As it relates to the following question:

SQL query failing because of commented part of T-SQL query

I posted an answer (the only answer) and worked with the OP over several days on narrowing down the issue and coming up with a work-around, and my answer was accepted. Then, the OP, in wanting an actual fix and not a work-around, unaccepted my answer and posted a 50 point bounty to get more attention to the question (not sure exactly what order those 2 things happened in, or if that even matters). I continued working with the OP and appeared to find that the issue is larger than we initially thought. No one else participated, and a few days before the bounty expiration, the OP re-accepted my answer, believing that doing so would auto-award me the bounty (how I know the intention will be explained in a moment). My answer, however, was not auto-awarded the bounty due to the technicality that it had been posted prior to the bounty period, not during it.

While the FAQ does state that a bounty that is offered by the poster of the question will be auto-awarded to an answer that is posted during the bounty period and accepted, it is possible that the "posted during the bounty period" requirement is not terribly clear. When I asked the OP if their intention was to award me the bounty points by re-accepting my answer (I asked because if the answer was "no" then I probably would not be posting this question), their response was:

it just said 50 point bounty will be awarded to accepted answer and I wanted it to happen because you almost gave me more sense in understanding issue about the xp_cmdshell.So I just left the bounty points to the accepted answer by me of yours and it got auto awarded.

So, since the intention was clearly to award the bounty, and since that only did not happen due to an honest, simple misunderstanding, is there any way to have that bounty awarded as per the intention of the OP?

PLEASE NOTE that this question is not ultimately about the OP of the related question and what that person should've / could've done. This question is about me and how I'm affected by the situation that exists because of the OP's misunderstanding. How that misunderstanding came to be is a separate matter.

(I did search both this meta and meta.StackExchange and did not see any other questions pertaining to this particular situation.)

  • 2
    So, after the bounty was offered, where was your help, in the chat room? (because I see no edits in your answer). I think that if you had put that extra help in a separate answer, it (that extra answer) would have got the bounty. I'm not sure if you'd get the bounty if you had edited the original answer. But now only a moderator (and possibly not even that) can give back the lost rep. Aug 5, 2016 at 8:33
  • @ypercubeᵀᴹ Yes, the extra help (still going, in fact) has all been in the chat room. I haven't updated my answer because I was waiting to get some confirmation on a few items. Regardless, I agree that updating the answer would not have allowed it to qualify for auto-awarding. I suppose I could have submitted another answer, but I hadn't remembered that the answer needed to be posted during the bounty period. If I had remembered that rule, I would've simply mentioned it to the OP in a comment since my intention has only been to help out and to solve a tricky problem, never to game the system. Aug 6, 2016 at 7:56
  • At 20K do you really care about 50 points? For me anything after cast open and close privilege does not matter.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 22, 2016 at 21:42
  • @Paparazzi (1/2) What is your point, exactly? Do you mean that someone encountering a problem shouldn't say anything unless they are harmed enough? Isn't it irresponsible to have an issue that hasn't been brought up before yet not say anything because it isn't harmful enough? What about the next person to encounter it? Do I pass this off as being their problem? What if they only have 100 pts? That "not my problem" attitude has a very negative effect on this world, and I try to do better than that. And why do you care about my reason? You only want 2 privileges? Great! But some of us want to... Dec 30, 2016 at 21:21
  • @Paparazzi (2/2) play a more active role. Are you saying that those with lots of points, or who contribute a lot, are just wasting their time? That would be insulting to everyone who has helped make this such a quality site. And for the record, I have "lost" 1000 - 2000 points (on here and S.O.) in situations like this over the years, so it's not about just 50 points. You mentioned a "lack of friendliness" here. Sadly, I agree that this community isn't very forgiving, but ironically, your comment above is an example of that negative attitude. Dec 30, 2016 at 21:22
  • @srutzky Wow. I did not tell you or anyone what to do. I merely said for ME. Rather than accuse me of being unfriendly maybe you could take my question at face value. I take it the points do bother you. So I mentioned unfriendliness as on observation - I was not complaining and took 4 down votes for it. I don't care to discuss it with you as I don't care for accusations and don't care for the tone you are using towards me.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 30, 2016 at 21:37

2 Answers 2


So, since the intention was clearly to award the bounty, and since that only did not happen due to an honest, simple misunderstanding, is there any way to have that bounty awarded as per the intention of the OP?

Pretty much all things are possible in principle, but this particular outcome would require a Community Manager or SE developer; there are no moderator tools to retrospectively award an expired bounty. To pursue that option, use the contact us link.

For what it's worth, my expectation is that it would be very unlikely that a CM or developer would act, unless (perhaps) it can be shown that the automatic bounty email reminders and system messages were actually very misleading when taken as a whole. Even so, I would expect the bar to be set very high to justify the work and exceptional actions needed.

Naturally, the safest option is always to award a bounty explicitly.

  • I have not posted a bounty (yet) so I have not seen what reminders get sent, but unless they explicitly state that "no answer currently qualifies for auto-awarding", then they could be implicitly misleading (or perhaps just not helpful enough). But that, if anything, is just an area that can be improved and not the main point here. I guess the main point would more so be that it probably shouldn't take "exceptional actions" to correct mistakes (there was nothing shady or unethical going on here), and maybe expectations of newbies is too high. Still, I appreciate the pragmatism expressed here. Aug 7, 2016 at 8:42
  • My experience has been that the bounty emails are quite explicit concerning the status of auto-awarding.
    – Paul White Mod
    Aug 7, 2016 at 14:50
  • Re: "bounty emails are quite explicit concerning the status of auto-awarding". Ok, so what about situations such as this one? I understand that a bounty offered is not a guaranteed of being received. But, the intention (of the bounty)was to draw attention and it did. Yet there was no feed back. Was the bounty not deserved? If I was completely off-base with the answer, I would like to know so as to learn from it. Or was it just a case of being busy and forgotten about? Dec 30, 2016 at 21:32
  • @srutzky If you're asking why the bounty wasn't awarded, or why no one has commented or voted on your answer, the best thing to do would be to ask a new meta question about it. It shouldn't be buried in comments here.
    – Paul White Mod
    Dec 31, 2016 at 5:38

Unfortunately, there is no recourse for this. The OP has plenty of time to manually award a bounty to the answer they choose. And the help center is very clear on the rules on when a bounty is automatically awarded to an answer.

If the OP wants to award your answer with a bounty, they will need to start another one.

  • If there's no moderator / community manager tool to make "corrections", then that's all that really needs to be said. Of course the OP had plenty of time to manually award the bounty, but that's not relevant when they thought it would get auto-awarded. The fact that the OP misunderstood in the first place means that the help center is either not clear or that it wasn't consulted. Maybe there's a slight language barrier. Maybe newbies don't read the help center as much as they should. People make mistakes. I've seen enough bounties go unawarded to know that this is an area that can be improved. Aug 7, 2016 at 8:25
  • Regarding the OP starting another bounty: I am aware of that option (not sure if the OP is). But they don't have enough rep to do that (due to the rule about doubling the bounty if posting another to the same question), and even if they did, I wouldn't ask them to do it. Aug 7, 2016 at 8:26

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