I totally agree with you.
I've had similar problems in the past to get press credentials for free events where you don't need any to take a picture - especially at smaller events. The representatives simply did not understand why I was asking and said they have too much to do - I shall simply shoot my photos, no problem for them. So, I did not get any and can't submit those pictures that have originally been free to take.
And for the bigger events like concerts... you simply do not have the possibility to take pictures there without the permission of the organizer .
So - this press credential thing seems to be totally needless in my eyes.