^I think a big problem is a lot of people for some reason don't bother going to admissions and asking their serious questions DIRECTLY and only end up interacting with an admissions officer until their application is submitted and they're weeks away from a decision or, nothing personal, do what you did and contact them after they've been rejected. 8 out of 12 months in the year admissions officers are there without apps to review for this exact reason: to help you and answer any questions you have about transferring. Admissions is there year around to help you, their sole purpose isn't just to review apps or else they would close down outside of Nov - May and save a lot of overhead budget for the UCs. Before last semester, I had some serious questions about a course I signed up for that wasn't going to fulfill a pre-req and I was in contact with admissions all through August and September while I was crashing in at multiple CCs to ensure my schedule lined me up for the best chance to be accepted.
I think the problem is a lot of people for whatever reason are either just too lazy or are too intimidated to interact with an UC admissions officer directly and instead either go where it's more convenient -- to their CC counselors or, even worse, straight to these forums to get at best secondhand or more often just pure speculative information by people that aren't any more qualified than they are to answer their questions.
As far as the Math / English requirement, they're part of the core eligibility requirements. That along with 60 units are the most fundamental things to being able to apply as a junior level transfer. It's kind of just assumed that logically those would be prioritized because they are among the most fundamental of requirements for admissions. Here's an analogy, it's like if you're running for the presidency of the United States and you're a foreign born candidate. But months before the November election you're trying to rush process your citizenship application through the USCIS AFTER you've spent years raising your campaign funds and have hit the campaign trail. Just logically you'd think stipulation one, being a citizen to be eligible, would take precedent to stipulation two, which is getting your supporters and campaigning. Sure there's nothing stopping you from doing it the other way around, but it just doesn't seem practical.