I am a full time freelancer. Recently, I got a pretty large project. The project mainly depends on Facebook and Instagram API's. As we got started, I used Instagram sandbox and Facebook test account to create the web app. When everything was done, I had the client submit the app for Instagram. But Instagram declined the app and said these permission are only for the publisher and something. Anyhow, we have tried about 5-6 times but they keep declining it and they only permitted a basic permission but our app depends on other permissions as well. So here IG goes failed.

The client was also requiring something that wasn't possible to do with Facebook API. Like facebook API doesn't allow that and at the start, I told the client that it's not possible but he said it's possible he will let me know. My whole team is aware that it's not possible. We are working from last 6 years in this field so we were pretty sure about it.

Now both Facebook and IG app are not working the way he wants and same it's not our fault.

I am not sure what to do in this case. Should I ask for payment in full, or get half and get paid partially? Or do I just not get paid? We have worked about a month on this app and I am not sure what should I do next.

Thank you!

  • What's your contract state about cancellation?
    – Scott
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 9:50
  • I am nit sure i just got that from upwork. Commented May 16, 2017 at 9:52

5 Answers 5


Since you are using Upwork I suggest you try to resolve this with the client. This way both will be happy.

You made a big mistake. You continued to work although you knew that something is not possible to implement. You should have stand by your opinion at the beginning telling client that you are the expert in that field, not him. If he insists that something is possible, ask him to give you the evidence today or tomorrow.


In my opinion, since you're the one who took the job under these circumstances, it's also your responsibility. That goes along with being self-employed. You can't just dismiss the responsibility.

A client comes to a professional, because they can't do something theirselves. At that moment they hire and pay you for your expertise. You took the job, so you also took the responsibility. It was your responsibility to check the Facebook and Instagram API admission rules and give feedback to your client that his wishes aren't executable.

Compare it with another self employed professional... You want a new house build. You hire a contractor, because you don't know anything about building a house. The contractor looks at the plans and starts building... At the end the house is finished, but it has no roof, because the government rules forbid to build so high... The contractor comes to you and says it's done, but he didn't know about those rules, so not his responsibility...

Would you pay him for a job well done?

My point being: If you take a job, every aspect of that job is your responsibility, that is including investigation into the feasibility of the assignment.

  • the discussion on responsibility is interesting but not exactly what the OP asked... Commented May 26, 2017 at 3:44

Definitely try to make it right. You don't need a glowing referral, but you want to try to avoid any negatives.

  • I guess the question is exactly about "how to make it right" lol Commented May 26, 2017 at 3:42

The accepted answer is very good but I wanted to add two more points.

  1. You have learned an interesting lesson. If the deposit does not cover you for basic costs, you are taking on board too much risk. Your business model or approach needs to be addressed here.

  2. You have learned an expensive lesson. If I were you I would write off any costs, leave the client happy and content (as much as possible since you have wasted his time) and try to learn from it. How should you have approached this project? How could you have made it work? What will you do differently in the future so that this does not happen again? Why did you not charge more upfront, or stage payments on development?

Apologize to the customer, ask for no payment, see it as the price of this freelancing lesson, learn from it, make changes to how you do business, and move on. No regrets. We all live and learn. This project was a loss for you, the next one will be a win!


As per my opinion, before you start the project, I think you have to send some conditions to client like policy or other work terms.

Before you start using any third party, you must mention this dependence in the scope document or terms and condition documents, so it will be safe if any issue happens with the third party.

You can send Instagram official document link for particular permission issue as you are facing and for that reason as a developer not able to do that's functionality or module.

One more thing you can do is send an official mail to the Instagram support team , and tell them about the permission issue; they may can help some things, also add the client in the loop so you can be on the safe side.

You should try these options, if you still have issues, let me know.

  • @Glorfindel i understand minor mistake but don't need to give minus. :( Commented May 29, 2017 at 10:32
  • that minus is not mine (proof: I don't have the necessary 125 reputation to vote down), so there's nothing I can do about it.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented May 29, 2017 at 11:15

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