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Grocery delivery services: 7 Action News looks at how much you're really paying

Posted: 11:00 PM, Apr 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-24 23:00:04-04

(WXYZ) — When two different Sam's Club locations in her area shut down, Yvette Paletta had to drive at least a half hour to do her household shopping, that is until she discovered she could do it all from home.

She’d get free shipping and save on gas by simply getting an upgraded plus membership, at an extra $55 dollars a year. But after checking out on her first order, she realized the prices weren’t the same as what she had once paid in store.

"I noticed the price on everything went up," said Paletta.

On tissue, she’d pay an extra 52 cents. But more alarming was the nearly $5 more she says she paid on a pack of diapers.

"I’m sure they didn’t do anything illegal, but it was deceptive," she said.

It’s a realization customers around the country are making after its too late -- online delivery services being clear on the upfront monthly or yearly price, but leaving the extra costs to the fine details.

Shipt, which delivers goods from Meijer and Yarget is $99 a year. But if you read the details, you’ll learn their prices vary from in store prices to help cover the costs of picking, packing and processing.

Instacart, which delivers from Kroger, has the same policy. And when there’s high demand for a delivery time, they say a busy pricing delivery fee may apply.

Meanwhile, Amazon Fresh automatically adds in tip for you delivery driver. You can adjust it to go up or down but a lot of shoppers say they don’t learn that until it’s too late.

In the end, Paletta paid an extra $9 on her order, which she says makes her feel like she actually paid for shipping in the end.

"It’s like they put it in one pocket and take it out of another," said Paletta.

But Sam’s Club tells 7 Action News it’s all written in their policy, saying it’s not that they raise their prices for plus members online but rather that they often lower their prices in store in an effort “to be competitive in local markets.”

Bottom line, make sure to research the price in store versus through the delivery service. Lots of people don’t mind the extra cost. But if you do, better to know before you sign up, so you don’t waste your money.