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Better Business Bureau ®
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St. Louis, MO
Check 'Fun Runs' Out, Read Terms Before Signing Up, BBB Advises
July 28, 2014

runnings in a raceSt. Louis, Mo., July 28, 2014 – ‘Fun runs’ can be a great way to leverage the popularity of running and walking to benefit charities, but recent cancellations of races shortly before the scheduled events are a cause for concern, Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises.

BBBs in several states have experienced a rash of complaints about 5K Foam Fest runs put on by Round House Racing Team, based in Utah. The races were canceled shortly before the scheduled events, and registered recipients received emails saying they would not receive refunds of fees ranging from $45 to $75. Several BBBs have been investigating the company, which has an F rating with BBB Utah.

“Outdoor events like fun runs can be a great way for charities to raise money for their causes,” said Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO. “But participants are understandably upset when runs are canceled and they have to forfeit registration fees. Before paying to register for an event, participants should check out sponsoring organizations and carefully read the terms and conditions.”

BBB provides BBB Business Reviews of companies and BBB Charity Reviews of charities that provide valuable information, such as where the organization is based, whether it has complaints pending with BBB and whether it complies with BBB standards. Reviews are available free of charge on BBB’s website or by calling 314-645-3300.

More BBB tips for fun run participants include:

  • Do your research. Check out the company’s BBB Business Review or BBB Charity Review before signing up at www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.
  • Understand the terms and conditions. In some cases, promoters say on their websites that they don’t offer refunds, but many consumers don’t read the fine print before agreeing to the terms and conditions.
  • Check with the venue. Contact the city, park or other venue to confirm that promoters have filed necessary paperwork to schedule the event.
  • Pay with a credit card. Charges made on a credit card can be disputed after a purchase, whereas debit, cash or wire transfer transactions cannot.
  • Keep documentation of your order. After completing the online registration process, you should receive a confirmation receipt. Print out and keep a copy of the confirmation and any supporting documentation for future reference.
  • Check out the charity. If the event promoters claim a portion of the proceeds will go to charity, check the charity out on www.bbb.org. If you have any doubts, call the charity to confirm that they are benefitting from the run. Be wary of charities with names that sound like or are similar to established charities.

Contacts (News Media Only): Michelle L. Corey, President and CEO, (314) 645-0606, mcorey@stlouisbbb.org; Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), communications@stlouisbbb.org

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