5K Foam Fest Cancels Race with No Recourse for Participants

July 17, 2014

5k Foam fest

 A “5K Foam Fest” event scheduled for July 19 at the Southington Offroad Park in Garrettsville, Ohio, was canceled abruptly by its organizer.  Participants tell Better Business Bureau they paid advance registration fees to Round House Racing Team ranging from $45 - $75 and cannot get refunds.

On Tuesday, local registrants received an email with this message:

Hello Foamsters,

Due to some unexpected, last-minute logistical issues, we’ve had to postpone our 5K Foam Fest So Cal Event. We’re working diligently to reschedule and possibly move the event but we don’t have any details at this time. Unfortunately, we’re not able to provide you with a refund.  We know that you’ve spent time and energy preparing for your event, so we will be in touch as we look to reschedule.

Please continue to check your email for updates and we’ll get you the latest information as we have it. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate you understanding.

Thank you,

The Round House Racing Team

Round House Racing Team (Round House) is based in Utah and has a “C+” rating with BBB. It conducts events across the country. Calls to the company’s business line reach a recording that the mailbox is full. Its website (5Kfoamfest.com) states that Foam Fest does not issue refunds or partial refunds regardless of circumstances. Another event scheduled for July 19 in California has also been canceled. It appears local registrants received the same email sent to the So Cal event participants.

BBB spoke to a representative of the Southington Offroad Park (Southington) who scheduled the 5K Foam Fest with Round House. Southington was also taken by surprise when they received an email on July 14 from Round House canceling the event due to “logistical issues” and low participation. Southington, who incurred expenses to arrange food for the event, told BBB that they have had no discussions with Round House about rescheduling.

A Streetsboro woman who signed up last week to participate in the race with her friends told BBB, “I don’t think this is fair. They put out an email four days before the event, cancel it, and won’t give anyone their money back.”

Participants can file complaints atbbb.org and, if payment was made by credit card, should also contact their credit card companies.

If you are considering participating in an event of this nature, BBB advises:

  • Check the organizer’s rating atbbb.org and research them online.
  • Contact the event venue to confirm the event is scheduled.
  • Understand all terms and conditions - especially refund policies.
  • Pay fees by credit card in case you need to dispute the charge at a later date.
  • If the event is promoted as a charitable fundraiser, determine if any part of registration fees are considered a charitable donation for tax purposes. Also, check out the charity atbbb.org to make sure your donation is going to a trustworthy organization.