It’s happened to thousands of Instacart shoppers: You open the app to start shopping for the day only to see a message that your account is deactivated.
“Deactivated” is gig economy lingo for a more familiar term: Fired! When you’re deactivated from Instacart, you can’t shop, and you can’t earn.
Deactivations can happen suddenly, and Instacart won’t always give you exact reasons for your deactivation.
There’s good and bad news: It’s possible to get your account back, but Instacart will not always give you a second chance.
In this article, we go over the common reasons for deactivation, how to get reactivated, and what you can do to prevent deactivation.
Deactivated by Instacart? Try Uber Eatsinstead!
- How to know if you’ve been deactivated
- Why shoppers get deactivated: Top reasons
- How to get reactivated
- How to prevent deactivation
- Can’t shop for Instacart? Other gigs to try
How to know if you’ve been deactivated
You will receive an email and an in-app notification when your account is deactivated. The in-app message says, “Your account has been deactivated,” and it will tell you to refer to an email from Instacart with more info.
You’ll see this message in the shopper app when you’re deactivated
The deactivation email generally begins with “Your shopper account has been deactivated due to….” and then gives a reason for your deactivation.
Instacart also sends an email with more details
“Your account is under review”
Instacart might temporarily place your account under review if you have been flagged for a contract violation. You will see an in-app message saying, “Your account is under review.”
The message will tell you when you can start shopping again, but the review can also result in deactivation.
If your account is under review, watch out for an email from Instacart asking for more info. Then, sit tight and wait for an update.
Watch closely for email updates when your account is under review and be prepared to defend yourself
Why Instacart shoppers get deactivated: The top reasons
Cancelling too many batches, cancelling after checkout
Your cancellation rate can’t be higher than 15%. Once you get past 15%, you are seriously risking deactivation.
Try your best to save cancels for the worst of the worst batches. Learn the difference between a bad and a good batch before you accept it.
Cancelling orders after checkout may cause Instacart to put your account ‘under review’ while they investigate.
If you need to cancel during the delivery process, it’s best to contact support and have them cancel it for you.
Serious customer complaints
Instacart may disable your account if a customer makes a serious complaint about you. For example, a customer might complain about an argument, fight, confrontation, or some other inappropriate behavior.
Usually, you will get a chance to tell your side of the story, so there’s a chance of reactivation if this was an isolated incident and if there’s no proof in your chat with the customer.
Failing a background check
Instacart occasionally reruns your background check and motor vehicle report—the exact frequency depends on your state.
You can be deactivated if Instacart finds new issues that don’t meet their background standards.
Many shoppers end up deactivated for driving record issues. If you’ve received a few tickets since your last background check, there’s a chance you can be deactivated.
It’s even possible to be deactivated for an issue that was already on your record when you were first accepted as a shopper. Background check standards may change, or the person reviewing your case may come to a different conclusion.
Failing a photo verification or account sharing
Instacart uses a photo detection system to verify that you are the authorized account holder, and that you aren’t sharing your account with an unauthorized person.
But it’s an imperfect system, and shoppers sometimes fail the selfie test. Something as simple as bad lighting or a new haircut can cause you to fail.
When you fail the selfie test, you can be reactivated by following steps to upload more photos and more identification.
Account sharing is prohibited. You can get caught by a selfie test, or you can be reported by a customer. Customers want the person dropping off the groceries to match what they see in the app.
Too many reports of undelivered/missing orders
You might be deactivated if too many customers report that they never got their delivery. One or two of these complaints may not lead to deactivation, but any more than that and you risk deactivation.
One problem is that dishonest customers can try to get free groceries by fraudulently reporting a missing delivery. Protect yourself by taking pictures of every delivery. For a ‘hand it to me’ order, try to get some photo proof even if you can’t leave all the items on the porch.
Unauthorized purchases with the payment card
You are only authorized to purchase items from the customer order. You will be deactivated if you get caught purchasing items for yourself—that’s obvious.
But you can also be deactivated for unauthorized replacements, or for replacements that are significantly more expensive. More on this below.
Bump abuse: Asking for unjustified bumps, or too many
You can ask for a pay bump if heavy pay is missing or when a batch is cancelled after you’ve already picked out items or started the delivery process.
But if you abuse the bump system, you can be deactivated. Some shoppers ask for bumps when they don’t deserve them, but it can feel unfair if all of your bumps were justified, but you still get deactivated.
Instacart support detects account fraud (sometimes to protect you from scammers)
Scammers pose as customers or support reps in an attempt to access your account. Your account may be locked or deactivated if Instacart detects that something fraudulent happened with your account.
This could actually be in your benefit if it stops a scammer from accessing your account. This deactivation is likely to go away on its own once Instacart investigates.
There are countless ways to cheat the system. Usually, the end goal is to make more money by manipulating bonuses, or to get free items. You’ll get canned if you get caught.
The most frustrating thing about fraud accusations is that Instacart usually refuses to go into any detail about the fraud. So if you are genuinely innocent, it’s hard to defend yourself.
(Not verified) Giving chat agents a bad rating
Many deactivated shoppers claim they lost access to their accounts after leaving a bad rating for a support agent. It’s not a 100% verified claim, but many shoppers refuse to leave less than 5 stars for their chat agent out of fear of retaliation
Support reps have the power to flag your account or even deactivate you, so try to choose your words wisely!
What’s going on with deactivations for unauthorized purchases?
In late 2022 and early 2023, an unusually large number of shoppers reported that they were deactivated for unauthorized purchases with the Instacart payment card.
The main claim from Instacart was that the final payment didn’t match the expected payment. That could mean certain replacements were too expensive or that shoppers added items to the order without the correct authorization.
In most cases, the batch had occurred several months before, making it hard to remember details. Some shoppers keep photos and receipts, but not for months.
The outcome wasn’t great for many shoppers—few followed up to say they had been reactivated.
If this happened to you, try your best to get receipts from the store to prove that the order matched the customer’s requests.
Is it possible to be reactivated?
Being reactivated is possible: You can get your account back if it has been deactivated. If you follow up with Instacart support, they may rule in your favor and allow you to start shopping again.
But that doesn’t mean every deactivated shopper will get a second chance! Some deactivations are permanent.
Here’s an example of a shopper who was reactivated:
How to appeal an Instacart deactivation and get reactivated
Most of the time, you will need to take action to get your account back.
If your account is deactivated, the first step is to look for an email from Instacart that will be sent tothe email address connected to your shopper account.
The email may have more information about your deactivation, and it may give you an opportunity to reply and give Instacart more information about the situation.
Read emails closely for instructions about how to appeal
Act quickly, but try not to panic. Gather your thoughts and any information that might support you, then follow the steps in the deactivation email.
If the email and app notifications don’t contain any more info, contact support to ask for the details.
You may need tocontact the trust and safety team at:[emailprotected]
Only reach out directly to that email address if you can’t access the support chat in the app, or if Instacart hasn’t responded to you for a long time, more than 3–5 days.
Try not to send too many messages. One shopper said that they got an emailasking that I stop contacting support for updates. Don’t bombard support. Be patient and wait for a response.
Tips to get reactivated
- Quickly follow up with any messages you get from support
- Closely follow any directions and requests from support
- Present your case without sending unnecessary details
- Provide proof if possible: Photos & screen caps of the order, photos of receipts, screencapss of chats with the customer, etc.
- Ask for an update if it’s been more than 3–5 days without an update from support
Support says the decision is final? Try anyways. It’s worth contacting support even if they say the decision is final. You never know if they might reconsider. But that doesn’t mean you should bombard Instacart with messages. Be patient and considerate.
Not getting anywhere? Try Twitter
Send a direct message to@InstacartHelpto get the ball rolling. Some shoppers report that Instacart report is more responsive on Twitter.
How to contact support outside of the app
Generally, you need to log into the Instacart app or website to contact support. But what if you can’t log in?
Contact support withoutlogging in:In the shopper app, tap login > login with password > forgot password > tap the headset icon in the upper corner. That will connect you with support.
You can also directly contact Instacart trust & safety: [emailprotected]
You are less likely to be reactivated for these reasons
It may be possible to get reactivated in some cases, but your chances of getting your account back aren’t strong if Instacart deactivated you for the reasons below.
High cancellation rate/low customer ratings: Instacart strongly warns you when your cancellation rate is getting too high, so they don’t offer many second chances if you don’t bring it down.
Confrontation with a customer that can be proved from chat logs/photos/videos: Your appeal probably won’t be successful if you fought with a customer and they can prove it.
Failed background check: You’re not likely to get a second chance if a background check refresh turns up new issues on your criminal record or motor vehicle record. They can even deactivate you for something already on your record when you first applied.
Frequent reports of missing deliveries: One or two missing deliveries likely won’t trigger a deactivation. But once you have several on your record and get deactivated, Instacart may not give you a second chance.
Can you make a new account and start fresh?
You can’t get around a deactivation by creating a new account. Accounts are tied to your SSN, and you need your SSN to do the background check.
A new email address and phone number are not enough to trick the system.Even if you somehow create a new account, Instacart will eventually detect the duplicate account and deactivate you again.
How to prevent deactivation: Protect your account
Not every deactivation is unavailable, but you can protect your account by following these guidelines:
- Don’t cancel too often. Don’t let your rate get above 10%
- Keep your ratings high. Contact support to get unfair ratings removed
- Take photos of all completed orders, even for ‘hand it to me’ orders
- Keep receipts for orders that had unusual replacements or high-value items that a customer might dispute
- Never argue or escalate with a customer. If a customer is rude, contact support and cancel instead of arguing
- Take verification selfies in good lighting, and try to make them look similar to your profile picture
- Proactively contact support whenever things go wrong. Leave a paper trail that you can point to later
- Follow the rules! Don’t try to trick the system
Do you have any legal options? Arbitration and lawsuits
If you think you were deactivated unfairly, you might want to consider your legal options. Can you sue to get your gig back?
Unfortunately, your legal options are limited by the arbitration clauses of the independent contractor agreement you signed when you first started as a shopper.
All disputes must go to arbitration, and any potential outcomes are limited by the agreement.The agreement is heavily in their favor, giving them the ability to deactivate you for many reasons.
However, if you were deactivated due to false information on your background check, you may have more legal options.
You can reach out to Checkr to correct the false information, and if Instacart doesn’t reconsider your deactivation, contacting a lawyer may be a good idea.
But other than the very specific case of background check information, your legal options are limited to arbitration.
Deactivation stories from real shoppers
- Accused of using the payment card without authorization
- Failing a selfie verification. This person was reactivated 5 days later
- Failing a background check updateand aMVR check
- Cancelled too many batches
- Customer accused shopper of throwing food at them
- Another confrontation with a customer
- Too many missing/undelivered orders
- Temporarily deactivated due to scammer/fraud
- Bump abuse: asking for too many bumps
- Deactivated for giving chat agents a bad rating
Can’t shop for Instcart? Try these gigs instead—and always have a backup!
There are other gigs that offer just as much flexibility as Instacart. And deactivations can happen any time, so it’s important to always have a backup!
- Uber Eats
- Amazon Flex
There’s not much reward for loyalty in the gig economy. Shop around and find what works for you!
More reading for shoppers
- What the data says about real shopper pay
- How Cart Star works: Is Diamond worth it?
- All of the bonuses and promotions on Instacart
If you can't work on the Instacart platform because you were inactive for a while, getting your account reinstated should be easy. All you have to do is reach out to the shopper support team and explain that you'd like to start working for Instacart again.What can I do if my Instacart account is deactivated? ›
Whether you know that Instacart deactivated your account in error or you don't see the reason, your first step is to contact shopper support if you want to start appealing their decision. When you reach out to them, you'll need to provide your username and why you're appealing the deactivation.Can I get my Instacart back? ›
Being reactivated is possible: You can get your account back if it has been deactivated. If you follow up with Instacart support, they may rule in your favor and allow you to start shopping again. But that doesn't mean every deactivated shopper will get a second chance! Some deactivations are permanent.Can you make a second Instacart account? ›
Can I have two or more accounts? Instacart allows only one personal account per person or household. However, you may use a secondary account for business purposes. Accounts aren't limited to one delivery address, or even one ZIP code.Can I delete my Instacart shopper account and make a new one? ›
- Call 1-888-246-7822.
- Select Get help at the bottom of any article in the Help Center.
- On the Contact us page, select Chat with us to get connected right away.
Instacart is temporarily suspending the accounts of its gig workers who cancel grocery orders for reasons they say are beyond their control, thereby cutting them off from their income. The company claims these temporary "pauses," which last at least 24 hours, are a preventative measure against fraud.What disqualifies you from being an Instacart shopper? ›
Moving violations. Driving under the influence. Major violations that demonstrate negligence to the safety of your vehicle.
It's unlikely you can get your Shipt Shopper account reactivated. Shipt isn't known for responding to email requests for reactivation, and many violations of the Shipt Shopper policy are serious and result in permanent deactivation.
Family account members
If you're the family account owner, you can only add 1 other member to that account. If you want to add a new member to your family account, you first have to remove the current member and then add a new one. You can remove and add up to 3 separate members within a 60 day period.
Can 2 Instacart Shoppers shop together? Instacart Shopper accounts are approved on an individual basis. A single shopper is expected to serve the customer, and it is this single Shopper that is paid for that order. Thus, it is against Instacart's rules for 2 Instacart shoppers to shop together on a single order.Can I do Instacart with my baby? ›
It is actually against Instacart policy to bring anyone with you while on an active batch. If you are caught or reported to Instacart, you can be deactivated. I have brought my children with me when I did my instacart shopping. When my 6 yr old dad was working & I needed the money what was I do.How much do Instacart shoppers make? ›
Average Instacart Shoppers hourly pay ranges from approximately $8.00 per hour for Independent Contractor to $16.49 per hour for Store Shopper. The average Instacart Shoppers salary ranges from approximately $34,648 per year for Personal Shopper to $78,238 per year for Delivery Driver.Can I switch roles on Instacart? ›
If you've already started the signup process but want to make changes, you'll have to reach out to Instacart Care. We can help you make updates to your role, location, and personal information.Can I use the same Instacart shopper? ›
It is not possible to get the same Shopper on Instacart except by chance. Shoppers are independent contractors who decide when and when not to work. And orders are prioritized to the top-rated Shoppers, so the likelihood of working and being available when a specific order comes in is low.Can I talk to a live person at Instacart? ›
Our new Call Now feature lets you connect with an agent in under two minutes, with just one click in the app. Support agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so there is always someone available to lend a hand.Can you chat with Instacart support? ›
While your personal shopper is working on your order, you can chat with them about changes to your order, to get more information about a recommended replacement, and anything else you want to communicate.Can you talk to someone at Instacart? ›
To speak to a Community Support member, call 1-888-246-7822. Note that you may have to wait a bit to speak to someone, especially if you're calling during a busy time such as the afternoon delivery rush. The phone number is active 24/7, and the customer support representatives support both customers and shoppers.What is the Instacart lawsuit? ›
Instacart has reached a $5.25 million settlement with the city of San Francisco concerning payments to workers for health care and sick leave, according to an announcement by the city on Thursday.
Christina Hall (she/her) - Chief Human Resources Officer - Instacart | LinkedIn.Who is the CEO of Instacart? ›
When you place your orders, shoppers can see your orders and choose to pick them up and deliver them. If your order isn't convenient for shoppers (if it's too big for example), or if there aren't enough shoppers working that day, your order gets canceled.How long does it take Instacart to review your account? ›
Instacart says that background checks normally process within 10 days. To check the status of your background check, visit the Checkr applicant portal. You will receive an app notification when your background check is complete.Does Instacart punish you for not taking orders? ›
Does Instacart Punish You for Not Accepting Batches? According to anecdotal evidence, Instacart penalizes customers for refusing to accept batches when they were still active. For instance, if shoppers reject a batch, Instacart may remove their delivery chances for the rest of the day.Can you get suspended from Instacart? ›
Sometimes Instacart may suspend customer accounts as a security measure to prevent fraud. Our top priority is keeping your personal information secure. If your account appears to be suspended, you won't be able to place any orders. Please reach out to Instacart Customer Experience, and we can assist you.Can a shopper sue Instacart? ›
Yes, you can sue Instacart. If you were involved in a car accident while you were driving for Instacart, you have the right to file a claim. If you suffered injuries, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit.Can felons use Instacart? ›
Instacart will run a background check on you to find out your past criminal records. Luckily, Instacart does hire those with past felony convictions.How do I reactivate my permanently deactivated Uber account? ›
How to get your Uber account reactivated. To reactivate your driver account, contact Uber support. Ask Uber to review the deactivation, and ask to be reactivated.Can you get reactivated with Shipt? ›
If you have previously canceled your subscription and decide you would like to take advantage of Shipt Everyday again, you can reactivate at any time from your Account or during checkout. Choose the Shipt Everyday option, select your payment method, and confirm.
An Uber deactivation may stay permanent if you severely broke a safety rule. It might remain permanently in place if you committed fraudulent behavior, as well.Can you do Instacart without a car? ›
In-store shoppers are Instacart employees who, among other things, shop and stage orders in one store at a time. These part-time shoppers work scheduled shifts, up to 29 hours per week. No car is required for this role. Individuals with a medical condition or disability may qualify for reasonable accommodations.How much can I make at Instacart? ›
Average Instacart Shoppers hourly pay ranges from approximately $8.00 per hour for Independent Contractor to $24.37 per hour for Delivery Driver. The average Instacart Shoppers salary ranges from approximately $15,000 per year for Driver (Independent Contractor) to $37,184 per year for Store Shopper.Do Instacart shoppers get a free membership? ›
You don't need a membership to shop with Instacart. However, Instacart+, previously known as Instacart Express, is a membership option for customers who want to save more and get other exclusive benefits. For a flat annual cost or a low monthly fee, you can enjoy unlimited free deliveries on all orders of $35 or more.Is it better to do Instacart or DoorDash? ›
Does DoorDash or Instacart Pay More? The money you make working for DoorDash or Instacart will depend on how often you work, your role, and tips. However, while the average earnings per hour are similar for both companies, DoorDash driver pay is typically more because their base rate for tips is higher.Can I get maternity leave if I work for Instacart? ›
Generous Parental Leave
We offer 12 weeks of paid parental leave for employees who become parents (through birth, adoption, or foster care) to support them and their families as they take on their new role as a parent.
DoorDash does allow someone else to ride with Dashers on deliveries. So unlike Instacart, Dashers can bring a friend, child, or spouse as long as their presence does not interfere with your work.Can you make $1000 a week with Instacart? ›
As an Instacart shopper, you can expect to earn anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per week. The amount you make will depend on several factors. These factors include how many orders you complete and the size of the orders. In general, shoppers who complete more orders will earn more money.Does Instacart pay for gas? ›
No, Instacart doesn't reimburse for gas.
However, Instacart may adjust the pay you'll receive for a job based on how long it will take you and how far you need to go, or they'll at least calculate how much you earned on top of gas and mileage costs for you.
To earn $500 a week with Instacart, you likely need to work around 25 hours if you average $20 per hour in pay. This is a realistic hourly rate in busy markets, but it also assumes you get enough batches and that you shop efficiently. You can also get lucky with large tips and potentially make $500 much faster.
Can You Get Reactivated With Instacart? If Instacart deactivated your account for inactivity, you can get the online delivery platform to reactivate it so you can start working again. However, if Instacart deactivated your account because you didn't follow their policies, getting reactivated can be tricky.How do I quit my Instacart as an employee? ›
First, call the Instacart shopper customer support at (888)-246-7822 and speak to a customer service representative. The customer service representative will walk you through permanently canceling your account.Can I make Instacart my full time job? ›
Can Instacart Be a Full-Time Job? If you work as a full-service shopper with Instacart, you are free to take as many hours as you wish. You can even take on the workload of a full-time employee.Can I shop at two stores at the same time on Instacart? ›
With Instacart, you can shop from multiple stores when placing an order. You'll have separate carts for each store and can switch between stores while you're shopping to find and add items.Can I have 2 Instacart orders at once? ›
Multiple batches on Instacart: Doubles, triples, and multiple store orders. A double batch is two full-service orders from the same store combined into one task. The Instacart shopper shops for both orders at the same time, then delivers the orders to each customer separately.What is the best time of day to Instacart? ›
The best times to take on Instacart batches include evenings during the week (4 PM to 8 PM), and all day on weekends. Sunday is consistently the busiest day of the week so if you like to work weekends, you can maximize your earnings on this day.Is there another app like Instacart? ›
Grubhub is similar to Instacart in that users can pay a monthly fee to receive free delivery.Can I use someone else's Instacart shopper account? ›
Instacart Shopper accounts are approved on an individual basis. A single shopper is expected to serve the customer, and it is this single Shopper that is paid for that order. Thus, it is against Instacart's rules for 2 Instacart shoppers to shop together on a single order.Will Instacart deactivate you for a speeding ticket? ›
What kind of violation can get you deactivated? If a delivery service like Doordash, Instacart, Grubhub, Uber Eats and others believes that whatever happened violates the terms of your agreement, that alone can get you deactivated.Is there a way to get reactivated with Shipt? ›
If you have previously canceled your subscription and decide you would like to take advantage of Shipt Everyday again, you can reactivate at any time from your Account or during checkout. Choose the Shipt Everyday option, select your payment method, and confirm.
You can deliver via bike, scooter, or car. Usually more stable orders and hourly pay than Instacart. A more forgiving driver rating system than Instacart.
If your additional member shares the same address as you, then you both can shop together using family carts. However, you can each shop individually if you prefer, as items in a personal cart don't add to a family cart.Can I bring my kid while doing Instacart? ›
On the books, you're supposed to shop by yourself, but here's what I will say: I know there are women who bring their husbands when they shop at night. I know there are moms who bring their kids when they shop. In full disclosure, if you bring your kids, you're breaking the rules. Will Instacart find out?Can I bring my child while doing Instacart? ›
It is actually against Instacart policy to bring anyone with you while on an active batch. If you are caught or reported to Instacart, you can be deactivated. I have brought my children with me when I did my instacart shopping. When my 6 yr old dad was working & I needed the money what was I do.