Recently, I commented on a certain users question and asked if he knew how to accept answers and if so why had he never done so, later this comment was flagged (I'm not sure why) and is no longer there. I was wondering if there is a policy, or something to do about users who refuse/don't ever accept answers.
Is there a policy?
No formal policy that I am aware of. Informally it is the decision of the OP if they want to accept answers or not.
Should there be one?
More than the informal rule of thumb, no not really. It's the OP's choice and their choice alone whether or not they wish to accept an answer. Who knows, maybe none of the answers have satisfied them enough for the checkmark yet.
Can anything be done about this?
This is going to be perhaps a bit more useful to you but again probably not what you want. If you see a new user (meaning new to the network as a whole not just the site) not accepting any answers there's a chance they don't actually know how to. In this case it is best to tell them about the feature (can sometimes help to point out the +2 bonus).
@[name] I see you're new to the network and might not know that you can accept the answer that has helped you the most. To do so find the answer that has most helped you and click on the grey checkmark to the side of it next to the voting buttons. When accepting an answer you even get +2 rep points!
There is also the case of where an OP "accepts" an answer by posting a comment along the lines of "Thanks, that was it!". Here you can tailor the above comment to point them towards the checkmark location.
However, a word of caution don't go chasing users to accept answers one or two comments to a user is probably enough and if they aren't going to accept an answer at that point, well then they aren't going to accept an answer. Also I'd be wary of having an extended discussion in the comments section, point them to where it is and leave it at that unless they ask for further help in finding the checkmark.
Lastly, it is worth noting that in the specifc case of story-identification questions "Confirmation by OP comment should be enough to close as duplicate". That means we don't require a formally accepted answer.
We can ask/encourage them to accept answers, but no more than that.
From this main meta question, answered by an SE employee and this one, answered by a former SE employee and its duplicate targets, it's clear that acceptance is purely voluntary and the most we can do is ask someone to accept. If someone refuses to accept any answers, that's not misuse of the site and they shouldn't have any action taken against them.
We can't force people to accept answer and we don't want to force them to do so.
An accept is an optional thing - it means that the answer selected was the one the OP found most helpful if they care to do so.
They might not accept answers because:
- They never came back
- No answer was exceptional for them
- They don't care to accept anything
- They don't know about accepting answers