Instacart Customer Reported Missing Order: What Happens Next & 5 Ways To Prevent Delivery Mistakes

Placing orders on Instacart is quite a convenient and efficient practice. However, it can become frustrating if there is an error with your order or if it is missing some items. Such events should be reported by the customer because there is a way Instacart handles them. 

Once you report a missing order, Instacart will investigate to verify your claim. Their response to your complaint will depend on the outcome of the investigation. However, they are generally tailored to make customers happy. 

This article explores how Instacart responds to a missing order report, its causes, and preventive measures both customers and shoppers can adopt. You will also discover what to do (as a shopper) if a customer is not available at the time of delivery. 

Instacart Customer Reported Missing Order: What Next? 


Instacart takes missing order cases seriously. Once an Instacart customer reports a missing order, it will be investigated. The process begins with checking your order history to learn more about the missing order and overall shopping behavior. 

If your claim is true or your order is genuinely missing, you will get a refund or credits for the missing items from Instacart. Please note that you may have to settle for a partial refund or credit if evidence suggests that the shopper made a genuine effort to fulfill your order. 

On the other hand, if the investigation reveals that your claim is false, your account will face disciplinary actions or may be banned. In addition, Instacart expects you to report a missing or incorrect order within seven days of receiving the package. 

Why are Items Missing from Your Instacart Order?

A reported missing or incorrect order from an Instacart customer may be due to: 

1. Inventory discrepancies 

This is one of the primary reasons customers experience missing items in their order. Some retailers do not update their catalogs immediately after a particular product is out of stock. 

If you order such a product and your shopper cannot find it, expect it to be missing from your order. 

2. Shopper error 

Instacart shoppers can also be responsible for missing orders. Sometimes, a shopper may miss an item on your list by mistake. This human error is usually due to miscommunication, handling batched orders, and store layout (sometimes). 

3. Replacement choices 

Customers also report missing orders when the replacement in the order is not what they want. As a shopper, it is mostly advisable to opt for a replacement if it is clearly stated in the customer’s instructions. 

4. Delivery issues or delay 

Lastly, missing items may be due to delivery problems like your shopper getting robbed or severe weather conditions. If it is the latter, a delayed delivery is usually the worst that could happen.

How to Prevent Missing Order Complaints

1. Be specific 

Provide clear instructions for substitutions and preferences for the shopper. This way, they know what to do if an item on your list is currently out of stock. You can also provide delivery instructions in case you won’t be available during delivery. 

2. Communicate with your shopper

Instacart encourages customers and shoppers to communicate with each other throughout the shopping process. As a shopper, you should call your customer if you need clarity about an item. 

Customers also should contact their shoppers if a particular item is crucial to their order. Such an open line of communication gives room for little or no mistakes. 

3. Review your order before paying 

Don’t just assume your list is perfect and checkout. Review each item in your cart for quantity and special instructions to avoid errors. Shoppers are also trained to double-check orders before checking out of the store and fulfilling it to the customer. 

4. Regular updates 

Store catalogs now get updated faster to reduce missing item cases due to buying a product that is out of stock. Technical glitches are also becoming less frequent. 

5. Leave a feedback 

Customers can report a shopper if there is a mistake in their order. A consistent pattern of negative ratings or errors may lead to account activation. Since no shopper wants to be banned, they try their best to avoid complaints. 

Shoppers can also report customers if they are not responsible for a missing order or feel the customer is lying. Customers who present false allegations may be suspended from Instacart. 

What to Do If a Customer is Not at Home for Delivery? 


It depends on the type of order. Shoppers delivering staged orders can easily return them to the staging area and attach a note that says “Rescheduled” or “Canceled.” Please take a photo of the package and send it to Instacart. 

On the other hand, if you shopped the order, you must return it to the store and get your shopper card refunded. Please note that some stores only offer gift cards.

Note: Before returning an order to a store or staging area, check for special delivery instructions. This is because some customers may be okay with you leaving the package with a neighbor or at a secure spot at their residence. 


Does Instacart penalize shoppers for not accepting orders?

No, shoppers don’t get penalized for not accepting orders. Just ensure you fulfill all your batches promptly. 

Why did your Instacart order get canceled?

Your order may be canceled because it is inconvenient for shoppers or there are not enough shoppers working when placing the order. 

What happens when Instacart delivers to the wrong address?

Contact Instacart customer support immediately. Investigation will be made, and you will get a refund if your complaint is genuine. 

Can an Instacart shopper block a customer?

Yes, if a customer is rude. Just use the “feedback” section and select “Rude Customer.” Click on “block orders from this customer,” and you will stop receiving requests from such a customer. 

Conclusion: Instacart Customer Reported a Missing Order 

Reported cases of missing orders from customers are not new to Instacart. They investigate these reports by asking questions from the customer and shopper responsible for delivery. 

If the entire order or some items are genuinely missing, Instacart will refund your account or send you credits for the missing order. Shoppers don’t bear the cost of refunds. 

However, those with a reputation for delivery issues are usually placed on probation and may eventually be deactivated. Lastly, report a missing order within 7 days after receiving a no order or a wrong one. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, you should also see how far Instacart delivers packages

Thanks for reading.