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Instacart’s new rating system filters out scores from hard-to-please customers

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Some people might be having a bad day or year

Inside The New Downtown LA Whole Foods Market Inc. Store

You just can’t please some people, and Instacart’s new rating system for shoppers acknowledges that. It now automatically filters out ratings from hard-to-please customers who frequently rate their shoppers lower than five stars. Instacart says the new system is designed to promote a “fair experience” for the shoppers tasked with delivering groceries to users’ homes.

Last month, Instacart promised to protect workers from the other type of assholes who bait drivers with large tips and then yank it from them when their order is completed — a level most Karens wouldn’t even stoop to. The company said it would cover the tip up to $10 but would still side with the customer if they reported the worker for some sort of issue.

This most recent update might help keep shoppers away from tip-baiters (but only after they’ve been burned), as they can now give feedback on a customer following an order. If a shopper indicates that a customer was rude, Instacart will give them the option to block them from future orders. It’s still not an entirely ideal situation, especially if a driver gets tip-baited and isn’t able to recover their tip, but blocking them does prevent drivers from serving that customer again.

Instacart will let drivers block customers they have an issue with.
Image: Instacart

The company is changing the way it assigns “batches” as well — Instacart’s name for multiple orders at one store. Previously, drivers with five-star ratings would get first dibs on a batch, giving them the chance to fulfill more orders and earn more money. But now, Instacart is loosening up on this requirement, allowing shoppers with at least 4.7 stars to get the first shot at accepting a batch.

Outside of changing its rating system and response to customers, Instacart is introducing a couple of other features meant to help shoppers pick up batches more frequently. Since Instacart prioritizes orders based on a driver’s distance from a store, the update will alert shoppers if they're in an ideal location to receive a batch (i.e., a store parking lot). Instacart will also tell drivers if they should expect a batch at their location soon and will let them know if they have a better chance of getting a batch at another nearby store.

Instacart has made some progress after facing scrutiny for its past policy that let users pull tips away three whole days after receiving their order. Customers can now only adjust their tips up to 24 hours after their order arrives, and while that is more than enough time to allow for tip-baiting, Instacart workers will at least get a little more control over who they serve.