So the idea here was to use Instacart for things that can’t be had from the Walmart machine, and pay a smidgen extra for actual delivery. Their app keeps you updated on the state of your order, and if you’ve so specified, sends a text for each stage.
These texts, as it happens, don’t all come from the same place. Instead of the three-to-six digit text-only number you usually see, they give out the actual number calling. Three were involved in yesterday’s transaction:
Order received: 415 481-4584
“Daniel is shopping” and “Thank you for shopping”: 415 853-1796
Intermediate stages: 215 458-2552
So the home office in San Francisco (probably) handles the order function, while an office in Philadelphia (maybe) covers the tracking function.
Meanwhile, the competition is heating up: if I read Walmart.com correctly, I can now have them bring stuff to my door.