Holy fuck! I just spent half an hour trying to explain to someone that they are not special, and despite what they think, they are not entitled to anything. This person was talking about how they felt insulted that a college they had applied for a position at sent him a rejection letter by email. While I agree that a form letter is more courteous, he clearly felt that they should have sent an individualized, signed letter which outlined exactly why they hired the other person instead of him. He justified this by saying, "Well, this very small school in Nebraska where I was a very close second did this, so why shouldn't this much larger school do the same?"
The simple answer? Time and money.
When I tried to present this argument, he countered by saying that someone on the faculty should take their own time and money to do this. And his reasoning for this extra time, effort, and cost? Because "you should be respectful to other professionals." Yeah, you should. But you are asking a busy professional to do something outside of their normal responsibilities and at their own personal financial cost because you think it's "nice." Speaking as someone who doesn't exactly have a lot of time or money, my answer is more like "Yeah, right! Sorry, but I simply don't the time to do that." As far as I'm concerned, they don't owe you much beyond a "Thanks but not thanks" statement, even if it is by email. And this is coming from someone who has been applying for jobs for months now! (I'll write on that at some future point, but not right now!)