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  6. Why Instacart Deactivation Happens & How To Get Reactivated

Why Instacart Deactivation Happens & How To Get Reactivated

  • Deactivation can result from policy violations, excessive cancellations, or fraudulent activities.
  • Appeal by contacting support, providing credentials, and following the given instructions.
  • Reapply after deactivation depending on the reason, possibly in a different region.
  • Explore alternatives like Shipt or DoorDash; adhere strictly to Instacart’s guidelines.

Understanding Account Deactivation

Instacart is an incredibly reliable solution for having your necessary groceries delivered to your doorstep. It’s also an excellent side hustle to make extra cash as a shopper or a gig worker.

So, it’s understandable how frustrating it can be to receive a message that your Instacart account has been deactivated.

However, you can receive this message for a variety of reasons, and understanding your options and what you can do is essential to solve the problem.

As an Instacart Shopper, having your Instacart account deactivated means you’re locked out of receiving and delivering orders for Instacart.

This limits your ability to make money on the platform as an independent contractor, which can be as a temporary suspension or a permanent ban .

Since there are different forms of account deactivation, the first thing you need to do here is understand the possible reasons behind this message.

Some of the reasons behind this issue could be technical issues. For example, the system might just be down temporarily. In that case, the account will get reactivated automatically after a while.

However, in most cases, the deactivation will be a result of a certain action you did. In that case, the deactivation can extend for a few weeks, up to several years, or permanently .

Reasons for Account Deactivation

Instacart’s terms of service are quite vast and include a lot of situations that would result in account deactivation. The following list will explain some of the most common reasons behind this problem.

Policy Violations

Like other grocery delivery services, Instacart has specific guidelines for its shoppers. These policies cover a variety of topics like handling items, communicating, and fulfilling orders.

Violating any of these policies gives the platform the right to deactivate your account. In most cases, if you receive a deactivation email through your email address, it should include the reason behind it.

Keep in mind that not all of these breaches of the independent contractor agreement are obvious or easy to guess.

In fact, some of them might seem harmless but are still strictly prohibited by platforms. This includes handing Instacart receipts to customers or having people accompany you while shopping .

Too Many Cancellations

Occasional cancellations are understandable and acceptable, and this flexibility is one of the major advantages of Instacart.

Yet, having a consistently high cancellation rate can harm Instacart’s operations and impact customer experience negatively.

To prevent that, Instacart will flag Shoppers who cancel orders too frequently or without obvious reason, and deactivate their accounts.

Engaging in Suspicious or Fraudulent Activity

Any activity that suggests dishonesty or attempts to mislead Instacart or customers is strictly prohibited by the platform.

In fact, most cases of immediate and permanent deactivations are related to this reason . This includes actions a wide variety of actions, such as (but not limited to):

  • Tampering with orders
  • Trying to exploit a glitch in the app
  • Using bots to automatically accept batches, called “Batch Grabbers”
  • Misrepresenting items
  • Using stolen or unverified credit cards
  • Breaking local laws while performing Instacart-related work

Getting Consistently Bad Ratings

Customer feedback is a critical performance indicator for Instacart shoppers. If you consistently receive poor ratings, it means that there are issues with the quality of your service, such as:

  • Inappropriate, poor, or rude communication.
  • Too many inaccuracies in your order.
  • Overlooking special requests.
  • Being late on deliveries.
  • Receiving complaints about your performance in customer service

Failure to Comply with Instacart’s Alcohol Policy

In addition to having a strict no-DUI policy, Instacart has equally firm regulations when it comes to the purchase and delivery of alcohol.

Delivering to underage individuals or failing to verify ID are among the most common offenses that break these regulations and result in deactivation.

Sharing Instacart Shoppers Account with Someone Else

Some people might consider sharing their Instacart with others or co-shopping to achieve high-performance rewards and split them together.

However, according to Instacart regulations, you should never share your account credentials with others , as it’s considered a security risk and a breach of confidentiality and integrity of the customer’s orders.

While Instacart has methods to detect and flag account sharing, others can also report that. Your account will be at risk of deactivation if they submit enough proof to support their claim.

Steps to Appeal Deactivation

Luckily, Instacart account deactivation is not the end of the road for you, as you can still appeal the deactivation if you have solid proof that didn’t breach any of Instacart laws .

Here are simple guidelines detailing the appeal process through the app and how you should expect it to go:

  1. Contact Instacart shopper support by entering the app and tapping the “?” icon at the top right corner.
  2. The app will provide you with a list of automated help sections. However, you can contact a live agent directly by pressing the headset icon, also at the top right corner.
  3. Provide your username and other necessary credentials, then specify that you’re appealing your deactivation.
  4. From here, the requirements for the appeal will vary depending on your situation. Follow the support’s instructions carefully and prepare all evidence and documents to support your claim.

You can also send an appeal through email, although it might take several days before you get a reply.

Remember, the appeal process might take some time, so persistence and patience are essential here.

Re-Applying After Deactivation

While appealing an Instacart deactivation can work in several situations, there’s always a chance your account status won’t change.

However, Reapplying is still possible, so here are quick notes to keep in mind about Instacart’s rehire process:

  • Instacart would typically explain the duration of the deactivation. But in some cases, it may not specify one. In that case, it may depend on the severity of your violation.
  • You may need to contact Instacart support after a reasonable wait period to inquire about applying to be a Shopper again.
  • In some cases, you might get waitlisted before a new position opens. In that case, the app will notify you when you’re ready to start working again.
  • You can get around the long wait time by choosing to work in a different region where there’s a high demand.
  • There’s no specific timeframe for the wait period, as it depends on a variety of factors.

Alternative Options to Instacart

Losing your access to Instacart as a Shopper can be frustrating. However, even if your appeal doesn’t go through, there are still plenty of gig economy platforms with similar features and benefits, such as flexibility and free scheduling.

Here are some of the best alternatives to check out:

Delivery Services

The best alternative to Instacart is its direct competitors and other platforms in the same delivery service ecosystem where your skills are transferable. These include:

  • Grocery Delivery Services, such as Shipt, Amazon Fresh, FreshDirect, and Walmart+ Grocery .
  • Food Delivery Services, such as DoorDash, UberEats , and Grubhub.
  • Package Delivery Services, such as Postmates and Amazon Flex.

Rideshare Services

If you don’t mind changing the core of your work but still maintain the advantages of gig work, you could try alternative gigs that rely more on driving people around. The main platforms to consider here are Uber and Lyft , but you’ll need an eligible car for the job.

Best Practices to Avoid Account Deactivation

Whether your Instacart account has been reinstated or you’re curious about methods to maintain it and avoid deactivation, the following tips will help you protect your account:

  • Thoroughly read and understand Instacart’s shopper guidelines, as skipping them isn’t a valid excuse after deactivation. This also includes keeping up with new policy updates.
  • Always be on your best behavior while at work, as Instacart runs random background checks even after approvals to make sure that its process is running smoothly.
  • Don’t hesitate to inquire and contact Instacart support when in doubt. It’s better to ask than risk making a mistake.
  • Keep customers informed about order progress, substitutions, and any potential delays. This will help you keep your ratings high, even when problems arise.
  • Maintain professionalism during communication with customers, and focus on delivering the order efficiently.
  • Make it a habit to thoroughly review your cart before checkouts

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Another Instacart Account?

According to Instacart’s information center, the platform only allows one account per household. This means that as a customer, you can’t make another Instacart account for the same person.

However, you can have a separate Instacart account for business purposes, whether you’re a shopper or a vendor.

How Long Does Instacart Take to Verify Your Account?

If the submission of your credentials is clear and meets all requirements, the automated review should typically take around five minutes to two hours.

However, if additional or manual verification is necessary, the process might extend up to three business days.

You may also need to contact [email protected] to obtain a new verification link if it takes longer than this

Final Thoughts: Creating a Plan of Action

Instacart deactivation is frustrating, but it’s not the end of the road, as you still have options.

First, you need to understand the reasons behind your deactivation by reviewing the email carefully or contacting support.

If possible, appeal the deactivation by gathering all the evidence that supports your case. However, even if the appeal isn’t successful, you can also apply to alternative gigs

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