If you’re an Instacart Shopper—as most of us independent contractors—you can get fired at any time. Instacart sends out an email before they disable a driver account with details about the problem. Occasionally the driver tries to log in in the driver app with no chance, only to find out from support that their Instacart account has been disabled.
That’s a fact. Doing a great job and garnering high performance marks, you probably don’t need to overthink this one.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about some common reasons for Instacart deactivation.
I’m referring to those altogether avoidable things that can bring drivers to lose their jobs and you can avoid—unless you don’t care about getting let go.
The Instacart agreement is the contract that outlines the relationship between Shoppers and the grocery delivery services.
One of the common mistakes of small business entrepreneurs is entering into contracts and agreements without thoroughly understanding what is in the agreement. Many simply sign without reading what is expected of them and the rules that they need to follow.
This is made even worse when joining online programs where it is easy to hit the “I Agree” button without even scanning what is in the agreement.
Everyone who signs up for a drive account is required to follow Guidelines that outline pillars and the standards of the platform. So if you haven’t done it yet, take the time to read the contract for the United States and Canada below:
Instacart platform allows users to stay at home, order groceries from their favorite grocery store and get them delivered.
The San Francisco headquartered company relies on a combination of in-store hourly employees and contractors. In-store shoppers pick groceries, while on apps like Instacart, contractors can choose to accept a “batch” of deliveries and pick and deliver or just deliver. The batch includes information such as customer locations, items requested and tip offered.
If you are an in-store shopper you must follow all of the Instacart employee rules.
If you are a contractor you must follow all of the Instacart Shopper rules.
Natalia Montalvo, the company’s director of shopper engagement and communications, said the in-store shopper role was built on the premise of “flexibility, efficiency, innovation and customer service.”
“Over the last few years, we’ve implemented new tools, resources and guidelines to help shoppers deliver the best customer experience possible,” Montalvo said in a statement. “To achieve this, we expect in-store shoppers to show up for scheduled hours, pick high-quality items, complete orders in a timely manner and provide excellent customer service.”
Providing excellent customer services is essential for both positions.
Related Article: Instacart Delivery Jobs
With Instacart you can get alcoholic beverages delivered to you from your favorite liquor stores. The on-demand delivery service not only lets you order alcohol from warehouses and grocery shops, but also from breweries that it already has partnerships with.
Recently Instacart expanded the alcohol delivery experience for customers across the U.S.
Customers in 14 states, as well as Washington D.C., can now have alcohol delivered in as fast as an hour from national, regional and local grocers such as Albertsons, Kroger, Publix, Schnucks, Sprouts Farmers Market and Stater Bros., as well as wine and liquor specialty stores like BevMo, Binny’s Beverage Depot, and Total Wine & More in select locations.
Instacart Alcohol delivery rules are pretty clear. You must be 21 or older to order alcohol. As Shoppers you have to complete the alcohol training and always respect the alcohol delivery policy. Full service shoppers are legally obligated to verify your age and scan the barcode on your ID. Your information is not stored on their personal devices.
Related Article: Best Alcohol Delivery Apps
The Instacart rating system is designed to be an important measure of quality on the Instacart platform, helping keep the customer experience safe and efficient.
If you do not know yet how ratings on Instacart work you are at the right place.
At the end of each delivery, users are able to rate shoppers from 1 to 5 stars.
A 4.5 rating is... really really low, your account is at risk of deactivation and you simply know that you're in danger of getting fired. A sure way to get your account deactivated is by delivering poor service to Instacart customers.
An unhappy customer can cancel the Instacart account at any time.
While you are free to receive delivery offers and not accept them, you should never accept a delivery and do not complete it. It is the same on other platforms including Shipt, food delivery services and rideshare companies.
There are minimum Consumer Ratings and Completion Rates required to remain active on the Instacart platform.
A cancellation occurs when you accept a delivery and then decide to cancel it. This is not appreciated by Instacart and is tracked with your cancellation rate.
If you absolutely need to cancel a delivery, you can do it directly with the Shopper app. However from a user's perspective, this causes frustration and a poor experience. Finally, if you have an emergency you can cancel a delivery every once in a while, but you should never make it a rule.
Related Article: How Late Does Instacart Deliver
We have recently received an email from a Shopper. He said: Instracart deactivated my account because I gave the receipt to the customer.
You should never give the customers the receipt even if they have a membership subscription. You can actually get deactivated if you do that.
Basically, customers get Instacart receipts emailed to them. The company doesn’t want Shoppers giving customers the grocery receipt for different reasons.
Keep the receipt is also a way for you to protect yourself in the case of fraud or false claims including missing items. The Shoppers must have proof like the receipts to show that all items requested were purchased.
💡 Pro TIPS: We also suggest you take off all stickers that reveal any sales or prices, like a buy-one-get-one.
An Instacart account is deactivated permanently if you engage in or encourage fraudulent conduct. This include:
Instacart is one of the same day pay jobs. Drivers are independent contractors, they are not paid minimum wage and get paid for gigs. Many of them, frustrated with the intense and often unpredictable nature of grabbing batches, or because they simply want to make more money, started using bots.
Using a bot drivers can get a batch faster than a human would be able to. But they also run the risk of Instacart suspending them from the app, since the Instacart Shopper terms of service prohibit the following:
Despite the risks, bots have become an increasingly common tool for some drivers. Keep in mind that If shoppers are blocked from using the app, they can’t get any more delivery jobs.
The Card is a credit card that drivers use to pay for some (but not all) Instacart orders. Each Shopper receives a
Card by mail. Misappropriation of funds or cash-back attempts can lead to deactivation.
Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services.
One of the most common reasons for an Instacart deactivated account is: Sharing your Instacart account with a friend or bringing anyone along (including a partner or minors) who does not have an Instacart Shopper account while providing services on the platform.
You are committed to following all applicable laws,and adhere to applicable regulations.Temporary suspension or deactivation may result if a Shopper violates federal, state, or local law or regulation while providing services through the Instacart platform. Examples include:
💡 PRO TIP: Get Paid To Drive Safe
Safety of users is the first concern for Instacart. Common unsafe behaviors that can lead to having your driver account canceled include:
You must follow delivery guidelines that promote food safety, adhere to regulatory guidance, or accommodate customer dietary restrictions. For example, keep gluten free and non-gluten free food separate should always be followed.
An insulated bag is required and can make for a better customer experience. Finally, delivery people should deliver orders safely and in accordance with relevant safety standards. For example, don’t tamper with or open packaging during delivery.
This can lead to foreign matter in food, which may pose a significant food safety risk for customers. We suggest you consult our guide to gear for drivers .
Instacart reserves the right to cancel your Shopper account at any time and for any reason.
Even if you saw the email for the termination coming, losing your job often comes as a shock. Following our experience an instacart reactivation is not an easy process.
So, how to reactivate an instacart shopper account? Handling an Instacart Shopper account deactivated cannot be easy and there are no specific legal requirements for a rehiring policy.
If your driver account has been temporarily or permanently deactivated for any reason, and you think it was an error, you have an opportunity to contact Instacart Care support and dispute your deactivation.
If you’re deactivated for serious reasons or misconduct, you will be probably permanently banned and there’s very little chance that you’ll be able to ever shop and drive for Instacart again. However, for minor reasons, you can appeal the decision directly with Instacart.
You can take a look at our guide with the best Instacart alternatives .
⚠️ Some scammers are currently proposing their services to reactivate your account. Beware!
If you are wondering if there is a code of conduct for customers, the answer is yes. The code strictly prohibits inappropriate use of the platform for users too.
In a recent medium post the company highlighted the importance of Instacart customers to ensure an environment of safety, respect, and integrity for everyone on the platform.
During the coronavirus lockdown, customers started relying on groceries delivery apps such as Instacar, Shipt, Amazon…
Some of them did an inappropriate use of the platform, luring Shoppers with a big tip, only to decrease or remove the tip altogether after the delivery. Indeed once a delivery has been made, customers had up to three days to adjust the tip on the order (with the update to the customer tipping Instacart reduced the tipping window to 24 hours).
If you do not know how tips work in the platform, we suggest you consult our guide to Instacart tipping. People biting grocery delivery workers with big tips can be banned from the platform.
Uber and Lyft have consistent Community Guidelines. Instacart and all the delivery platforms do not allow drivers to rate their customers.
However if you have a bad experience with a delivery, you can complain about customers. We suggest you in this case keep the Instacart driver support informed even if this doesn’t always mean Instacart is going to take action.
Better safe than sorry. Now you know all the ways to avoid the instacart deactivation. Reactivating a shopper account is not impossible. And if, in the end, you still wind up with a ‘pink slip’, it's probably for the best. There's almost certainly another delivery job opportunity for you.
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