Free respecs are only given when the structure of the skill tree changes, such that if you were to log in and NOT receive a free respec, your character would be broken.
For example, if you used to have 3/3 in a skill box, and we changed that skill so that it now required another skill that you didn't have, or we changed it so that it only had 2 points and you now had 3/2, you'd have a broken character. And that would be bad.
We don't give out free respecs based on an arbitrary judgement call as to how many changes were made; we give them out so your characters will continue to work. Hope that makes sense.
There is a good deal of logic to this statement.
However, many of us have played other games in this industry and it is fairly common practice to give a free respec when you gut someone's class. The idea being that if someone isn't happy with the changes to (Combat Medic for instance) they can then choose a different path (ie Gunnery), with no penalties.
You guys hit the Commando/Merc ACs with some pretty massive nerfs across the entire class, it should have been expected that a significant number of both Gunnery and Combat Medic Commandos would be planning to reroll.
Then again, those of us paying attention to the changes outside of our spec knew better, perhaps you did to. Perhaps you felt there was no point refunding Commando skill points because you realize that there is no point playing a Commando in 1.2?