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U.S. Congressman wants Menards to make good on an IU fraternity's order of 4,200 chairs

Computer glitch showed chairs cost 1 cent a piece
Posted at 12:52 PM, Jan 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-28 11:01:54-05

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A U.S. Congressman from Indiana wants Menards to make good on an IU fraternity's order of 4,200 chairs at a significantly discounted rate.

A certain patio chair was incorrectly priced 1 cent on when it was supposed to cost about $350.

A member of the Delta Chi chapter at Indiana University shared the find with his fraternity brothers. Together, they bought about 4,200 of the chairs, spending about $50. 

"Everyone tried to hop on," Jordan Bray, a current member of the fraternity, said. 

At regular price, the 4,200 chairs would've cost about $1.4 million.

Instead of delivering the chairs, Menards delivered some bad news -- the company would not be honoring the 1-cent price tag.

"This chair was a figment of a computer’s imagination, and we are diligently looking into the cause of this temporary and isolated glitch," a spokesperson from the company said. "We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Obviously, if anyone actually ordered one, we will be very prompt in returning their penny.”

Menards returned their money, but the fraternity is trying to learn more about why the company wouldn't honor the sale.

"I don't see us getting the chairs from them," Bray said. 

But things didn't end there. U.S. Rep. Jim Banks sent a letter to Menards, asking the company to reconsider canceling the order.

Banks is an IU graduate and a former member of Delta Chi. Banks said the fraternity was planning on reselling the chairs in bulk, then donating the profits to the Jimmy V Foundation, an organization that helps fund cancer research.

"The actions of the men of IU Delta Chi represent what we want from fraternities everywhere – a commitment to philanthropy and the betterment of our communities at large," Banks' letter reads. "I believe that the spirit behind the purchase of these chairs should be both encouraged and supported."

Bray said he was excited when he saw Banks' letter to Menards. 

"I'd love to get in contact with him to see what can be done about this," Bray said. "Whatever can be done, he's doing it -- trying to get this purchase or whatever happened to be honored to try and get us more support."

RTV6 has reached out to Menards to see if Banks' letter will change its decision, but we have not received a response.