Back to my question to you, if Mr X had said yes we can supply that intermediate and cost will be ~ $10k depending on the amount you wanted would you have been able to sign off on that kind of expenditure?
That is not the issue. The professional response to a customer enquiry is to supply a quote for the services and/or politely inform the customer that you cannot provide the service under the terms requested. You don't abruptly tell them to do it themselves, this is terrible customer service and OC Pro is right that FlowSyn should complain to someone higher up. Companies rely on good customer service and if there is some idiot screwing things up for them, they should know.
The reply to FlowSyn should have gone either:
Dear Dr FlowSyn,
"Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately, we are unable to supply the intermediate you requested in quantities of under 20 kg at this time."
"We are able to supply this intermediate. As a rough estimate, we could possibly supply 5 kg for $20,000 though this is not a final quote and should not be treated as such. If you think this will suit your needs, please contact us for a detailed estimate. For laboratory scale work, we would suggest a Heck reaction on 1-PG imidazole.
Thank you etc etc"
This reply would have left FlowSyn feeling happy with the service s/he'd received and more likely to go back to them in the future — everyone's a winner.