Instacart Refund (How to Get One + What to Expect)

With greater influence and power comes greater responsibility, and no tech company has realized this faster than Instacart, because with more and more people ordering, that opens the door for more opportunities where a refund is needed.

So, you might be wondering- does Instacart provide refunds? Or do you have to go through the store where the items came from? Keep reading to see what I discovered!

Does Instacart Provide Refunds In [currentyear]?

Instacart handles all the refunds requested for products purchased through its app in [currentyear]. Customers don’t need to contact the actual store from which the items came. Refunds can be requested through the app or by calling Instacart’s customer service line, and the timeline for such requests can take as little as a few seconds.

To learn more about how you contact Instacart for your refund, how long different types of refunds take to process, whether the shoppers can be penalized for them and much more, keep reading for more facts!

How Do You Contact Instacart for Refund?

Instacart has made its customer service incredibly accessible through its powerful mobile app (or website,

One way to request a refund is immediately after your groceries have been delivered or picked up.

As soon as you open the app again, a window will pop up asking you to rate your experience.

Anything less than a five-star rating will prompt Instacart to ask you what was wrong. You’ll lodge your complaint and request a refund through this avenue.

If less than a week has passed and you have already been given a five-star rating before realizing that your order wasn’t filled properly, you can still request a refund.

Open the app and look over the main menu across the bottom. You should see “Orders.” Click on that and scroll through to find the correct transaction.

This page will take you through a series of questions which offer possible mishaps, such as damaged items, missing items, you didn’t receive your order, etc.

Pick whichever one pertains to you, or if none of them encapsulate your issue, pick “Something else.”

The app will take you through a few questions to figure out which item(s) needs to be addressed.

Once you have isolated the item at issue (and you can select multiples at a time) you’ll arrive at a window that reads “We’re sorry about that.”

You can add details about your issue, like why you’re unhappy, whether you think it’s the fault of the shopper/driver, etc.

Next, the screen asks, “How can we make this right?”

Here you’ll see two refund options: Credit my account and Refund to original payment method.

(There is also the “Just providing feedback” option, which you can select if your issue doesn’t require a refund, but you want to let the company know something went wrong.)

At that point, the choice is yours; if you choose the account credit, you’ll receive it almost immediately, and you can apply it across any Instacart-supported retailer.

If you want the refund back on your credit/debit card, the wait to see that money can be as much as a week (or more, as it’s listed as “up to 7 business days”).

Further, when the money goes back to your original payment method, it doesn’t appear as its own item on your account statement.

Rather, your total from that entire purchase will appear as the amount spent, minus the refund amount.

Finally, you don’t need to take any offending items back to the store; if it’s damaged or of bad quality, simply throw it out.

Unfortunately, Instacart cannot handle exchanges or replacements (which is discussed further below).

The above is the protocol that most Instacart customers will need to follow for minor blips in their orders.

However, if you have an issue that is more serious and goes beyond just getting a few dollars back, you should contact Instacart’s customer service.

Call 1-888-246-7822 so that you can speak directly with a representative.

How Long Do You Have to Request an Instacart Refund?

How Long Do You Have to Request an Instacart Refund?

You have seven days from the day of delivery to request a refund from Instacart for individual items or entire orders.

Instacart also offers refunds on Express Memberships. In that instance, you have up to two weeks (15 days, actually) to receive your money back and cancel.

The only caveat is that you must not have used your Express Membership at that time.

How Long Do Instacart Refunds Take?

How soon can you get your money back after an Instacart refund request? Here’s what you need to know:

If You Chose Account Credit:

Having the amount of the order or the item put back on your account as credit is the easiest and fastest way to receive your refund.

In most cases, the refund is instantaneous, and a benefit to this feature is that you can use the credit across any Instacart-supported retailer.

This is definitely the best option if you’re a regular, ongoing, and committed Instacart customer.

If You Chose Refund to Original Payment Method:

Per Instacart, it can take anywhere between five to seven business days to have the refund amount credited back to the original payment method.

Note that this will take longer depending on how the weekend or holidays fall.

If Your Issue Needs to Be Investigated:

Some refund matters are so serious that Instacart has to hold an investigation to figure out what happened. In that case, refunds can take an indefinite amount of time.

You’ll have to just sit tight and be patient. Fortunately, Instacart rarely lets the grass grow under its feet, and is always hustling to ensure a good customer service experience.

Are Instacart Shoppers Penalized for Refunds?

Instacart’s fleet of shoppers don’t get penalized for refunds issued out of the orders they handled, and do not lose money or have pay docked because of a refund.

As well, individual retailers won’t be penalized for refunds, either (although they could end up on the hook if the customer bypasses Instacart and goes to the store).

Rather, Instacart absorbs all the losses from refunds itself, which in turn pushes the company to do better by its shoppers and customers.

Does Instacart Refund If an Order Is Late?

According to Instacart’s Terms of 100 Percent Satisfaction Guarantee, “Customers are eligible for a refund or credit…for any of the following order issues…”

Late arrival is listed first, with the description “the order arrives after the end of the scheduled delivery or pick-up window.”

You will have to report the issue to Instacart and wait for the company’s investigation into the matter, but if you’re proven correct, you should be eligible for a refund for a late delivery.

How Do You Receive a Replacement with Instacart?

Unfortunately, Instacart cannot issue a replacement as part of the refund process.

If you want a replacement, rather than just a refund, most retailers will permit you to bring the item into the store for a swap.

You will want to bring your phone, with the order information on it (this is acting as your receipt), and make sure the item is in brand new/unused condition.

Before you head into the store, though, conduct a little research on how that particular retailer handles Instacart-related returns/replacements.

To learn more about Instacart, you can also see our posts on Instacart gift cards, if Instacart is legit, and if you should tip Instacart delivery drivers.


Instacart has a very generous refund policy, granting account credits for the item amount, often in less than a few seconds.

Refunds returned to the original payment method can take up to seven business days, and matters requiring an investigation even longer. Ultimately, the company strives to be quick and efficient in resolving refunds, and for the most part, it’s successful.

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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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