Bloomberg Businessweek

Instacart Doesn’t Want ‘No’ For an Answer

Dozens of workers say the company’s app hectors them to take on grocery deliveries that aren’t worth their time, and that it doesn’t stop there

When Instacart Inc.’s eponymous grocery delivery app gets a new order, it typically alerts a nearby “full-service shopper,” its term for the worker who gathers and delivers the groceries, by sending the order to the worker’s phone with a bright green “ACCEPT” button and a repetitive pinging sound. But even if that shopper—who ostensibly has the flexibility to reject a gig—decides the latest one isn’t worth the time and effort, the on-demand food delivery platform usually doesn’t offer an option to decline.

Workers are forced to entirely mute their phone, close the app, or sit through about four minutes of that strange pinging, which many say sounds like a submarine’s sonar and some compare to a time bomb. Those who wait it out sometimes wind up having to do it all

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