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Instacart shoppers blame delayed orders on lower pay



Instacart is a grocery delivery


  • Instacart,
    a grocery delivery company that relies on contract workers
    called “shoppers” to pick out and transport items to customers,
    announced at the beginning of November that it would be rolling
    out a new payment structure for those shoppers. 
  • Hundreds of
    are complaining online that the changes have
    resulted in cuts to their earnings. Many are also calling for a
    boycott of the company.
  • Shoppers say the new payment system is causing some
    delays for customers as workers reject more jobs and encourage
    others to boycott the company. An executive at Instacart denied
    that this was the case. 

Instacart rolled out a new payment system last
, and many of its shoppers weren’t too happy about it.

Instacart is a grocery delivery company that relies on contract
workers — whom it calls “shoppers” — to pick out and transport
items to customers. 

Hundreds of shoppers took tosocial
andRedditforums to complain about the changes, saying that they had
caused substantial cuts to their earnings.
Some are
now rejecting jobs while others
are threatening to boycott
the company.

Read more:

Instacart workers are threatening to boycott the company over a
payment policy change that they say has cut their wages

And it seems that this could be having a domino effect on the
customer experience. 

Several Instacart customers have recently taken to Twitter to
complain about delays in the service. 

“Order was supposed to be delivered between 9 & 10pm.
It’s 11:11 & still no order… oh don’t worry it’s not like I
have to be up at 6 and or anything,” one customer wrote on

on November 27. 

“My order is 40 minutes late, no one has started shopping,
and I’m sitting here on hold. Fuming. WTF?” another
a few days later. 

Several Instacart shoppers responded to these tweets by
saying that the delays were likely due to some shoppers declining
orders because they thought they weren’t worth their while

A spokesperson for Instacart denied that any recent delays
were related to the payment changes.

“We value our 70,000 dedicated shoppers and appreciate all
of their feedback. As our business has grown over the last year
to 15,000 stores in 4,000 cities, we’ve also been investing in
our shopper experience with new tools and features to make our
shopper’s jobs easier. As we’ve scaled our new earnings features
to more shoppers over the last month, we’ve seen no meaningful
impact on delayed customer orders as a result of those changes,”
a spokesperson for Instacart told Business Insider on

In a call with Business Insider on Monday, Instacart’s
chief product officer, David Hahn, said that average earnings for
shoppers had stayed the same under the new payment structure. He
added that the response from shoppers so far has been
“overwhelmingly positive.”

The new payment structure, which is currently running in
certain parts of the United States and will be rolled out
by the end of the year
, has been causing problems for some
shoppers, who say they have seen their wages cut as a

In the new system, shoppers are no longer paid a set fee
for delivery but rather a variable fee determined by the order’s
number of units, the type of items, the overall weight of the
order, the trip length, and the location.


Instacart said it made the changes to ensure that shoppers
are adequately reimbursed for more complex or heavier orders, but
shoppers say that under the new system, Instacart’s payment is
typically low and seemingly random.

“While a bonus for heavy deliveries is meant to be factored
into the new incentive fee, it is not always consistent,” Mark
Johnson, who has been an Instacart shopper in the Seattle area
for 14 months, told Business Insider. “I’ve seen crazy jobs of 30
to 50 items for $10 or $15. Before, we were making twice as

Before these changes, Johnson said he would be averaging
around $25 to $30 an hour for his work. In the new system, he
barely makes $20 an hour.

“It’s a significant cut,”
he said.

Hahn said the fee may seem more random because more factors are
being taken into consideration to determine it.

“Now that we are taking all these inputs into the batch, there
are more variants in the batch price than there was in the old
system,” he said, adding that the changes are going to be a
“continuous process.” 

Shoppers are rejecting more orders

But as a result of these changes, many shoppers say they
are now declining more orders that they believe to be too
low-paying to be worth their while. 

Andrew P., who has been a shopper since February, said that
up until these changes were put in place, he hadn’t rejected a
single job. He said that since the changes were made in his
market on November 19, he has turned down six jobs in two

This trend may now be causing delays on the customer’s


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