instacart was founded by an ex-employee of Amazon, back in 2012. It launched in San Francisco and over the years continued expansion in other cities and states.
How Instacart works is a customer places an order for groceries or shopping items and confirms when they want these items delivered, it can either be in an hour or 5 days later. Once the order is confirmed, a personal shopper is assigned who goes to one of the partner stores, picks up the groceries and items on the list and delivers them to the customer on the given time. The customer is charged for the items plus delivery fee and service charges. Instacart also offers customers a premium membership by the name of Instacart+ where they have to pay a fixed amount monthly or yearly and then they won’t have to pay delivery charges for orders above a set minimum amount. At the moment, according to Instacart, they have around 500 million products listed from 40,000 affiliated stores across more than 5,500 cities across the United States and Canada. If you want to become a shopper and earn with Instacart you can sign up over here.
Once you start working as a shopper for Instacart, you should know that at some point Instacart can actually permanently deactivate your account and if you want to continue earning from the platform you would definitely not want that. We will be mentioning some of the reasons which lead to Shoppers being deactivated and certain practices that you should be absolutely avoiding followed by what you can do if you are account is deactivated already.
Keep in mind that if you do happen to get deactivated, Driverly can help you! When you sign up for a Driverly Premium Membership, you get exclusive access to all their tools and resources to help you succeed as a driver and get reactivated. Sign up now to try to get back on the road! Driverly helps gig workers who have been deactivated by Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, PostMates, Intstacart, and many more.
Here are the main reasons Instacart shoppers will get deactivated:
1. Ratings: Similar to Door Dash, Instacart will also deactivate your account if your ratings are low since they believe that it negatively affects the reputation of the company if the customers are not fully satisfied with the service. This can be called the most common reason why shoppers are deactivated. Although there is no set minimum rating given by Instacart that you have to stay above, it is said that anything above 4.5 stars should be enough to keep you safe from this deactivation. You will be informed of this deactivation through an email but in-case you miss it, you will know when you are unable to sign-in to your Instacart shopper app.
2. Fraudulent Activity: There are certain practices or activities that a shopper may follow but are termed to be fraudulent by Instacart and will most definitely result in a deactivation. These include providing false documents to Instacart while signing up or unauthorized use of the Instacart shoppers card which is a credit card provided by Instacart to its shoppers in order to pay for the items ordered by the customers at the store. It is obvious that action will be taken if the shopper used that card for anything other than paying for the items ordered by the customer in the active order. Creating multiple accounts to give yourself referral bonuses or take advantage of an ongoing shopper promotion is also considered fraud. Shoppers may use third-party bots to defraud the app which leads to them picking up more gigs. Such apps are often referred to as Instacart Batch Grabbers and although the promise of more orders seems appealing it will lead to you to being deactivated from Instacart the moment they figure out something is off.
3. Background Checks, Laws and Documents: Instacart not only performs a background check on a shopper while signing up but may do one later on too to see if anything in the driving or criminal records of the shopper has changed. If they find something they do not approve of, your account will be deactivated. Your account will also be deactivated if you are found performing any illegal activities or breaking any laws while working for Instacart. Your account may also get deactivated when your license expires or your insurance gets void so make sure you keep all your documents updated and submit them to Instacart whenever you get them updated or renewed.
4. Behavior towards Customers: Like every other app that provides services through people, Instacart expects its shoppers to behave in a certain way when communicating or dealing with customers. A shopper is not allowed to be rude towards a customer, scream at them, be offensive or violent towards them, use abusive language, commit acts of physical or verbal sexual harassment or acts of discrimination on the basis of race, religious beliefs, gender, sexual preferences, skin tone or anything else that counts as discriminative. Your account can also be deactivated if you jeopardize the order and the customer receives any item that has been opened such as food products which have had their hygiene or freshness compromised by the shopper or acts of theft.
5. Late Orders and Cancellations: Being always late will not only leave bad impression on the customer and affect your ratings but will also result in a direct deactivation if the company finds that this happens more often than it should. You will face similar consequences if there is a pattern of accepting and then cancelling orders without fulfilling them. Once you have accepted an order, Instacart expects you to fulfill it and cancelling too often will without doubt get your account deactivated.
6. Alcohol and Prescription Deliveries: Instacart also gives the customer to order alcohol at their doorstep and when fulfilling an order that includes alcohol it is the shopper’s responsibility to verify the customer’s driving license while making the delivery to make sure they are not supplying a minor with alcohol. It goes without saying if they are careless and a minor ends up with alcohol because of them they will have their account deactivated and may face charges according to state law. Like alcohol, Instacart also makes deliveries on prescriptions and while delivering a prescription order you can have your account deactivated if you leave a prescript on order unattended or do not confirm the customer’s identity when making the delivery.
7. Co-Shopping or Giving Receipts to Customers: As a shopper you are not allowed to bring someone with you for assistance in shopping or giving the actual receipt from the store to the customer (You are supposed to keep that receipt and the customer will receive a separate digital receipt from Instacart) Both of these actions can have your account deactivated
Now if it’s already too late and your account has been deactivated by Instacart, what you will have to do is reach out to their shopper support. Make sure you have your username handy while doing so as it is the first thing you will have to provide. If you do not know why your account was deactivated mention that in the email or to the representative.
Again, signing up to be a Driverly Premium Member will give you exclusive access to their reactivation services where they'll handle the appeal process for you. Driverly strives to help drivers get back on the road so they can continue to earn more. Sign up now!
Instacart shoppers are said to have their deactivated accounts reactivated just through an email appeal. You will usually get your response within 48 hours but it may take longer than that depending on the issue. You have a better chance to succeed if you have proof to attach that supports your side but in the worst case scenario you will have to apply for a different gig platform which is similar to Instacart such as Door Dash or Uber Eats.