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Pins Supporting Rebar

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I have a question regarding rebar support in foundation construction.  It is very common in the area I work to drive #3 bars into the ground and tie rebar up on the pins instead of on chairs or blocks.  This occurs primarily in grade beams and column footings.  My gut feeling is to reject this.  I was wondering if there have been any studies done on the affects of this regarding rebar corrosion.  Is it possible the pins create a path for moisture to eventually penetrate and corrode the foundation reinforcement, or am I over reacting to this?  Is this common in other areas of the country?