Are you using a grocery delivery service these days to avoid going to the grocery store? Back in March when the pandemic began having serious implications in Canada, I made several attempts to do my shopping at my local Loblaws. On each occasion, I either waited in line for 30 minutes to get into the store or I waited in line for 30 minutes to check out at the cashier. Needless to say, it was a tiring and stressful experience. I discovered that my local Food Basics was not busy in the early morning and tried shopping there a few times, but their social distancing measures are not as good as Loblaws. In fact, when I was at Food Basics one morning, the cashier proceeded to process the groceries of the customer behind me even though I had not finished packing my groceries. The customer then went to join me at the end of the conveyor belt to pack her groceries. Because she was within only two feet of me, I quickly moved away and let her finish before I returned to pack my groceries. It was a bit upsetting that the Food Basics location did not seem to care that customers would be side-by-side packing their groceries.
I realized that I had a $13 credit on my Instacart account leftover from a review I did for Loblaws Instacart in December 2017. Instead of letting the credit go to waste, I decided to give Instacart a try.
My sister and my niece each used Instacart in early April and said that they had to book a week in advance. I suspect that Instacart was not ready for the surge in demand and had to staff up.
I placed an order with Loblaws Instacart on May 18, 2020 to be delivered on May 19, 2020. When placing an order, make sure that you indicate under each item whether you want your grocery shopper to replace it with another item in the event that the original item is out of stock or whether you don’t want to replace it. You should also choose the specific item that you would like as a replacement so that you do not leave this decision to the discretion of your grocery shopper.
I chose the “Fast and Flexible” delivery option, which indicated that my order would be delivered sometime on May 19, 2020 since the next available delivery window was between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
I received a text indicating that my grocery shopper had begun shopping at 11 a.m. and asking whether I had any changes to make to my order. I also received a text from my grocery shopper indicating that he had to choose a replacement for my order. I then approved the replacement via text. My order arrived at 12:30 p.m., which was earlier than the first available window so I was pleased with the Fast and Flexible delivery option. I received all of the items I ordered with two items being replaced with replacement items I had specified. I was very pleased with the service.
I placed another order for Instacart on May 26, 2020 to be delivered from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on May 27, 2020. My grocery shopper texted me when she began shopping at 9 a.m. and asked if I had anything to add. She had to replace my salad greens that were out of stock for baby spinach and let me know by text. I approved this replacement item. She was also able to find me the Greek yogourt that I wanted even though that yogourt did not appear on the Instacart website. Five stars for that! She arrived at 10:30 a.m. and rang the doorbell and started loading my groceries on my front porch. I was really pleased with the service. The only problem was the following day, I noticed that she hadn’t picked up my free-range eggs even though I had been charged for them. I immediately emailed Instacart to notify them of the error and they responded within four minutes and credited my Instacart account with the amount of the eggs. They gave me the option of crediting my credit card, but said that would take between 5-10 business days.
Despite that one error, I am pleased with Loblaws Instacart’s service. It has saved me from spending hours at the grocery store, as well as avoiding stores where social distancing measures are not ideal.