Sounds to me like you need to find another shop. While I've never done the exact repair I was describing, I have replaced the eye on the other end on several rods over the years. With that type of repair there is ALOT more welding involved as you have to turn the end of the rod down to, basically, a pencil point and then build back up from there. Other than chucking the assembly back in the lathe to knock off any burrs, high spots in the weld, and really just to neaten/pretty up the look of the job, I've never had to do anything else.
Being on the very end of the rod there isn't really anything that's going to distort. I mean if you were doing alot of welding in the middle of the rod I could understand it wanting to distort, but not on the end. Heck a couple of wet rags laid over the rod 6 inches from the weld and they'd be lucky to even get those 6 inches warm no more weld than it would take to do the job.
As far as the chrome goes putting as much weld on one as it takes to replace the eye, like I have done, has never gotten any of the rods I've worked on hot enough to cause any problems with the chrome coming off. Heck,it's chemically bonded to the surface so it really doesn't care wether it's hot or cold, it's not going to come off just because the rod gets hot. Like I said, a few wet rags and even that isn't going to happen. I don't know what kind of BS they are feeding you there.
I don't know, maybe I'm just old school, but I see and hear more people being told that a repair isn't possible nowdays than the law allows. Sad thing is I believe it's 'the law' that is causing all of the problems since the majority of these repair shops are more concerned about covering their a$$es by telling the customer that they HAVE to replace/make a new part rather than repair the old one for less money. Granted there are times when repair or replacement of a part is the correct thing and makes sense both monetarily and in the context of the repair, but way too often nowdays I am seeing new parts thrown at machines for no real reason.