District of Columbia v. Maplebear, Inc. D/B/A Instacart

$1,800,000 in fines


Instacart was held liable for misrepresenting and omitting material facts concerning the default, variable service fee added to consumers' orders.

Our analysis

Between September 2016 and April 24, 2018, Instacart was found to have engaged in unlawful trade practices under the CPPA (Consumer Protection Procedures Act), as specified in D.C. Code § 28-3904(f), (f-1), and (e).
- Instacart omitted material facts related to the default service fee when presenting it to consumers, including the crucial information that this fee was not intended as a Shopper tip.
- Instacart's actions in this case can be characterized as sneaking as the consumers were lured into a transaction under false pretenses because vital information is hidden. In this instance, Instacart's deceptive design involved obscuring critical details about the service fee default, creating a misleading environment for consumers.


In a case outcome determined through a consent order, Instacart is prohibited from engaging in any conduct that contravenes the CPPA (Consumer Protection Procedures Act). Instacart is also barred from making misleading misrepresentations or material omissions regarding the purpose of fees on consumers' orders. Additionally, Instacart is required to pay a total of $1,800,000.00 to settle this litigation with the District.


District of Columbia through the Office of the Attorney General and Maplebear, Inc. d/b/a Instacart

Case number

2020 CA 003777 B

Related deceptive patterns

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