I'm not taking sides, but this thinking is flawed. You've only heard from one party on this. I could tell you that Ford screwed me over by selling me a car with a dent in it, but who's here to say I didn't run it into a pole? You can't assume anyone here is right or wrong.
Assuming that SL didn't completely lie about this and install the seat and beat the crap out of it for a few thousand miles, that SL had no prior knowledge of the damage to the product, and the understanding was that he purchased it in New, Unused and Non-defective condition then he should have been given a refund or an exchange.
Some online and mail order stores do have a restocking fee if the product was not returned within a pre-determined period of time. If this is the case and SL didn't get the saddle back to them in time then they have the right charge him for the restocking. Also if there was a notice before the time of purchase that returns were subject to a restocking regardless of the situation then they were also entitled to not provide a full refund.
Example: I ordered a pair of Sidi's for my wife. They got here and didn't fit right so I was going to send them back for the correct size but I wasn't really in a hurry. I waited a few weeks then went to ship them back for an exchange. I got the paperwork together and started reading then I had to run out the door to UPS because the reciept said I had 30 days from the time they were perchased to get them back for a refund or exchange or there would be a restocking fee. Fortunately I got them there on time. Otherwise I would only have had myself to blame for not getting an even exchange.
They don't deserve to be flamed until the last option has been explored (talking with Patrick, the Owner and giving him a chance to make it right) and then if nothing has been done to make it right, that's when they deserve to be flamed. How do we know he didn't talk to some part-time shop-rat that only cares about getting an employee discount on parts so he can build his own bike?
SL could have talked to a "shop-rat" as you say but he was a representative of the store. Your employees can make or break your buisiness. After all a buisness is only as good as its people. As far as SL knew he was talking to the highest authority at the store. If this wasn't the case then maybe he should call them back and ask for the manager on the phone to see if he can get a better result. Personally I think it's rubbish to have to appeal to a higher authority. The person you talk to on the phone at a buisiness should be qualified and have the authourity to handle minor problems such as this in a fair manner.