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Instacart - I'm not sure what to think

Instacart - I'm not sure what to think
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  • Instacart - I'm not sure what to think

    Post #1 - May 13th, 2020, 3:58 pm
    Post #1 - May 13th, 2020, 3:58 pm Post #1 - May 13th, 2020, 3:58 pm
    Let's start with a brief round of free association . . .

    any port in a storm (or pandemic)
    good enough
    a necessary evil
    a genuine convenience
    a non-essential luxury

    Two months ago, I'd never even thought about them. But with the pandemic engulfing us, I decided to start an account and since then, I've placed a total of three orders at stores with which they are affiliated. Results have been mixed. I do prefer doing my own shopping but I'm trying to limit my trips to stores these days. On paper (or in pixels), Instacart fits into that plan pretty well. My experience is that the specific shopper on a given order has a profound effect on the overall results.

    Most recently I placed an order with Costco via Instacart and I learned a few things. First of all, in addition to the line-item service fee that Instacart charges, they also upcharge on every single item. I learned this because my shopper inadvertently left the actual register receipt with our order. Apparently, this is a no-no. In any case, per the receipt, I was charged approximately 15% more for the items I received than what Costco charged my Instacart shopper. To be fair, the prices I paid matched the prices I agreed to pay when I added the items to my cart. But still, the fact that this pricing policy was not prominently shared bothered me a bit. I'm not sure if this just applies to Costco or to all the stores at which Instacart shops.

    Another issue is that even though I provided very specific instructions about which items should and should not be substituted, my shopper ignored them without ever bothering to contact me. He brought me some horrible steaks, even though I specified no substitutions (more on this later). Previous Instacart experiences at Jewel and Target were also rough on the substitution front but at least in those cases, the shopper contacted me to ask a few questions about prospective substitutions. But still, they flat-out carted incorrect items in a few cases.

    The most negative part about my most recent experience was the aftermath of dealing with the steaks I'd never ordered in the first place, for which I was charged. After an initial, frustrating online experience trying to contact Instacart about the error (do they even have a phone number?), I decided to address the dispute through my credit card company. All good, right? Not exactly. I later managed to have an online chat with a rep at Instacart who told me that they'd issue a credit for the never-ordered steaks. Fine. But no. A few days later I received an email from Instacart informing me that my account had been suspended because of the dispute I'd lodged with my credit card company. Wtf?!

    I’m sorry, but your Instacart account has been put on hold. You disputed a charge for an order on May 4, 2020 for $45.16 on the card ending in xxxx, resulting in this hold. If this dispute was made in error, please follow up with your bank about it as soon as possible. Once you resolve the dispute, please send us a confirmation photo or screenshot for proof and we’ll reinstate your account.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    Best,

    Instacart Trust and Safety Team


    Wow! Talk about hardball. I'll admit that my first reaction was pretty much along these lines . . .

    Image

    I'd just assumed that with the credit issued by Instacart, my dispute would automatically be resolved. Clearly, that wasn't the case. And Instacart was having none of it. I contacted my bank, "officially" withdrew my dispute and requested something in writing confirming it, which they provided. So now, with the "proof" having been sent to back to Instacart, I'll just have to wait for the wheels of justice to turn, lol. But I think the salient aspect here is that if you have problem with Instacart and you're unhappy with the manner/speed in which they resolve it, you have little or no recourse.

    In 7+ weeks, I've placed 3 total orders with Instacart, so this is ultimately small potatoes, and not a necessity for us. But here I am, having had some problems with each of those 3 orders, and having a paid a premium for the privilege. I'm confident that they'll eventually re-instate my account but I think I'll be okay until they do. That said, looking down the road to the post-pandemic phase of our lives, I'm not sure Instacart and I are likely to have a rosy future together.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #2 - May 13th, 2020, 4:20 pm
    Post #2 - May 13th, 2020, 4:20 pm Post #2 - May 13th, 2020, 4:20 pm
    Hi,

    I have a friend who spent two hours shopping an Instacart order. At delivery, this person learned it was delivered by someone else the day before.

    Initially, they asked this person to return the food to the store. I remember commenting that was not going to fly. Especially since returned food is tossed. The store declined and now I see many stores have zero-return policy.

    Eventually, Instacart paid for time spent and asked this person to keep the food.

    ***

    On facebook, another Instacart person arrived with the food and nobody was home to accept it. Instacart told them to keep the food.

    ***
    So clearly there is a lot of loss built into instacarts system.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - May 13th, 2020, 5:18 pm
    Post #3 - May 13th, 2020, 5:18 pm Post #3 - May 13th, 2020, 5:18 pm
    I think the business model is centered around the assumption/hope people will put up with the type of substitution errors Ronnie suffered. Of course they don't come out and say as much, but having to eat the cost of the errors is worse for them in the long run. They'd much rather lose a diligent customer than get in the habit of paying for errors.
  • Post #4 - May 13th, 2020, 6:24 pm
    Post #4 - May 13th, 2020, 6:24 pm Post #4 - May 13th, 2020, 6:24 pm
    In my area, there was some interest in Instacart at the beginning of the shutdown among some of my neighbors. However, that diminished very quickly when they were paying $5.49 for a loaf of Oroweat bread that lists for $3.99 (and is available at the outlet for $2.00).

    Nearly everyone has converted to pick up service at Frys (Krogers) or Walmart. These programs charge no fees and people can pick up multiple orders for friends. Those programs have been so successful that Sprouts is starting to implement it this week. CVS is offering something similar also.

    A lot of people are thinking about continuing to shop in this way after the pandemic is over. However, I am sure that all the retailers will be looking to charge for the service when things get back to normal.
  • Post #5 - May 13th, 2020, 7:24 pm
    Post #5 - May 13th, 2020, 7:24 pm Post #5 - May 13th, 2020, 7:24 pm
    And yet, for some Instacart is critical. I know someone who is extremely immuno - compromised and cannot risk he or his wife leaving the house. Since they are hesitant to rely on friends and family every week for all of their eating needs, Instacart is literally a life saver.
  • Post #6 - May 13th, 2020, 10:33 pm
    Post #6 - May 13th, 2020, 10:33 pm Post #6 - May 13th, 2020, 10:33 pm
    On facebook, there are occasional instacart issues highlighted.

    I think one issue are some shoppers just don't know much about food or possess common sense. How else can you explain someone ordering one-pound of green beans who receives one green bean in a bag?

    If anyone ever went grocery shopping with their parents, they would know better. Whoever they are have not had much life experience and it shows.

    I'm sure these are exceptions, though they are very memorable.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - May 14th, 2020, 12:22 am
    Post #7 - May 14th, 2020, 12:22 am Post #7 - May 14th, 2020, 12:22 am
    Ronnie- You might try ordering from Whole Foods. I know they use a different delivery system. The problem with Instacart is that they don't get paid enough money, and a few shoppers go the extra mile and call you up when they can't get one of the things that is on your list, but the majority of them don't, and either substitute something that you don't want, or don't get you anything

    A Facebook group that I post on alot does not have a lot of shoppers that use Instacart because they charge for delivery, but they do have a fair amount of people that do pick up. The majority of them do Walmart pick up, but with Walmart pickup they are often out of a quarter of the things you want, and it is hard to get a pickup time, and plus they have been known to cancel your order. I have heard bad things about Mariano's pickup too.

    You could maybe do a Costco pick up too or maybe Whole Foods.

    There are a lot of people that use Insta Cart because they cannot go inside a grocery store right now, and I think a majority of those people are willing to put up with all the mistakes that are made
  • Post #8 - May 14th, 2020, 3:15 am
    Post #8 - May 14th, 2020, 3:15 am Post #8 - May 14th, 2020, 3:15 am
    So far I’ve tried Instacart, Jewel’s in-house delivery service, and WalMart.com. For pantry items, Wal Mart’s e-commerce operation has the best combination of availability and price, I’m assuming because items are being packed at a central warehouse, rather than picked at a public facing store by a courier who may or may not have grocery store horse sense. (E.g., no Italian parsley so Jewel subbed curly — yikes!) For fresh meat and produce, Jewel’s delivery app would be my first choice, and Instacart last.

    In Instacart’s favor — variety of stores centralized in one app (including Costco, Restaurant Depot, Pete’s, plus the mega chains like Jewel and Mariano’s). I think that’s about it??! The negatives are
    -marked up prices,
    -multiple fees (“service,” delivery, and tip)
    -inaccurate in-stock/out-of-stock
    -no in-app SKU for a lot of everyday items (but you can place a special request)
    -potential for crappy customer service as Ronnie described. I haven’t had a bad experience myself, but what I’ve observed is that the more app-centric a business is, the less they care about resolving any individual gripe. Traditional retailers are the opposite, but perhaps this is the future?

    To anyone asking, “why use it if it sucks so bad?!” the answer is: because when it works, it’s awesome. When you sign up, you’re imagining your best friend or someone from this forum shopping your list for you, but… it’s not always like that. There really is a lot of specialized knowledge on each grocery store aisle, which I took for granted before trying to get groceries delivered. I don’t have pets — could I find the right doggie treats 10 times out of 10? For someone who doesn’t shop or cook like you, I can see how it would be tricky. The blame imo should go to management for not having better training materials ready, but of course Instacart is merely a “platform,” and each shopper a bootstrapping entrepreneur, so to give decent training would violate the sacred spirit of the free market, but I digress.

    The best solution to all these gripes: get that corona vaccine ready :twisted:
  • Post #9 - May 14th, 2020, 7:26 am
    Post #9 - May 14th, 2020, 7:26 am Post #9 - May 14th, 2020, 7:26 am
    I’ve used InstaCart for Strack’s 3 times (my current order is being shipped as I type this) and once for CostCo. And I ordered from Whole Foods once (delivered to my MIL since they don’t come out this far).

    1st Strack delivery was fine—as expected, produce selected wasn’t what I would have picked, a couple of subs weren’t ideal, but it was a big order and everything was ok and I was happy to have the option .

    2nd delivery was amazing! Lots of communication from the shopper, she picked perfectly, asked me about all subs and even took a few last minute adds via text. My only disappointment was in not asking her how i could request her for all future orders.

    CostCo delivery was entered at midnight and delivered before I woke up the next morning—and 100% accurate.

    Whole Foods. Horrible. Lots of bad subs or, more likely, mistakes by the picker, the worst produce selection I’ve ever seen (and I ordered Peapod a few times ;)), 2 gals of milk a few days from expiration, etc. Worst part—you can’t make any changes after the order is entered unless you cancel and re-enter the entire thing. Spent a good 20 minutes trying to communicate with various bots and customer service reps about adding a couple of cases of Italian soda that I accidentally left off —this was 5 mins after I hit “send” and a full 18 hours before my requested delivery—and not only wouldn’t they add it to the order but they wouldn’t even waive the fees if I entered a new one for the extra $25 worth of items. . The total of the two was over $250. Never again.

    Fingers crossed for the current InstaCart order.

    The mark ups are rough, particularly when I’m adding on a substantial tip, but it saves us from increasingly stressful trips to the stores out here (where wearing a mask seems to be viewed as a character flaw), so its worth it, especially when the pickers do a good job.
    Last edited by boudreaulicious on May 14th, 2020, 7:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #10 - May 14th, 2020, 7:28 am
    Post #10 - May 14th, 2020, 7:28 am Post #10 - May 14th, 2020, 7:28 am
    I've had one fantastic Instacart shopper - prices were crazy high, but I get it. Looking at the meat prices on a few packages we got (1.49lb right on the package of chicky breast) and then looking at the Instacart price: 5.99lb, irks me a little bit. But I get it.

    I can't handle the subs, and confusion. Even when I choose "No Subs," I still get subs, or incorrect product. Broccoli instead of cauliflower, random nut filled ice cream instead of the ice cream we ordered (wife has a nut allergy - THANKS!)

    I'm now on board with Jewel's in house delivery service. The ability to get sale ad prices is a game changer. They even display the BOGO deals, and other ad sales right up front in your face for delivery. I'd probably use Jewel for curbside pickup, but it's not offered anywhere near my ghetto ass town. One the bright side, one of the closest Jewel stores that offers curbside to me is Westmont, so Katy's.

    We've been using Instacart for Aldi staples, Jewel delivery for whatever else + great sales prices, and once a week, I mask up and hit my lil fruit market down the street for fresh veggies/fruit, chicken thighs, and lunchmeat.

    Also, side note, we ordered a watermelon from Jewel 2 weeks ago. Sale price 3.99, and it was fantastic. I was not expecting much. Ordering another one this week.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #11 - May 14th, 2020, 8:25 am
    Post #11 - May 14th, 2020, 8:25 am Post #11 - May 14th, 2020, 8:25 am
    I'm enjoying the new "personal shopper" programs developed in house by smaller markets like Sugar Beet Co-Op in Oak Park. Since it's the store staff shopping for you and the stock is relatively limited but high quality to start, produce and meat choices have been excellent week after week, and the substitutions are creative and friendly, even challenging. It makes at least me feel I have a partner in cooking who is occasionally throwing some Iron Chef-type challenges my way.

    Since they have interesting booze and cheese as well and folks who have tasted all of it, leaving general requests like "something aged cheddar-ish" or "something for a Michelada" have yielded some nice surprises / new introductions. I can see how easy that would go wrong, though, if very specific items were needed, or if prices were double-inflated.
  • Post #12 - May 14th, 2020, 8:48 am
    Post #12 - May 14th, 2020, 8:48 am Post #12 - May 14th, 2020, 8:48 am
    seebee wrote:Even when I choose "No Subs," I still get subs

    A sub is a guy that can't get no love from me.
  • Post #13 - May 14th, 2020, 10:03 am
    Post #13 - May 14th, 2020, 10:03 am Post #13 - May 14th, 2020, 10:03 am
    NFriday wrote:Ronnie- You might try ordering from Whole Foods. I know they use a different delivery system. The problem with Instacart is that they don't get paid enough money, and a few shoppers go the extra mile and call you up when they can't get one of the things that is on your list, but the majority of them don't, and either substitute something that you don't want, or don't get you anything

    A Facebook group that I post on alot does not have a lot of shoppers that use Instacart because they charge for delivery, but they do have a fair amount of people that do pick up. The majority of them do Walmart pick up, but with Walmart pickup they are often out of a quarter of the things you want, and it is hard to get a pickup time, and plus they have been known to cancel your order. I have heard bad things about Mariano's pickup too.

    You could maybe do a Costco pick up too or maybe Whole Foods.

    There are a lot of people that use Insta Cart because they cannot go inside a grocery store right now, and I think a majority of those people are willing to put up with all the mistakes that are made

    Thanks, Nancy. As I mentioned, I don't need to rely on Instacart, which is comforting. And I was informed last night that my account has been reactivated, so that conduit is, once again, available. Thankfully, Instacart needs me more than I need them.

    I have used Whole Foods delivery, Sunset Foods pick-up (their deliveries are via Instacart) and a variety of other, more specifically-focused options, including farm home deliveries, farm pick-ups at restaurants, curbside service at individual shops, etc. Other than occasional out-of-stocks at the grocery stores, they've all been fine. The biggest problem with Whole Foods is getting a delivery slot but now that they've added curbside pick-up, I don't expect ordering from them to be as much of a problem.

    Many of the most detailed steps stores must take to set themselves up for working with Instacart -- building a database of SKUs, descriptions, pricing, etc. -- can be easily used by alternative entities. So, I think we'll start to see more and more places dump Instacart in favor of lower-priced competitors or developing their own in-house shopping and delivery services. Many industry folk feel that the bump in business these services are seeing right now is likely to endure, at least in substantial part, long after the current crisis is over. I have no idea what Instacart's revenues or market share are but my guess is that what's happening right now will temporarily help them, and then ultimately lead to a flood of viable competitors that will erode their business.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #14 - May 14th, 2020, 10:19 am
    Post #14 - May 14th, 2020, 10:19 am Post #14 - May 14th, 2020, 10:19 am
    Logging into the Costco/Instacart site, I see that this message now appears at the top of the page:

    Prices are higher than your local warehouse and include service and delivery. The order minimum is $35. · More info

    Clicking 'More info' leads to this message:

    Prices are higher than your local warehouse and include service and delivery. The order minimum is $35.

    Instacart uses the service amount to provide competitive pay to all shoppers working with Instacart. Unlike a tip, which can only go to the shopper delivering your order, a service amount allows us to pay all shoppers (including those, for example, that also pick out ordered items in the store).

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #15 - May 14th, 2020, 10:35 am
    Post #15 - May 14th, 2020, 10:35 am Post #15 - May 14th, 2020, 10:35 am
    cilantro wrote:
    seebee wrote:Even when I choose "No Subs," I still get subs

    A sub is a guy that can't get no love from me.


    Took me a sec...
    Got me. Good one!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #16 - May 14th, 2020, 10:44 am
    Post #16 - May 14th, 2020, 10:44 am Post #16 - May 14th, 2020, 10:44 am
    Santander wrote:I'm enjoying the new "personal shopper" programs developed in house by smaller markets like Sugar Beet Co-Op in Oak Park. Since it's the store staff shopping for you and the stock is relatively limited but high quality to start, produce and meat choices have been excellent week after week, and the substitutions are creative and friendly, even challenging. It makes at least me feel I have a partner in cooking who is occasionally throwing some Iron Chef-type challenges my way.

    Since they have interesting booze and cheese as well and folks who have tasted all of it, leaving general requests like "something aged cheddar-ish" or "something for a Michelada" have yielded some nice surprises / new introductions. I can see how easy that would go wrong, though, if very specific items were needed, or if prices were double-inflated.


    The wife has been eyeing Sugar Beet for that. It was our regular Sunday-after-hockey stop for a few odds and ends, (and a small bag of cherry vanilla granola to crunch on.) I would like being able to get a "surprise" general request from folks that have a clue. Especially when it comes to fancy cheeses. From Instacart experience, that would be a nightmare. Kraft singles or olive loaf comes to mind.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #17 - May 14th, 2020, 3:26 pm
    Post #17 - May 14th, 2020, 3:26 pm Post #17 - May 14th, 2020, 3:26 pm
    We have been splitting our order between the Kroger affiliate and Walmart. Walmart has not only delivered the ordered product consistently, the produce has been much fresher than we have encountered at Fry's Also, when they have been out of things, they call us in advance to see if they can make a substitution. They also have a much more efficient system for pick-up that requires no personal contact.

    Amazon has been the biggest disappointment. I have tried to order a few specialty items just to find that you have to be an Amazon Prime member. No thanks.

    ===============
    I find it ironic that my niece who last visit acted as if she had never been in a grocery store ... is now working for Instacart.
  • Post #18 - May 14th, 2020, 3:42 pm
    Post #18 - May 14th, 2020, 3:42 pm Post #18 - May 14th, 2020, 3:42 pm
    I am not a Prime member, but my microwave has been sparking on me, and I tried cleaning it thoroughly which is supposed to solve the problem. The website said that if this does not work something is malfunctioning, and it is time to get a new microwave. I have been putting it off, but currently you either get one curbside at Best Buy or Abt or order one on Amazon. I finally broke down on Monday and ordered a microwave, some socks, a mouse pad and some heads for my electric toothbrush. I was not supposed to get anything before the 21st. I already got the mouse pad yesterday, and I am supposed to get the microwave tomorrow. I thought they only shipped that fast on essential stuff such as toilet paper, and plus I don't have Prime, although I am really tempted when I go to WF and see a deal for Prime members.
  • Post #19 - May 14th, 2020, 3:52 pm
    Post #19 - May 14th, 2020, 3:52 pm Post #19 - May 14th, 2020, 3:52 pm
    I have used instacart a few times from several different stores. They say that the pricing policy is determined by the store, which seems to make sense because they are so different. At Jewel you get sale prices on everything, bogo, etc (though I havent tried word of the day). At marianos, none of that. Everything at sunset was marked up, Heinens was regular pricing or sale price. It appears that Costco charges like you are a non-member. The only thing that makes no sense to me is that I have seen some of the shoppers receipts and they are not paying any markup, when I am. If the store was determining the policy wouldn't the store keep the extra? Perhaps instacart charges the stores a commission and the store decides whether to eat it or have the customer pay?
    I have had a couple excellent shoppers, who texted about substitutions, sometimes with pictures. A couple others were ok but not great. Now that my wife is relaxing a bit, I am back doing my own shopping, but am still ordering instacart for my mom in cincinnati from krogers. No sale prices which drives her nuts. Might use it for myself from costco because I dont want to deal with going there.

    -Will
  • Post #20 - May 14th, 2020, 9:40 pm
    Post #20 - May 14th, 2020, 9:40 pm Post #20 - May 14th, 2020, 9:40 pm
    I have been going to the store around once every 7-10 days. Trader Joe's, Sunset, Jewel, Costco are my usual stops (not all at once these days). Early on in March and April we tried Instacart with Aldi a few times. Overall the experiences have been good. When substitutions were needed they called or texted. We normally don't shop at Aldi but there have been a few nice surprises including their low carb tortilla wraps which I eat everyday (on Atkins since February). We tried to do Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh but gave up when we couldn't get a delivery time.
  • Post #21 - May 15th, 2020, 10:08 am
    Post #21 - May 15th, 2020, 10:08 am Post #21 - May 15th, 2020, 10:08 am
    I've been a fan of food delivery services starting with Peapod which is now defunct in this area. There can be certain problems but for me it beats going to the store in these times. I am willing to pay a bit more for the service and I only call on it once or twice a month. Its important to stay by your phone when shopping begins. They text you when they begin shopping. That is the sign that your order is being filled and they will ask you questions about substitutions. There is also a place you can tell them no substitutes. I do think they are struggling now with a lot of new worker so mistakes can be made. All in all I will keep using them occasionally.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #22 - May 15th, 2020, 10:27 am
    Post #22 - May 15th, 2020, 10:27 am Post #22 - May 15th, 2020, 10:27 am
    In general I recommend avoiding getting a third party platform involved for food delivery, grocery or restaurant. It's generally not super helpful for the business that you are trying to patronize. All of these mismatched swapped out goods makes it clear that Instacart is not very invested in their training their employees. Combined with the reports of customer service issues, I shudder to think how they are treating their workers. I definitely understand the value for immune compromised people in areas with less resources and do not begrudge their use of Instacart, but I think for those who can avoid it it's best to not engage with these types of businesses. It sounds like there are a lot of options in the city already and businesses will keep catching up over time. Sometimes I feel like consumers become too easily frustrated with people running businesses, as if they forgot to consult their "pandemic playbook" when making changes to their business in order to continue to serve people. This isn't an indictment of anyone in particular, my friends do this too. It's just important to be critical and patient because a downside to the quick switches is that it puts so much power and money in the pockets of tech companies. They tend to rely on a pool of gig employees who are not offered room for growth in the company, looking at the Indeed profile for Instacart there are a lot of complaints about this and feeling disposable. If this is the nature of entry level jobs, people are never going to be able to accrue enough wealth to ever stop working. Sorry for spinning off, I'm feeling scared.

    I forgot if it was mentioned but Local Foods is also doing pick up. I've ordered from their twice as a treat because it's expensive and they are good about not substituting if you check that box and the time that there were substitutions they were all fine by me.
  • Post #23 - May 15th, 2020, 12:46 pm
    Post #23 - May 15th, 2020, 12:46 pm Post #23 - May 15th, 2020, 12:46 pm
    I've heard horror stories from friends trying to grocery shop while avoiding frazzled Instacart shoppers racing around unfamiliar spaces and searching shelves for stuff they can't find like they're on some crazy scavenger hunt.
  • Post #24 - May 15th, 2020, 1:36 pm
    Post #24 - May 15th, 2020, 1:36 pm Post #24 - May 15th, 2020, 1:36 pm
    Vitesse98 wrote:I've heard horror stories from friends trying to grocery shop while avoiding frazzled Instacart shoppers racing around unfamiliar spaces and searching shelves for stuff they can't find like they're on some crazy scavenger hunt.

    I was at the Edgewater Mariano's one afternoon and I felt like I was the only one shopping for myself. Everyone else seemed to be staring at their phones and wandering around looking for whatever was on the list. Very difficult to maneuver around them.
    -Mary
  • Post #25 - May 15th, 2020, 1:37 pm
    Post #25 - May 15th, 2020, 1:37 pm Post #25 - May 15th, 2020, 1:37 pm
    em24666 wrote:In general I recommend avoiding getting a third party platform involved for food delivery, grocery or restaurant. It's generally not super helpful for the business that you are trying to patronize.

    For the businesses at which I've shopped via Instacart, this is largely irrelevant. They're all big corporate entities, too. In such cases don't really care who steps on whose toes. Sometimes you need some item(s) from a store in this category and at the moment, all things considered, Instacart is best play for us. But for a vast majority of our needs, we've been able to easily work around Instacart. And we will continue to do so . . . with intent.

    In the grander scheme, we're (auto)mobile in a huge metropolitan area, which makes a huge difference. Curbside pick-ups have been such a joy, it'll be a bummer when (if?) places eventually stop offering them. Shopping locally, in almost every case the goods are superior and the transaction creates a direct benefit for the seller, or so it seems. But even so, it's still a textbook instance of Business 101 - mutually beneficial and therefore, sustainable. However, if that thread begins to fray, it can all unravel. In other words, support local businesses as much as possible now or risk them not being there to support later.

    Relatedly, I recently received a dubious email from a performance venue advocating for support of local restaurants that are near the venue. In spite of the fact that there are dozens of one-off, independent restaurants nearby, the email listed almost exclusively multi-unit corporate chains. While I realize that these places are staffed by people who truly are local and who will benefit from continued patronage, I thought the email missed the point (at best) and/or was intentionally misleading (at worst).

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #26 - May 15th, 2020, 1:40 pm
    Post #26 - May 15th, 2020, 1:40 pm Post #26 - May 15th, 2020, 1:40 pm
    The GP wrote:
    Vitesse98 wrote:I've heard horror stories from friends trying to grocery shop while avoiding frazzled Instacart shoppers racing around unfamiliar spaces and searching shelves for stuff they can't find like they're on some crazy scavenger hunt.

    I was at the Edgewater Mariano's one afternoon and I felt like I was the only one shopping for myself. Everyone else seemed to be staring at their phones and wandering around looking for whatever was on the list. Very difficult to maneuver around them.

    Sounds similar to the roads being cluttered with clueless Lyft and Uber drivers who drive as if they're still sitting in their living rooms. They're road cholesterol, basically.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #27 - May 15th, 2020, 2:45 pm
    Post #27 - May 15th, 2020, 2:45 pm Post #27 - May 15th, 2020, 2:45 pm
    I just checked into Fresh Farms, and they currently do not offer curbside, but they hope to eventually offer it.

    Plum Market does offer curbside though
  • Post #28 - May 15th, 2020, 4:09 pm
    Post #28 - May 15th, 2020, 4:09 pm Post #28 - May 15th, 2020, 4:09 pm
    Longtime lurker. Just wanted to mention that HarvesTime Foods is also doing curbside pick-up. Not a fan of their meat but otherwise we love them and they've done a good job on our two orders.
  • Post #29 - May 15th, 2020, 8:56 pm
    Post #29 - May 15th, 2020, 8:56 pm Post #29 - May 15th, 2020, 8:56 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Sounds similar to the roads being cluttered with clueless Lyft and Uber drivers who drive as if they're still sitting in their living rooms. They're road cholesterol, basically.

    =R=

    And therein lies the real reason to avoid Instacart. The gig economy is garbage. There's obviously demand for the services, but the companies that have filled the space are using independent contractors and not employees. They are disposable people with no job security and no real incentive to focus on any aspects of their contract gigs other than speed and volume.

    And with that I'll end my brief foray into political discussion and return to my beer (very refreshing Table from Afterthought Brewing Company in Lombard).
  • Post #30 - May 15th, 2020, 9:27 pm
    Post #30 - May 15th, 2020, 9:27 pm Post #30 - May 15th, 2020, 9:27 pm
    MarlaCollins'Husband wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Sounds similar to the roads being cluttered with clueless Lyft and Uber drivers who drive as if they're still sitting in their living rooms. They're road cholesterol, basically.

    =R=

    And therein lies the real reason to avoid Instacart. The gig economy is garbage. There's obviously demand for the services, but the companies that have filled the space are using independent contractors and not employees. They are disposable people with no job security and no real incentive to focus on any aspects of their contract gigs other than speed and volume.

    And with that I'll end my brief foray into political discussion and return to my beer (very refreshing Table from Afterthought Brewing Company in Lombard).

    Yeah. Sorry, for my part in dragging you -- and the thread -- into it. The bottom line is that for me, Instacart is not a good fit, for a variety of reasons, many of which just come down my fussiness and pickiness as a shopper. There's certainly more to it than that but those reasons are kind of beside the point within these confines.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world

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