Costco stops giving Instacart shoppers gift cards as refunds, amid claims they were being misused – DAVID RAUDALES


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Costco stops giving Instacart shoppers gift cards as refunds, amid claims they were being misused

Instacart shoppers at Costco will no longer get gift cards when they return undeliverable items for a refund, Instacart said.

PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

Costco has stopped issuing gift cards to Instacart shoppers returning undeliverable items.The returns will now be processed directly between Instacart and Costco.Some shoppers pocketed the cards for their own spending instead of using them on the next order.

Costco is no longer giving Instacart shoppers refunds on orders using gift cards, the delivery company told Insider.

Instacart shoppers are sometimes unable to deliver items from Costco after they’ve been purchased — if a customer isn’t home during delivery, for example. Previously, the shopper would return the items to Costco and receive a “Shop Card,” or Costco’s version of a gift card, with the refund amount.

Now, Costco appears to be sending refunds directly back to Instacart instead of giving them to shoppers, according to shopper posts on Reddit. Shoppers were supposed to spend the gift cards on the next order that they shopped at Costco, though some posters on Reddit say they pocketed the cards to spend on themselves.

“It was fun while it lasted,” one Reddit user wrote in a post on Thursday that included a photo of five Costco shop cards. “Curious tho how many millions did Instacart loose from returns?”

“They probably caught on that a lot of shoppers were using the cards for personal use instead,” another Reddit user replied in the comments.

Instacart confirmed the change to Insider. “As of this week, shoppers may now use their Instacart payment card to process returns at all Costco Wholesale locations,” the company said.

Shoppers get a payment of between $10 and $15 for completing the return, according to Instacart. Costco did not immediately respond to questions about the change from Insider.

The Costco Shop Cards were one way that Instacart shoppers have benefited from canceled orders. Some Instacart workers get free groceries or other items when customers aren’t home to accept them or cancel the order after the shopper has already purchased the items at a store.

One shopper posted a TikTok in July that the free groceries were “the only perk of working Instacart.”

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Read the original article on Business Insider