Watch out for a company called The Birthday Run, advertising that it will hold a 5K Fun Run on Oct. 1, 2016 in Huntsville, AL. The run is also scheduled in Birmingham, AL on Oct. 2, 2016 at the Birmingham–Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC). It appears that The Birthday Run is selling tickets, sponsorships and entertainment without intentions of holding either event. Ticket prices range from $24 – $47 to participate in the run or $320 for a “Birthday Party in a Box”.
So far, The Birthday Run has not applied for a Special Events Permit with the Huntsville Police Department, which is required in order to hold the run on city streets, and the BJCC does not have anything scheduled for The Birthday Run.
BBB of North Alabama was notified by BBB of Hawaii that Hawaii residents reported purchasing a ticket for The Birthday Run through Groupon, but the event never took place. BBB of Utah created a report on The Birthday Run in September 2016 and states, “Anyone who purchased a Groupon for this event is eligible for a full refund. They can reach out to Groupon at www.groupon.com/support.”
Active Network, LLC is a transaction based company that takes reservations and payments for online-based events. Jennifer Romine, the accounts manager, said that as of June 2016 Active Network, LLC is no longer affiliated with The Birthday Run, and they had concerns about the events being legitimate.
Consider these tips when checking out Fun Run events:
- 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 http://www.bbb.org. If you have any doubts, call the charity to confirm that it is benefitting from the run. Be wary of charities with names that sound like or are similar to established charities.
Source: BBB Huntsville, BBB Hawaii, BBB St. Louis