They are right, if you are applying for credit and are denied you are entitled to a copy of your credit report (not your score).
The only times I have got my score has been from friendly Loan Officers when I applied for my car loan and for a mortgage... and that was given to me cause I asked nicely.
Just allowing a hard enquiry doesn't mean you will get access to your score
I thought we were still suppose to be able to get our true FICO score for Experian after applying for credit and allowing a hard inquiry? I just applied for a CC (denied) and when I spoke to the EX representative I was told they do not provide FICO scores at all, just their scoring model. I also asked the CC company and they refused to tell me anything about my score. What gives? How can I find out what my true EX FICO score is now that I've applied for credit and allowed a hard inquiry?
As pointed out by others, that's generally a rule of thumb for mortgage, not credit cards, although select and occassional companies may offer it or give it to you.