Or, what the situation actually is:
When the DM is playing the game ONE way, while his players expected to be playing the game a different way, there are going to be problems.
You CAN run 4e in an "old school" way. However, if you run it that way, but DON'T tell your players that you are doing so, you have to expect some resistance.
Within the context of the OP and his DM, there certainly seems to be a lack of communication. Which is why I championed LostSoul's excellent suggestion for dealing with the same.
Within the context of this thread, AFAICT, the predominant opinion isn't that "It's not telling your players what to expect that causes problems" (Mallus, LostSoul, and myself excepted, as well as one or two folks I might have forgotten).
Within the context of this thread, AFAICT, the predominant opinion is that the DM is making "a poor reading of the game mechanics and how the effects work."
LostSoul's advice really follows the credo "It's not that old school is badwrongfun. It's not telling your players what to expect that causes problems." It's excellent advice.
The rest of this thread? Not so much.