I see When a question that had bounties is deleted, are they automatically refunded? is very similar, but this is discussing bounties that expired and were awarded and may have been refunded by a moderator, not bounties that were never awarded and deleted by the OP.
Similarly, this is not a duplicate of How does the bounty system work? because there is no mention of the behavior of question deletion and how it affects unawarded bounties which is the key part of this question. The behavior when it comes to awarded bounties and deletion is clearly spelled out but is not relevant to this question.
Several months ago, I put a 200 rep bounty on https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/234875/opera-on-android-stole-the-diamonds-from-mobile-site (10K only), but the bounty was never awarded (the question was not my own question, but one for a similar issue I had experienced).
Today, the OP apparently deleted the question on his own, and the unawarded bounty was refunded to me. I want to ask why, especially when the bounty was so long ago.
I paid for the attention (although the problem still exists), so why should I get my "fee" back just because it was deleted? The reason I ask is this would appear to be a loophole to allow users who post a bounty and don't get an answer to recover their rep (by getting the question deleted).
My question is ultimately is:
- Why is a bounty, which is considered a "fee" for advertising, refunded automatically without manually being refunded (as is suggested by the question I linked) when the question is deleted.
- What would have happened if this was my own question that had an unawarded bounty (presumably with no answers) and I deleted it myself. Would it have still refunded my rep?
- What will happen if the question is undeleted? Would the refunded 200 rep bounty be un-refunded?
The reason I ask is this would seem to be a loophole that would permit a user to ask a question, post a bounty and if they don't get an answer, allow them to recover the rep via deletion, then undelete or reask the same question, post a new bounty (and repeat until they get an answer).