Recently, one of my papers got rejected at a very good journal that I admire very much and that I have been happy to referee for. The editor accompanied the the rejection with the claim that "our policy is not to send referee's reports or comments on papers that have not been accepted or recommended for revision." I hastened to the journal website and -- indeed! -- the policy is clearly announced in the author's guidelines. So, I have no standing to complain. Note to self: do read these more carefully in the future.
But...such a policy does come with a foreseeable cost: I am far less inclined to referee for this journal again now that I know there is a good chance my (often elaborate) comments are not forwarded to the author. And even if I were to referee again, it would be with less care and scruples. While a referee report is primarily intended for an editor to make an informed judgment, I always hope that the (refereed) author's work is thereby improved. I do not want to be accused of idealism, but as scholars we really are in this together.
So, what do readers think? Also, is such a policy widespread; anybody know of journals that have such a policy formally or informally?