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Consumer protection, personal finance and other New Mexico business

5K Foam Fest is off, refunds in limbo

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The 5K Foam Fest is billed as the “Funnest 5K on Earth” — a messy mix of foam, mud, inflatable objects and other wacky obstacles.

But New Mexico residents who already have registered for the Sept. 27 race in Edgewood may not be feeling so enthused now that the Utah-based organization running the event has gone out of business. FOAM FEST 07-21-14Especially if they want to get their entry fee back, which in some cases can run as high as $100.

On Monday, the Albuquerque-based Better Business Bureau issued a news  release announcing that Round House Racing of Spanish Fork, Utah, had shut down, thereby canceling all future events, including two planned this week and next in Portland, Ore., and Reno, Nev.

The BBB became involved after registered participants in two other cities contacted a different bureau when they were unable to reach anyone at Round House after being notified by email that the races would not take place.

“The BBB is encouraging consumers that have paid registration fees for the 5k Foam Fest event to dispute the charge with their credit card company or bank,” the Better Business Bureau Serving New Mexico and Southwest Colorado advised in its release.

And they should do that quickly, Connie Quillen, executive assistant at the local BBB, told the Journal.

That’s because credit- and debit-card issuers may only consider such requests for a specified period of time.

“If it’s debit or credit, check with the card issuer as to what your rights are for recourse on that,” Quillen said Monday, suggesting those seeking a refund submit a copy of Round House’s going-out-of-business announcement posted on its website. “Hopefully, people can get their money back.”

Quillen said they also should check periodically to see if the company files for bankruptcy protection in its home state of Utah. If it does, they could file for a refund with the bankruptcy court.

On Thursday, Round House posted on its website and Facebook page that all future events had been canceled and that it was going out of business. It made no mention of refunds, other than to say Red Frog Events, another company, would offer free registration to one of its upcoming events and 25 percent off the entry fee for a second person.

“Our organization has spent years and an incredible amount of money perfecting this great event for the runners we admire so much,” the company wrote. “However, due to limited resources we are sad to announce that the 5k Foam Fest is cancelling all future events and will no longer be in business as of July 17th, 2014.”

The company also said it doesn’t have the staff or funds to respond to emails or phone calls, but it promised to provide email updates “as information becomes available.”

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