When Signing Up For Fun Runs, Don’t Race Through The Small Print

Staff Report

For runners in Central Ohio, summers are the prime time for 5ks, 10ks and even fun runs. Better Business Bureau is warning participants to thoroughly research summer fun runs and read all of the fine print before signing up.

According to runningintheusa.com, there are at least 313 runs this year in Central Ohio. Many of those runs benefit charities and/or have exciting themes.

Runs are a great opportunity for consumers to stay in shape while helping their favorite charities. But first, remember to help yourself out by researching the event before committing.

If an event has an online registration, participants may be required to input their credit card number upfront. Consumers could then lose money one of two ways:

1) After a specified amount of time, if the trial is not cancelled, the credit card could be automatically charged because of a negative option subscription.

2) If the run is cancelled, runners may not be able to get their money back.

BBB wants consumers to be aware of these possibilities and to read the fine print for events requiring you to provide personal and financial information.

According to the BBB Code of Advertising, companies using such offers should make it clear to consumers how to accept the trial offer while opting out of purchases and memberships.

When signing up for runs online, BBB offers the following advice:

  • Check to see if there is a cancellation or inclement weather policy for the run. You may not be able to get your money back if the event is cancelled.
  • If a charity is benefiting from the race, research the organization and find out how much of what you are contributing will be donated.
  • Pay with a credit card. Under federal law, charges made on a credit card can be disputed up to 60 days after the purchase.
  • Keep documentation of your order and save any receipts. After completing the online order process, you should receive a final confirmation page or an email confirmation.
  • Do your research. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org before making a purchase to see its complaint history, customer reviews and any advertising-related issues.
  • Read the small print. The company may hide a commitment to purchase goods or services in the terms and conditions. These commitments may not be explicitly stated on the website.

BBB has information on charities listed on BBB’s Charity Microsite; charity reports include more information about each organization. Consumers can find trustworthy businesses by searching bbb.org.


Staff Report

For more information, visit bbb.org.

For more information, visit bbb.org.