they paid the same for that coral as they would a healthy one. they don't get to see what they buy before hand. ultimately it would be best for you and the coral if they kept it until it was colored up and ready for sale, but i don't think that would be best for the bosses wallet.
also, many of the stores i have been to don't have the facility and/or ability to keep sps
healthy. they just get it in in whatever condition, and hope it sells before it dies in their less than optimal systems.
it's just another sad truth in the hobby.