Instacart Delivers A Great Holiday Gift. Someone In Westport Is Not Pleased.

It was the day before Christmas (aka “Friday”). The Old Hill resident looked out at the surprise snowfall. He was even more surprised to find many large boxes and crates, all over his front steps.

He looked closely. Instacart had delivered 30 rolls of toilet paper, 24 rolls of paper towels, 2 gallons of apple juice, 72 Eggo waffles, 10 pounds of potatoes, 200 kitchen trash bags, a gallon of dish soap, 21 sponges, 2 liters of olive oil, 3 pounds of salt, 1 liter of balsamic vinegar, 12 apples, 2 pounds of onions, 2 pounds of string beans, and 2 pounds of asparagus.

He was all set for the holidays! (And The End Time, if it came to that.)

There was just one problem: He had not ordered any of it.

Bounty (and more) from Instacart, on Old Hill front steps.

So he did what any normal, moral person would do (especially the day before Christmas): He called Instacart, to tell them they’d delivered to the wrong house.

Oops! said the delivery service.

When can you pick it up, and deliver it to the right address? he asked.

Never! they said.

Turns out, Instacart has no way of tracking a delivery, once it’s been delivered. Whether it’s the right address, or the wrong one.

Instacart is clearly not Amazon, which can tell you within a centimeter exactly where your package of basil or boxers is, at any particular moment in time.

Instacart is not even the Girl Scouts, who deliver a bazillion Thin Mints every spring, and manage not to mess up any orders, even though they are only 10 years old.

“Here are your cookies, sir. Thank you for your order!”

So, the Old Hill resident asked, what am I supposed to do with 30 rolls of toilet paper, 72 Eggo waffles, 2 pounds of asparagus, and much more?

Whatever you want! Instacart said. If someone complains, we’ll send a new delivery. But right now: congratulations! It’s yours!

The Old Hill man did not want 21 sponges, 200 kitchen trash bags and 10 pounds of potatoes — especially not the day before Christmas.

So he picked up his phone. He called Homes with Hope. And in an instant (ho ho) he delivered all that — 3 pounds of salt, 2 pounds of onions, 24 rolls of paper towels (and more!) — to the Gillespie Center.

The Gillespie Center. — Westport’s men’s shelter — was pleased to receive Instacart’s misdirected delivery. (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

The men’s shelter was thrilled. The Old Hill resident was pleased, if still a bit gobsmacked.

As for whoever ordered 2 liters of olive oil, 1 liter of balsamic vinegar, 12 apples — and much, much more — and is (presumably) still waiting: Call Instacart.

They’ll send over a new delivery, pronto.

Hopefully, this time, to the right house.


10 responses to “Instacart Delivers A Great Holiday Gift. Someone In Westport Is Not Pleased.

  1. Amazon does not always get it right but they have improved tremendously. It helps when drivers check the house numbers instead of just taking a picture of the box(es) they leave. Happy holidays!

  2. Maybe a restaurant ordered all that? That’d be my guess.

  3. Elizabeth Thibault

    That’s just a normal Costco order, it just requires pantry and freezer space. It’s a good ending and and the best way to handle this mistake, but the poor shopper/delivery driver will be dinged by the service.
    This is a good example to us all, to make sue our addresses are clearly displayed and easily read, on the house and mailbox. (I’d much rather learn it this way, than to have emergency services not be able to find it.)

  4. Tammy Guarente

    Did he ask neighbors if they were missing an order or post on social media? Sounds like someone’s Christmas morning breakfast and Dinner vegetables to me. I hope they were able to get everything redelivered before Costco closed for the holiday.

  5. I had the same thing happen to me by UPS, I called them and told them of the error. They thanked me and said someone would be out to pick up the package. After three months I gave it away to GoodWill. To this day UPS has never come to pick up the package although they have delivered many many packages to my neighbors and myself.

  6. Same thing happened to me by UPS. I finally donated the after determing what it was I nodated the package to GoodWill.

  7. This is quite odd — a so-called “tech” company with a $39 billion valuation that cannot track a shipment the way every mom and pop on E-Bay can? The shrinkage (inside theft) must be huge.

  8. Linda Gramatky Smith

    This is a great Robin Hood story, Dan! Maybe after a few refilled orders Instacart will get better software. But in the meantime a win-win for the Gillespie Center and the Westport resident.

  9. Cynthia Chapman

    They delivered my lobsters, butter and yogurt to the wrong house on the Wednesday before Christmas. Merry Christmas to someone. They did replace my order but they had also padded my order with 193.00 of paper towels. What a hassle to get that money returned to me. Still waiting for the bank to refund me. 🙄

  10. That shopper is now deactivated for leaving groceries at the wrong address.