Should You Demand A Refund If A Charity Event Goes Awry?

Getting your money back when something doesn’t work isn’t an unfamiliar  concept. But what if the money you paid was for a charity? Many viewers who shelled out $4.95 to watch Bill O’Reilly vs. Jon Stewart live online during their Saturday night debate were frustrated when there were streaming problems that didn’t allow them to actually watch the event. Half of the proceeds from said event were meant to go to charity, so is asking for a refund the thing to do?

As the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Report, Slate and many other outlets reports, there were a lot of people who weren’t able to view The Rumble 2012 event on the web site, and boy did they let the Internet hear about it — Twitter and Facebook were full of people complaining that they didn’t get access to the live-streaming event, even when they paid far in advance.

Nox Solutions, the company responsible for the event’s live stream posted on Facebook that “due to overwhelming demand, our servers have been overloaded.” The event was also available to download shortly afterward, noted the company. As the WSJ points out, that statement got over 500 complaints on Facebook.

Others were peeved as even when they were able to watch it, it just wasn’t that funny. That, however, is a matter of taste as we’re sure some people were rolling with laughter in their chairs. Or maybe not.

Normally getting a refund would be a no-brainer. But that money wasn’t going to O’Reilly and Stewart —  half of the proceeds were meant to go to charity. The Associated Press says viewers who weren’t able to do the viewing part of the experience would be eligible for a refund, which means less money is going to charity. Perhaps the right thing to do in this case would be to give all of the proceeds to charity.

So we want to know…

O’Reilly, Stewart Joust at Mock Debate [Associated Press]
Streaming Problems Mar O’Reilly/Stewart Debate [Wall Street Journal]
Stewart-O’Reilly Rumble: Short on Laughs, Big on Frustration (for Online Viewers) [Slate]