Instacart Refund Policy (All You Need To Know)

Instacart has made grocery shopping an altogether easier and more convenient chore for many North American households.

However, the grocery delivery service does become something of a middleman between the customer and the store. That can complicate matters, especially if there is an error.

Does Instacart give refunds? What is Instacart’s refund policy? You will want to check out the answer below, because this is an important one.

What Is Instacart’s Refund Policy In [currentyear]?

Instacart operates under a “100 percent satisfaction guarantee,” and encourages unsatisfied customers to report an issue with their order, within a week, for a refund. Instacart issues refunds through either account credit or direct deposit; the former is instant, while the latter can take over a week to go through.

To learn more about how Instacart refunds work, how long you can expect your refund to take hitting your account, whether you can return Instacart purchases and much more, keep reading for all you need to know!

How Do Instacart Refunds Work?

Instacart refunds are both simple and easy to obtain, as the company maintains a very generous satisfaction guarantee policy (which you can see here).

I personally have never had an issue getting a refund when I felt I was due one, and the representatives I have dealt with have been unfailingly kind and thoughtful.

Instacart does have a few provisions for obtaining a refund, namely your complaint must be eligible and your issues are subject to Instacart’s review.

But like I said, they are more than generous with their policy.

Some of the most common reasons refunds are issued include:

  • Wrong or missing item
  • Wrong or missing order
  • Damaged or poor-quality item
  • Late delivery (beyond the stated, estimated time)
  • Unprofessional service from shopper

To obtain your refund, you can reach out to Instacart a few ways.

If you have noticed an issue right away, you can report it through the shopper review that pops up the next time you open the app (after your delivery has arrived).

Any time you give less than a five-star rating to your shopper, the Instacart bot pops up with some follow-up questions – namely, do you need to report an issue?

The other way to do it is after some time has passed – perhaps the next day and later. Remember, you have up to a week to report an issue with any given order.

Open the app and press where it says “Orders.” Scroll to find the offending order and you will see a grey “Get help” button.

Press on that, and it will initiate the Item Issues menu, which is where you can begin to report your issue.

In both cases, you will have either a straight-forward resolution, where an Instacart customer service rep reaches out (usually via email) to let you know you have been issued a refund.

Or, if your matter is a bit more complex, you may speak directly with a representative, either via phone or the app’s live chat feature.

I have done both and found both to be extremely satisfactory.

Instacart offers their refunds in the form of either account credit, which can be used across any of their retailers, as well as a deposit back to the form of payment used.

The account credit can be pushed through almost immediately; I’ve finished a live chat with a representative and the money was already there.

However, getting the refund back on your card takes a bit longer, more like 5-10 business days (so Saturdays and Sundays don’t count).

And another thing regarding refunds to your card – you won’t see a new Instacart item show up on your statement with the refund.

I have found they are more likely to adjust the charge from the initial order.

So if your total was $75 and you got a refund for a bottle of cold brew at $4, when the refund is processed and has gone through, it will instead read $71.

Does Instacart Refund The Difference?

Does Instacart Refund The Difference?

If your Instacart shopper replaces an item on your list with a less expensive item, Instacart absolutely adjusts your total and refunds you the difference.

Bear in mind, you were already charged a larger sum for the order; that amount served as a placeholder in case of an instance where your total ended up being higher.

Because the initial charge was always meant to be dynamic, it’s thus very easy for Instacart to adjust it to be lower.

How Long Does It Take To Get Instacart Refund?

If you opt for an account credit from Instacart for a refund, you can expect it to appear just about instantaneously.

However, if you want the money back on your card, you will have to wait 5-10 business days.

And remember it doesn’t always have to do with Instacart; your bank and its deposit policy can lengthen the process.

What Happens If You Don’t Get Your Instacart Order?

If you don’t receive your Instacart order – because it was either never delivered or they delivered the wrong one – you can reach out to Instacart for a refund.

In the app, press on the three horizontal lines in the upper-left corner and bring down the account menu.

Scroll to where you see “Help Center” with an icon of a headset; it will bring up another page for the Help Center.

Scroll down until you see the green button “Get help.”

Keep following instructions and you will be connected with someone who can assist you with getting a refund.

Can You Return Something You Bought On Instacart?

Unfortunately, if you need to make a return for something you purchased via Instacart, you will have to bring it back to the store.

You can’t make returns through Instacart (though wouldn’t that be nice?).

Bring your mobile phone with the order information with you to the customer service desk, because that will serve as your receipt.

Do Instacart Shoppers Get Penalized For Refunds?

Instacart shoppers do not necessarily get penalized for refunds, although in some cases they may receive a reliability incident.

Reliability incidents may be issued when shoppers aren’t following rules or shopping best practices.

So while Instacart doesn’t dock their pay directly, if they accrue too many reliability incidents they can get penalized with limited access to batches and less-favorable shifts.

And that ultimately has the ability to affect their earnings in a major way.

To know more, you can also read our posts on Instacart refund, does Instacart accepts cash, and Instacart shop only orders.


Instacart maintains a generous refund policy, awarded along the guidelines of their 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

Many of the most common Instacart mistakes, like wrong or missing items, qualify for a refund, which customers can receive via account credit or back on their card.

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Cara Suppa

Cara Suppa has been freelance writing for over a decade and holds a BA in English and an MS in Integrated Marketing Communications. Outside of work, she is an avid cook, gardener, and discount shopper.

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