Not suitable for primary income source.
Shopper (Current Employee) – Olympia, WA – 7 November 2017
Available hours go so fast that the only way to ensure you get any, might mean logging in 5 minutes before they become available and constantly refreshing the app to ensure you have first pick. And even if you do manage to get hours, that doesn't mean you're getting work. I live 30+ minutes from the nearest zone, and often a shift, for me, means sitting in my car doing nothing for hours while I wait for a batch to be assigned.
The app the shoppers use for just about every part of the job outside driving, can be glitchy and freezes or crashes at times. And if the app crashes or glitches when you've recieved an order, it can cause the order to go unacknowledged. Which is a Reliability Incident, which affects how many batches Instacart is inclined to assign to you. It also counts against your Batch Acceptance Rate, which is used to determine if you qualify for hourly wages.
This is a common enough problem that one would think they'd have a system in place for shoppers to challenge incident reports they weren't at fault for. Nope. And if you bring it up to Shopper Happiness, you get a boiler plate response telling you to check the app status.
If you're primarily looking for side-cash, Instacart's not bad. But I would caution anyone who's looking for reliable income.
Oh! Also, be on the watch for wage skimming. Last year Instacart had been caught hiding the tip function from customers, or presenting it as "additional tips".
Easy, decent money for the job, some customers are lovely
Can be very slow, no compensation, shopper support is a myth