Ordering groceries with Instacart can give you back hours of your life, and it’s no wonder the number of users tops 5.5 million.
But any time you use something technology-based there is always room for mistakes, whether it’s accidentally hitting the Send Order button or ordering on the wrong day.
It begs the question: Can you cancel an Instacart order? What happens if you don’t want the order to be shopped? Here is what you need to know.
Can You Cancel An Instacart Order In 2023?
Customers can cancel an Instacart order at almost any point, though the best time to do it is before the shopper has started shopping. If you cancel after shopping has begun, you will likely incur a small fine. However, Instacart does issue refunds for cancelled orders, including if the shopper cancels.
Let’s take a closer look at how you cancel an Instacart order, how long you have before certain conditions kick in, if you can get a refund and even why Instacart may cancel orders. Keep reading!
How Do You Cancel An Instacart Order?
You can cancel an Instacart order during pretty much the entire pre-shopping, shopping and delivery process.
This is possible either through the app, via the Instacart website or by contacting Instacart Care, which you can do either through live chat or by calling.
To Cancel An Order Before Shopping Has Begun
Before shopping has begun is the best time to catch your error and cancel the order
If you cancel the order at any time before shopping has begun you will have a seamless – and free – experience.
On the website, you will click on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner. That will bring down your account menu.
Click on “Your Orders,” choose the order you want to cancel and click on “Manage order.”
Then you will see the option to Cancel my order; click on that and you’re done.
To cancel on the app before shopping has begun, it’s very similar. You can access your orders from the account menu (press on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner).
Or you can get there more directly by simply selecting “Orders” from the menu at the bottom of the app.
Find the order you want to cancel, press on it, scroll to “Manage orders” and tap on “Cancel this order.”
It really is as simple as that.
To Cancel An Order After Shopping Or Delivery Has Begun
If you find you need to cancel an order after shopping has begun or even when your shopper is on their way to your house, it’s a slightly thornier problem, but it can be done.
Rather than cancelling through the app or website, you’ll have to get in touch with Instacart Care, their customer support program.
There are two methods of communication through Instacart Care that you can use to cancel your order: either by phone, at 1.888.246.7822 or through their live chat function.
(As someone who has had to contact Instacart Care a few times, I can tell you their live chat is very easy, effective and quick.)
Make sure you have your order information available so that they can cancel the right one and they can walk you through the process.
They will also let you know if you have to pay a cancellation fee for the late timing; remember, only if you cancel before shopping begins are you free from penalty.
The fee can range up to $15; hopefully that is severe enough to serve as a warning that customers shouldn’t be cancelling mid-order left and right.
In either case, you will receive a refund; it will simply be less the cancellation fee if your order was already in progress.
How Long Do You Have To Cancel Instacart Order?
The time you have to cancel an Instacart order, if you want to not rack up a cancellation fee, varies.
It depends, first, on how soon you scheduled your order for. If you scheduled a priority delivery, you need to catch the mistake fast.
Second, if most shoppers are busy, your order might not be shopped until the very last moment, so you could have hours to cancel.
If there aren’t a lot of orders coming in (or there are many shoppers), then your groceries could be shopped right away, giving you minutes.
Note, too, that if you do pick-up, setting the time for later in the day doesn’t always guarantee a later shop time.
In-store shoppers can pull the order way ahead of time and store it in the coolers.
Can You Cancel An Instacart Order In Progress?
You can cancel an Instacart order that is in progress, but first, you’ll have to be quick, and second, you have to contact Instacart Care.
Through Instacart Care you can live chat a representative or call in and have the order stopped.
Again, though, in-progress Instacart orders, whether in the cart or in the car for delivery, may incur a cancellation fee of up to $15.
So be very careful when placing orders and very sure.
Can You Get A Refund For Cancelled Instacart Order?
If you cancel your Instacart order before shopping has begun, you will receive a full refund.
However, if you don’t catch it until your shopper has already started, or they’re in the car and on their way, you will get your refund for the order, but less the cancellation fee.
Do Instacart Shoppers Still Get Paid For Cancelled Orders?
I also want to point out that shoppers still get partially paid for cancelled orders that they’ve already begun, but regardless, it presents a hardship on their day.
This is particularly for full-service shoppers, who are paid by the batch (the coverall term for grocery shopping and delivering).
Cancelled orders after they’ve begun shopping constitute a sometimes significant loss of time and money.
After all, some shoppers have to drive out of their way to fulfill a batch, and Instacart does not reimburse for fuel.
However, it’s not quite as bad for in-store shoppers, who are actually Instacart employees and receive an hourly wage.
Why Did Instacart Cancel Order?
First, if Instacart cancels your order on their end, there is no penalty to you, the customer. You will be refunded and there will be no additional fee.
But you might be left wondering what the heck happened that your order didn’t get shopped and delivered.
Well, Reddit has some answers, and it’s going to make some of you take a hard look at yourself.
The biggest reason customers don’t get their orders shopped and instead see them cancelled, is that the tip simply did not match the level of effort required.
For example, a bunch of bulky, heavy items from Costco, a mere $2 tip and the driver has to traverse 20+ miles to deliver?
Not terribly enticing for any Instacart shopper. No one wants to take it, so the order gets cancelled.
But low tips aren’t the only reason for Instacart cancelling your order.
It could simply be a lack of shoppers, either in your area or at that time. You might have to wait a day or so to try again or try a different time.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on what are demo orders on Instacart, does Instacart delivers to apartments, and Sam’s Club Instacart.
Having to cancel an Instacart order isn’t ideal for anyone, so if you find you must, try and get to it before someone starts shopping.
After the shopping has begun, you can still cancel the order, but you may be subject to a fee of up to $15.