Why would you even contact them in the first place to ask for a replacement? It obviously was your buddy's fault, not the manufacturer. I would be asking him to replace it.
I agree except you never know if you don't ask. Paid off for you. Take it before they come to their senses. Try it and see if you like it. Whatever it is it's better than nothing and they don't really owe you anything. Post a plug for them if they really give you the replacement for above and beyond customer service.