I wonder if they are covering their asses on a known design flaw ?
I would guess so. Firewire plug has an asymmetrical shape designed to prevent improper insertion. Unfortunately some manufacturers have used poorly designed jacks that will push apart permitting reverse insertion. A proper firewire jack should be a solid shell, not split. Some Mac's had the same problem and Apple redesigned the jack. I'd be going after Imacon rather than the tech who inserted it backwards - although that was rather stupid it shouldn't have gone in. I'll admit to trying various plugs/jacks including USB, FW, and ethernet, in multiple orientations when in a hard to reach/see location like the back of my computer and have never had a problem.
Aside from the cheap jack issue, FW data lines really should be protected but I doubt that many, if any, are. Such is the result of trying to make everything as cheap(ly) as possible.