It's just good British manners, isn't it?Careful, @AgentPete, with that one you are edging towards my pet hate of all time:
"I did like it. I just didn't like it enough."
I am sworn to seek out and hunt down, relentlessly, the originator of that snappy little line. And when I do identify her/him, I swear I shall ... share some well-chosen words.
Like when I used to go on internet dates. I never said to a guy, 'Your sense of humour made me cringe, you smelt of mildew, and that second pint couldn't go down fast enough', because that could have hurt his feelings.
Instead, I'd say, 'I enjoyed meeting you, but didn't like you enough to want a second date,' or, 'I liked you, though there wasn't a strong enough connection.'
That's all agents are doing, surely? I ignore the choice of words; it's always just a NO, padded by polite waffle.